Education an important tool to transform lives lies at the bottom of the priority list of street children who are forced to beg, pick rags and are abused severely. In India, millions of children go without access to education and as many as 8.4 crores children continue to remain out of schools.
‘UPAY- Underprivileged’s Advancement by Youth’ is established by Varun Shrivastava, alumni of IIT Kharagpur, along with three of his friends at a rural geographical area called Kumbhari in the outskirts of Nagpur city.
UPAY aims to reach the underprivileged society delivering educational resources and provide equal opportunity to them to learn and grow and develop employability skills and in the course, the quality of life which aligns with the sustainable development goals.
Speaking about their initiative on educating the street kids the foundation came up with Footpathshala, an initiative which is designed to cater the extremely under-privileged section of the society by creating awareness regarding basics of education through an open school approach and inculcate a sense of respect and aspiration for quality education among people.
The Reach & Teach initiative is a program catering towards fulfilling the gaps in the education among kids who are either already going to schools or are dropouts in slum locations or rural villages due to lack of affordability and educational resources.
The foundation even has a Mobile Library, which collects books across India to give underprivileged children the means to develop their reading and writing skills.
With a belief that each one has the right to education no matter where they belong to, UPAY thought to cater to the street-living communities through Footpathshaala, which transforms the street into an open makeshift school. Through a tailor-made curriculum, we ensure the migrant beneficiaries gain basic knowledge of the language speaking, reading and writing in a short span of time. It is a volunteer-driven project with the belief that, if the children can’t reach the doors of the school, let Footpathshaala reach them.UPAY aims to impact 5000 children through Reach and Teach initiative, 1000 street children through Footpathshaala and enroll them into a formal education system, and 500 youth and young women through Skill development initiative by 2020.
UPAY is even planning to launch a mobile school in the cities like Nagpur, Delhi, Gurugram, Pune, and Bangalore having educational and recreational resources with a focus to cater to the street children. The Mobile School will enable us to reach a greater number of beneficiaries with limited resources in a cost-effective way.
UPAY has also begun skill development sessions to scale up the product and to provide a market to the rural or slum communities through an e-commerce platform “apnasaamaan.com” in order to provide a better livelihood and make the communities self-sufficient and the project sustainable.
With a message to help the underprivileged children for providing quality education, UPAY urges citizens to join hands and make each child count.
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