- Admission of 28 children across 4 slum-communities to the nearby NMMC School just within a month after our interactions.
- Our biggest challenge was (and still is) the unsteady nature of some families. They keep visiting their villages for festivals, treatments and other personal reasons. This does away with all our efforts to ensure regular schooling for their children. One family had to leave urgently for their village but, perhaps, our previous counseling had an impact and they left their daughter Surekha with their neighbors so that she wouldn’t miss school. More importantly, their neighbors recognized the importance of her schooling and ensured that she came to school regularly.
- Vinod was compelled to stop his studies in Nanded after class-XI and shifted to Mumbai since his father need help. We conducted daily counseling sessions after office hours at 8-9 pm, lobbied a politician for support, conducted personal visits to three colleges, all on Vinod’s behalf but our efforts seemed to make no difference to Vinod’s father. We had almost given up but the interest and enthusiasm of school-going Anjali seemed to work the magic and one day he called us. We enrolled him for a basic computer course but our inability to get a job for him again seemed to discourage him. Our efforts paid off finally and we enrolled him for a basic hospitality services training course and today he works with Cafe Coffee Day and earns a respectable salary.
- Soon after, inspired by Vinod’s success, his elder brother Ashok also enrolled for a computer course.
- The tangible change in the personality of their children post-school admission motivated parents to encourage their neighbors and distant relatives too to enroll their wards in school. As a result, we have admitted 15 more children from similar backgrounds in the current academic year 2009-10. In fact, parents of Anil and Sunil withdrew their admissions from rural schools and requested us to involve them too in our family.
- Mukesh, a bright 12-year-old boy living in Sector-3 shanties, had to discontinue his class-IV schooling due to a serious illness. To make it worse, he acquired some bad company and was addicted to whitener. After our persistent counseling, we finally encouraged him to re-start school.
- We were able to pull in the support of a prestigious local school - NHP School to help us provide their premises to conduct a medical camp for our children. The school also permitted us to be part of their PTI (Parent Teacher Interaction) event and personally talk with parents about LEAD.
- Through Karmayog and the HelpHub, donors have donated us a huge collection of indoor/outdoor games/sports materials for our children.
- Roopali, a girl who once horrified us by defaulting school just after four days, has made us proud today by showcasing her excellent commitment and discipline towards school and tuitions, despite being shifted to Sathey Nagar, a place 5 kms away from Airoli. This daughter of a rag-picker leaves her home daily at 12 noon and reaches back at 9 pm. So that money does not hinder her later, so we have decided to take care of her conveyance expenses.
- Families of Maruti, Musoba, Anil and Sunil suddenly migrated to Vasai for an indefinite period in search of a livelihood. But Maruti, one of our brightest students, determined to go to school, chose to stay back at his uncle’s place. Our volunteers traveled to Vasai the Sunday after and brought the other 3 kids back as well. The trust of parents and the love of the children and their attitude towards education is the greatest reward for LEAD’s resolve, its determination, its hopes and aspirations.
- Recognition from Ashoka’s Youth Venture Challenge http://www.yvchallenge.blogspot.com — a program that encourages, recognizes and supports the exceptional achievements of young people who are actively promoting social change in the society.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. It, indeed, is the only thing that ever has!" ..........Margaret Mead