Home CATEGORIES Business Ethics & Philanthropy How Pakka Foundation is providing joyful learning to less-privileged children in Ayodhya
Twenty five-year-old Maya works as a domestic help while her husband Atul is a daily wage labourer in a village in Uttar Pradesh. Their 5-year-old daughter has not been initiated to alphabets yet.
While the Constitution of India counts free and compulsory education of all children in the age group of six to fourteen years as a Fundamental Right, education for children is often a luxury for families which work day and night to manage a living from hand to mouth.
Several companies through their CSR initiatives as well as non-profit organisations across India are working to bring a smile on the faces of hundreds of such children. The goal is to ensure children from such families are not deprived of their fundamental right in their growing up years.
One such non-profit working for the cause is Pakka Foundation, the CSR arm of Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya-based company Yash Pakka Limited. The foundation has been putting relentless efforts to provide quality education with a focus on ‘joyful learning’ to children hailing from less-privileged families in the district. In order to achieve this aim, they have been running a project named ‘Krishna Niketans’ in six villages across Ayodhya.
There are 6 Krishna Niketans in all. These run in six villages namely Sirsenda, Parakhan, Uparhar, Manjha, Sanethu, and Baisingh. Children in the age group of 3-5 years come to these Krishna Niketans. From 2021, Pakka Foundation has reached out and educated more than 350 children across the villages of Ayodhya.
The focus is to develop five skill sets in children at Krishna Niketan: Physical & Motor Development; Sensory, Perceptual and Cognitive Development; Language, Literacy, Communication and Self Esteem; Personal Social and Emotional Development; and Creativity.
Talking about the same, Ms. Sarita Upadhyay, Strategy Head, Pakka Foundation, shared, “The objective of Krishna Niketan schools is to give access to a joyful learning experience to each and every child in the communities in their primitive years (2 -5). Joyful learning is extremely critical to a child’s development. It creates a happy environment where learning does not become troublesome, and the child becomes a lifelong learner.”
“Our pedagogy is completely experiential and contextual. While numeracy and literacy skills are important, we primarily focus on building social, emotional, cognitive and life skills. Krishna Niketan’s are built to support the easy transition from home to pre-primary and from Pre- Primary to primary and secondary schools through a unique Hub and Spoke education model,” she added.
The foundation also works to mainstream children from Krishna Niketan to YVM (Yash Vidya Mandir), a semi-philanthropic initiative of Jingle Bells Nursery School Society (JBNSS) so that the children can get quality education from preschool to higher secondary level through the hub & spoke model. JBNSS is responsible for planning, executing, and monitoring the programme.
Talking about this, Ms. Upadhyay added, “Pakka Foundation is partnered with Jingle Bell Nursery School Society, a well-known school in Ayodhya as a knowledge partner to support Krishna Niketan in providing extremely talented and specially trained teachers, curriculum, teaching and learning materials and regular assessment of the teaching-learning process.”
Khushi Charitable School
Apart from the above, Pakka Foundation also runs a charitable school named ‘Khushi’ mainly transforming the lives of children from ragpicker communities in Naka, Ayodhya.
Throwing light on the same, the spokesperson expressed, “Pakka Foundation supports education for out-of-school children in Ayodhya from a less privileged section of our society. This school was established during the first wave post-Covid 19 when these kids were found on the streets with their parents. They had nowhere to go, nothing to do, and were struggling for food. The school started with four such children now we have over 35 children in this school. The age group ranges from 3 – 15. Students are divided into three groups in the same class as per their age and pre-knowledge.”
“In this academic year, 17 children are mainstreamed into formal schooling systems. There has been a huge mindset shift in the parents; three girls were sent to Kasturba Gandhi residential schools by their parents, and now more parents are ready to do so. We are also planning to introduce age-appropriate vocational training for these children so they don’t get dragged into begging and other such activities,” she added.