New Delhi, Delhi Nov 21, 2023 (Issuewire )
In the heart of Anna Nagar slums, nestled amidst the challenges of crumbling shanties and a community striving against odds, stands the Valmiki temple. Within its walls, a transformation unfolds daily, orchestrated by Pehchaan The Street School, an NGO committed to nurturing the potential of underprivileged children.
Amidst the pungent scent of a stinking drain and the crowded lanes, the temple's interiors radiate vibrancy with colorful drawings adorning the walls. It's a beacon of hope, bustling with children of diverse ages ardently engaged in learning and honing their skills.
"Even amid adversity, such as the recent swollen Yamuna, the Valmiki temple remains a hub of joyous learning," says Akash Tandon, reflecting on the children's unwavering dedication to their weekend classes despite the city's challenges.
Every child here has a success story. Take Krish, a school dropout turned budding artist. His sketchbook bursts with pencil drawings of beloved cartoon characters and notable personalities. "I attend academic classes too because I wish to join class IX through Open School next year," shares the determined 14-year-old.
Pehchaan's genesis traces back to 2015 when a group of compassionate individuals - Akash Tandon, Kanika Narula, Sam Pillai, Leejo Joy, and Monica Vamdar - formed the organization. Moved by the plight of children either begging on the streets or dropping out of school due to academic struggles, these friends embarked on a mission to provide guidance and support.
Initially faced with skepticism from residents, they began with ten children, aiming not only to educate but also to nurture each child's potential. Akash shares, "Our objective was holistic - to enable these children to build a career out of their strengths." As Pehchaan introduced diverse activities like dance, music, art, crafts, and yoga, the initiative gained momentum. Today, it engages over 500 volunteers from city colleges, impacting 1,500+ slum children across ten centers in Delhi.
"We focus on nurturing their passions alongside academics. Our informal setup fosters confidence and communication, leading to visible transformations in behavior," Akash remarks, highlighting the NGO's approach.
Pehchaan operates solely on crowdfunding, advocating for donations in the form of stationery, school supplies, and time from volunteers. College students join as interns, dedicating three months to teaching at least 24 classes. For children, like Deepak from the inaugural batch, these volunteers serve as mentors, guiding them towards academic success and promising rewards for excellence.
"In slums, exclusion is a shared experience. By showering attention, we aim to change mindsets," Akash emphasizes, shedding light on the transformative impact of volunteers' attention on these marginalized children.
Pehchaan The Street School remains committed to rewriting the narratives of disadvantage, one child at a time. Through collective efforts, they aspire to build a world where every child's potential is nurtured, irrespective of their circumstances.
For further information, volunteering opportunities, or donations, please visit pehchaanstreetschool or contact us at 9711718972.
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