Inspired by the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the Change you want to see”, a group of courageous, passionate and committed individuals have stood up for something they believe in, because they realized that, ‘Just intentions do not matter! You need to ACT to make a difference!’
They now represent LEAD, a powerful and impacting mini-movement, a completely volunteer-run NGO that primarily focuses on Education of the under privileged children. LEAD represents two things. It abbreviates our mission - Love, Education & Aspiration to change Destinies. Secondly, it reveals the Leadership quality of taking the responsibility to improve the system, without being asked to do so!
We believe that every child should enjoy his right to childhood and education. So we endeavor to provide an appropriate cheerful environment as well as necessary support for Education of the lesser privileged children. Our motivated team keeps striving to provide them with knowledge, skills, values and facilities to enable them to compete in the mainstream environment and rise with dignity in the society.
28 children across 4 slum areas in Airoli were admitted to a local NMMC school just within 1 month after its inception in July 2008 and today it is has 45 children under its wing after ‘adopting’ one more slum community within its area of operation.
LEAD is currently involved in:
Education of Children
We believe the only way to change the destinies of the children born in an underprivileged background is by providing them Education. And thus giving them access to education is our primary objective. We have already admitted many kids in the municipal schools in the locality and to ensure that they can cope and continue with the studies, given their family background & our municipal system, we conduct encouragement sessions in our center.
Classes in our Center:
Currently there are three batches where we conduct sessions for these children. The kids are taught the lessons in their syllabus which ensures that they receive special attention unlike others in the classrooms. Also there is stress on the overall development of kids with classes on morals, manners, arts and games. The classes are taken by volunteers using teaching aids in a ‘fun-learning’ environment. We also ensure that the kids get to have fun too with dance, craft and arts classes in vacations along with the Sunday cricket, badminton & other games with volunteers.
Health of Children
With uneducated parents and little hygiene in their homes & immediate environment, we observed that our kids frequently fall ill. Along with regularly inculcating the importance of hygiene and nutritious meals, we conduct health check-ups for these kids, through NMMC dispensary / hospital visits and medical camps, and even get them & their siblings vaccinated. We are still wanting to do a lot more in this area. We have also started serving a hot home-made nutritional breakfast & snacks to our children when they come to our center for their daily sessions.
By constantly interacting with the parents of the kids through community visits, we felt that there was a need for a stable source of income for these families as most of them earned on a daily basis. We have tied up with another NGO to impart skilled training to some of the mothers of these children in tailoring, embroidery, etc. The women are taking deep interests in these sessions and these keeps their teachers motivated. We could also provide some training to our women in candle- making and then got these packaged and sold at two events with good reviews. We have plans to have more such initiatives to generate regular incomes for these families. Along with this vocational skills training, these women have now also started realizing the importance of education and hence have started taking interest in learning the basics of language and arithmetic, thus spurring up us to start the informal education program for these women.
Sponsoring those in Need
We have always lent our support, through whatever resources we have, to those students who are bright but not financial stable. Be it by getting them trained, employed or paying their fees, LEAD never shies away from helping those in need.
Rehabilitation of extremely needy children
When we were made aware about the adverse impact that the severe domestic violence, addiction, abuse and other problems is having on the lives of two children Pooja and Durpata in a Sathey-Nagar based family, we admitted both the sisters in Anugraha children's home in Ambernath. (Thanks to Dr.Ila) We could also admit one of the orphan children, Kamini, of a family found near Vashi railway station, in Anmol Girls' Home in KoparKhairne. (Thanks to Sister Moksha) All the three girls are now happily pursuing their education and dreams.