Youth come forward to educate Karnataka’s poor children

Sunday, December 20, 2009

BANGALORE - Like any other teenagers, Anitha and her classmate Mamtha, both school students in India’s tech hub Bangalore, dream to achieve ”big” in life but are shackled by poverty. Now help is at hand for such poor children in Karnataka to achieve education.

Due to acute poverty, both girls were planning to quit their school when a ”miracle” happened and a group of youths came forward to support their education.

Voluntary youth organisation Jan Sahyog Foundation’s (JSF) latest initiative ‘Educate a child for a year’ sponsors the education of poor children.

Launched Sep 5 this year, JSF is targeting to help 1,100 students belonging to poor families across the state in a year’s time.

JSF Coordinator Shah Faisal, who recently completed his graduation in engineering from the M.S.Ramaiah Institute of Technology, Bangalore, told IANS : ”Along with giving financial help to these children, we’re also distributing school bags, notebooks, other stationery and study materials to help underprivileged children continue with their studies.”

Faisal said: ”The very motto of the foundation is to involve young people of the country in bringing social and economic changes in our society. Our current initiative is to help poor children to get education, which is their birthright.”

”Within two months of the launch of the programme, we have reached out to 265 children of Bangalore. Soon we will spread the programme in other parts of Karnataka to reach our target of 1,100 children,” added Faisal.

Asked why JSF has chosen to support the children for only one year, Sonali Kusum, another member of the foundation, said they were approaching the programme phase-wise and would surely carry it forward in the coming years.

”We don’t want to commit for the future now. Thus, we are looking for one-year target. We have a funds crunch, but we hope sponsors will come forward to help us in the coming years also,” added Kusum, who is a student of the National Law School of India University here.

The initiative of the foundation has been financially backed by employees of IT company IBM in Bangalore.

The nation-wide voluntary organization is run by youngsters, mostly students. JSF has been involved in various social activities since its formation in 2001.

It boasts of 10,000 members across India and is the brainchild of Aley Rasool, a retired professor from Katihar, Bihar.

”He is our guiding principle. He has inspired 10,000 young Indians to take up social work,” said Naveen R, another member of JSF and student of the Bangalore Institute of Technology.

The foundation’s members from across the country had done a commendable job in rescue and rehabilitation work in the aftermath of the 2001 Gujarat earthquake, the 2004 tsunami, the 2005 Jammu and Kashmir earthquake and the 2008 Bihar floods.

Both Anitha and Mamtha, students of the S.V.S. Higher Primary School, are happy they don’t have to abandon their education mid-way.

”I am happy that I am continuing with my studies. I want to thank members of the foundation for sponsoring my education. Now, I can fulfill my dreams,” smiled Anitha, who wants to become a space scientist.

Mamtha, who nurtures the dream of becoming a software engineer, said she is happy now.

”I was devastated as my parents were finding it hard to pay for my education. Because of the goodwill gesture from the foundation I am studying and will definitely give my best to make all proud,” said Mamtha.

JSF volunteers feel that money should not be a constraint for children’s education and that every child has a right to education.

For any enquiry, support or donation, JSF volunteers can be reached through the following way: Phone: 080-42177192 Mobile: 9844580305 Email:

Filed under: Education

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