Updated: Feb 5, 2019
Saraswati Shishu Mandir, Bodarli Bilaspur, India (2011-2014)
The society runs primary school in the tribal area near Bilaspur in Chattisgarh, India and has been a shining example of social enterprise in tribal community. With our support 186 village children (72 girls) are getting free education till year 4. We have contributed 50% of the yearly running costs including provision of a) Books, School bags, Stationery, Uniforms. b) School meal c) School facilities and running costs. Saraswati Shishu Mandir
Saraswati Shishu Mandir (SSM) is a small village school in Bodarli, Burhanpur, India. From a very modest beginning the school is a shining example of local community partnership ethos and now educates over 500 children. It is their intention to extend teaching till Class X (GCSE) for all boys and girls by building more classrooms. Small steps have supported SSM as their international cause since 2011 and continue to support this project.
Small Steps Charity is pleased to support an educational project in India.
Sarswati Shishu Mandir is a school situated in the village of Bodarli, in the Burhanpur
district of Madhya Pradesh, India. Schooling in this area was limited and available
mainly for boys with girls not having ready access to education. This was especially so
for beyond Class 8 (year 9 in UK). In addition there was reluctance amongst families to
send girls for education due to both cultural and financial reasons – those who could
afford to send children for education would select boys rather than girls.
Seven years ago the villagers received land on which to build a school. Thus, Sarswati
Shishu Mandir was started through voluntary donations with a view to giving both girls
and boys equal access to education without the need to travel long distances. Pupils
are generally from lower socio-economic backgrounds.
The school is run by voluntary donations and nominal fees paid by students. Teachers
are recruited from the local area and the administration is carried out by volunteers.
There is no government aid available. Facilities in the school (classrooms, toilets,
desks, sports equipment, and computers) have been developed little by little over a
period of time, as funds become available. Each year enrolment increases and there is
a need for increasing the number of classrooms. Small Steps Charity is pleased to
support a current project to build a new classroom for the school, specifically for Class
Why is there a need for schools such as this? Overall literacy in India has continued to
improve over the past few decades. However there continues to be a gender gap with
female literacy still lagging behind that of males, especially amongst families from
lower socio-economic backgrounds. Lower female literacy rates have a negative impact
upon population stabilisation, infant health, and thereby the successful evolution of
communities. Improving access to education for girls through the Sarswati Shishu Mandir
is bringing about changes in attitudes to education in the community and this will
continue to benefit future generations.
Tamilnadu Emergency Flood Relief Fund (2015) £2000
The Southern Indian state of TamilNadu has been ravaged by unprecedented heavy rains. The monsoons have played havoc. The capital city, many coastal towns and villages are submerged in water. More than 300 people have lost their lives and thousands more are waiting to be rescued.
As we go about our normal lives, many people are on their roof tops waiting for the helicopters to deliver food and boats to take them to a safer place.
You and I can make a difference to the situation. Though this may sound cliché, it is a fact. This is an appeal to all people in UK to help raise funds for thousands waiting to be rescued. The money raised will buy blankets, clothes, food, drinking water and help rebuild homes and lives.
In this hour of despair let us give hope to the flood affected people of TamilNadu. Every penny of your donations will be gratefully received.
While the recent floods in Chennai garnered intense media attention using our local contacts from Solihull we have established a partnership with a local orphanage called Uthavam Karangala. Rebuilding after these devestating floods has been challenging and Small-Steps funds would be used for providing esssential equipment for the school (fans, Tube lights, Tables and chairs)
The people of TamilNadu have set aside their differences, organised many self-help groups, braved the elements to reach out and help the thousands stranded.
This year we are raising funds for MHAT (Mental Health Action Trust) Kerala, India. MHAT provides free community based mental health care to economically deprived people. The free medication, psycho-social interventions and rehabilation offered by MHAT helps hundreds of poor families with mentally I'll members to rebuild their lives. Led by psychiatrist Dr Manoj Kumar, MHAT has been doing exemplary work in an area of healthcare that receives very little funding and attention.
These are the pictures of the wandering mentally ill, the pictures that we try to erase
as our feet hurry us away to our warm, secure, sane lives. We wish them away, try to
ignore or blot them out or hope that “somebody would do something” about them.
Their lives in each one of us a fear that wants to disconnect and a deep sense of
humanity that cannot. It is said that for every hundred population one or two people
suffer with severe mental disturbances. Without proper care or treatment many are
rendered homeless, lost to their families.
Mental Health Action Trust (MHAT) is a not-for-profit organization that cares for
economically backward, severely mentally ill people including the wandering mentally
ill. Working out of Kozhikode, a small, dedicated team of psychiatrists, psychologists
and social workers run clinics in three districts of Kerala, India, providing free and high
quality psychiatric care for those who cannot afford treatment or cannot access care in
the established system. Operating through independent community clinics and those of
the Palliative Care network, Mental Health Acton Trust (MHAT) reaches out to patients
through a unique volunteer network. Patients are located, identified and screened
using medical and financial parameters, as MHAT works only for poorest of the poor or
those who cannot afford treatment otherwise.
Established in January 2011, the MHAT team is led by Dr Manoj Kumar (MD; DPM;
MRCPsych, formerly Consultant Psychiatrist in Leeds, UK).
Today, it operates in Malappuram, Wayanad and Kozhikode districts of Kerala, serving
over 1200 patients and families. Uninterrupted and comprehensive psychiatric care,
including psycho-social intervention and rehabilitation services have paved the way
back to normalcy for hundreds of mentally ill persons.
This humanitarian project is funded entirely by the good will and munificence of
philanthropic individuals and organisations. These funds are utilized for medication,
clinic running costs and rehabilitation.