SSUP - Sanskriti O Samaj Unnayan Parishad

Project Brief: SSUP, founded in 1989, is based in Malda, about 350 km from Calcutta, in West Bengal. The organization lays emphasis on working with the community people so that they take up their own development projects.
Project Type: Non-Formal Educational Centers (description)
Primary Focus: creating resources (description)

Secondary Focus: vocational training

Area: Rural
Supporting Chapter Contact: Silicon Valley
Status: completed - requirements ended
Project Steward: Saurabh Bagchi
Project Partner(s):
Other Contacts: Ashish Chaddha
Project Address: , Sanskriti O Samaj Unnayan Parishad,,Sarbamangala Pally (South),
Tel: 91-3512-267423 / 33-24185452
Stewarding Chapter: Silicon Valley
Dec 2003Silicon ValleyUSD 2205
Dec 2002SeattleUSD 6150
Dec 2002Silicon ValleyUSD 2205
Dec 2001SeattleUSD 6150
Dec 2001Silicon ValleyUSD 913
Dec 2001StanfordUSD 1866
Dec 2000SeattleUSD 2500
Dec 2000Silicon ValleyUSD 1825
Dec 1999SeattleUSD 2500

Total = $26314

With Asha's support SSUP is now running 17 Shishu Shiksha Kendras (Children Learning Centers) for Non-Formal Education for the last three years. There are about 25 children in each center. The schools are in blocks with very low literacy levels (31% for males and 16% for females) with a large population belonging to socially deprived classes. The funds are used for educational materials for the children (about 110 boys and 133 girls), training teachers from the villages themselves, holding cultural programs for the children and taking them to educational camps outside their villages. The criteria for student selection are that they have no other source of education and they come from a socially and economically backward or minority community. SSUP does not charge any fee from the students.


Non-Formal Education for primary school aged children as a component of the capacity building process of the community.


The SSUP project in the Malda district today runs 17 non formal education (NFE) centers in different villages, spread out into two regions - Dalla, 50 km from Malda (11 centers) and Pirgunje, 17 km from Malda (6 centers). The Dalla project serves a predominantly tribal population (82% of the population). Each center caters to an average of 27 students at three different proficiency levels - one (most preliminary) through three (most advanced). The ages of the children lie between 6 and 14 years. The area in which the project is run is extremely backward with the villagers being mostly uneducated migrant laborers. The SSUP project provides an environment in which the children feel comfortable about attending school and learning, and then integrates them with mainstream education.
Project Objectives
i. To run Sishu Shikha Kendra (SSKs) with
i) 25 learners in each center,
ii) 70% attendance,
iii) 80% retention rate and
iv) 70% minimum learning level (MLL) achievement.
ii. To develop a curriculum through field testing, within the frame of minimum learning level (MLL).
iii. To develop a teaching learning strategy

a) to provide child centered, joyful learning climate in the center and
b) to inculcate / initiate a self learning process.
iv. To develop local specific instructional material for SSK learners (with
emphasis on tribal).
v. To suggest ways for better development in meta-linguistic area of learning.

vi. To train upgrade and equip village-level instructors to make them capable of running the SSKs for fulfilling the teacher s role as envisaged in the curriculum developed.

vii. To create a comprehensive awareness among the parents about total literacy and as well as social and economic rights.

viii. To ensure community participation in the short as well as long term so that they can follow up and finally take ownership of the project.

SSUP's long term plans
"Education is a continuous need of the community. However, this project aims at creating a model , primarily in two ways i.e. creating a demand for education from the backward community and at the same time developing a joyful teaching learning process to meet the local needs. Our project is in the initial phase only and it is difficult to clearly say when we can achieve the objectives fully. Instead of continuing this project with external support, what we intend to achieve and are also striving for is that either the government should take care of the childrens' education or alternatively the community should bear the cost of education (which we think is bit difficult in our target community). As we go along implementing the project, let us hope that government comes up with adequate educational facilities."

SSUP's activities have included teaching sustainable agriculture practices to the poor farmers, a non-formal education program for children of primary school-going age, creating drinking water and sanitation facilities, a soil conservation project, and building houses for the flood affected families in the Malda region. A key achievement of the organization has been to have the community's participation. SSUP has had several donors including the Govt of India, an agency in Ireland, and UNICEF.

Sanskriti O Samaj Unnayan Parishad (SSUP), a non-profit making organization (an NGO) is in the field of rural development since 1989 and has been working in two developmental blocks (Habibpur and Ratua II) of backward Malda district in northern part of West Bengal. The organization was formed by few society concerned individuals with high level achievement in their respective avocations, integrity and commitment. The Board members are also well equipped with knowledge and experience in rural development.

SSUP endeavors to support and build people s own initiatives so that they can take up their own development. The objectives are therefore to :

Render social and humanitarian services to the people irrespective of caste, creed & faith and especially for the poorest section of the society
Creating wider and rapid development opportunities through sustainable use of resources for both on-farm and non-farm means

Undertaking projects on health, sanitation and environmental issues and on utilization of non-conventional energy sources

Organizing, promoting and conducting educational projects with the vulnerable sections of the community

Current Activities
Facilitation of community s participation in the development process is the main task. Functional neighborhood groups for both men and women have been formed.
To facilitate the creation of environment for sustainable agriculture practices to ensure food security for the poor against the backdrop of environment damaging green revolution techniques. The activities target resources poor farmers and include use of local bio-mass, green manure, preservation of traditional varieties of vegetation, integrated pest management, judicious use of soil and water, bio-intensive nutrition gardens, etc.
A joyful and area specific non-formal education program for the non-school going primary aged children. Most of the learners are 1 st generation learners.
Health awareness program through women groups and non-formal school children in particular and community in general. The people are encouraged to make use of government health services, especially for immunization for both mother and child. Use of herbal medicine is gaining popularity among the villagers.
SSUP is also engaged in creating drinking water and sanitation facilities with active participation of the users.
Being an active member of a network of NGOs in Malda, SSUP has taken up activities related with Disaster Preparedness such as with flood, finding out ways to lessen miseries caused due to the hazards, etc, People s involvement is the key for our success during and after unprecedented flood in 1998
As a stride towards sustainable natural resource management, SSUP has initiated Participatory Resource Development Process for the operational areas. A program on farm pond excavation is already going on.
Community based micro-finance mechanism ( savings & credit) through women groups recently initiated
Working with modest level resources, SSUP has been able to gain confidence of the target people (mostly ST, Muslims and SC). SSUP maintains a very good working relationship with the Panchayates (local level villagers bodies) of all levels and enjoys high credibility of the district administration as well. The slow but steady progress is also enabling us share our experience with others.

Additional contact: Dr. Ashok Sircar
Kolkata Address:
c/o SPADE, 21 Jogendra Gardens,
Haltu Calcutta - 700078
E-mail facility is in Calcutta. Malda is not on e-mail