Starting the Delhi Action Center

Venky and myself met with 4 Delhi volunteers on December 28, 2008 to get the Delhi Action Center going. We introduced all of them to Vibha and what we stand for and how we do what we do. One of the volunteers is from Atlanta and thus we do have some continuity from the US in Delhi also. In order to get them started, we of course suggested they start with visits to our projects in the Delhi vicinity.

I also visited Bharti Foundation through an invite from Mamta – an old CRY contact and friend. Bharti foundation has setup a mission of building 1000 models schools in rural India. They are investing heavily in infrastructure as well as complete teacher training and more. I brought up the following with them:

Collaboration across NGOs

Sikshana – I mentioned our plans to scale Sikshana accross India. Bharti foundation’s work has been noticed by the Govt. of Rajasthan. The Govt. of Rajasthan has verbally requested Bharti foundation to take up the entire schooling for rural Rajasthan. Of course, Bharti foundation cannot go out and build out the entire schooling infrastructure for all of Rural Rajasthan. Thus, came up the opportunity for Vibha and Bharti foundation to join hands towards using Sikshana as the model for scaling in Rajasthan. Bharti foundation is awaiting a written request from the Govt. of Rajasthan to discuss next steps. However here we have a partner to work with us in scaling Sikshana as the mission is identical.

Next we discussed Door Step School (DSS). Bharti foundation is going to begin the dialogue with Bharti group’s facilities folks to ensure that they ask the builders they use to also to follow the “Child Friendly Builder” concept for buildings the Bharti group is considering building. Bharti foundation also leveraged the DSS post card concept for tracking and plans to implement the same in its schools too for migrants. They also plan to introduce us to the DLF Foundation towards partnering and scaling of DSS. DLF as many of you know is one of the largest if not the largest builder in India.

Next we spoke of employment skill development here too. Again, the same issues faced by DSS are being faced by Bharti Foundation i.e. just passing 10th grade does not make one employable. Once again, here too, I introduced them to Yuvaparivartan and Bharti plans to leverage all the vocational training modules and systems deployed by Yuvaparivartan over the past 20 years. If there are other vocational training projects we have, I’d like to introduce them too to Bharti foundation so that all that work is leveraged.

As you can see, once again, there’s plenty of scope for sharing best practices without redundancy accross various NGO/NPO initiatives across India – our Vibha projects conference will be a great start for this. We should extend invitations to other local India-based foundations and NGOs to also attend if they choose to.

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