Vivekananda Foundation - Chamarajanagar

Project Brief: Adoption of 72 government schools in Chamarajanagar dist., Karnataka
Project Type: Working with the Government (description)
Primary Focus: to go to formal school (description)

Secondary Focus: creating resources

Area: Rural
Supporting Chapter Contact: Boston/MIT
Status: completed - requirements ended
Project Steward: Melli Annamalai
Project Partner(s): G. S Jayadeva
Other Contacts:
Project Address: , Mr. Jayadeva, Deenabandhu Trust, Behind Forest Nursery,P.W.D Colony,Chamarajanagar,
Tel: 0821-722556, 722922
Stewarding Chapter: Boston/MIT
Dec 2003MadisonUSD 1250
Dec 2002Boston/MITUSD 1500
Dec 2002MadisonUSD 1200
Dec 2001Boston/MITUSD 3000
Dec 2001MadisonUSD 1200

Total = $8150

Vivekananda Foundation is a federation of individuals and organizations committed to social development and inspired by the ideas of the Ramakrishna Mission. Their goals are to establish a network of such individuals and organizations in order to share ideas and practices, and to promote activities for integrated social development. The specific project being supported by Asha for Education is a program to improve the state of education in government schools in rural Karnataka. This is being done by training a team of dedicated social workers who will be responsible for a cluster of 7-8 schools each. They will conduct various programs such as teacher training (90% of the govt. budget goes towards salaries of teachers leaving very little for important components such as teacher training which determines whether any knowledge is being imparted in the school), equipment (science, books, sports) for the school, special workshops on topics such as environment, hygeine. They will also work on mobilizing the community towards taking responsibility for the school - for instance in one village the villagers have now come forward to whitewash the school. Ultimately if the community is responsible for the school, that is the best way to ensure that the school functions well. In addition they are conducting specific surveys to identify the number of dropouts, the reason why they dropped out, and will soon work on getting those children back in school. They have also started planting fruit trees along with the children around the schools.

The Vivekananda Foundation has a good track record of implementing development projects in the past and in this project, they aim to utilize existing government infrastructure (the schools) while providing motivated volunteers to facilitate the education process. The project makes uses of the current scheme by the government of Karnataka "Adopt a School" which the government has created. Corporations and individuals are encouraged to adopt schools and improve it using a variety of programs ranging from teacher training programs to infrastructural improvements (toilets, drinking water, library books). Poor children go to government schools, and improving them is of critical importance if education is to be made accessible to under-privileged children in India. At Asha we recognize the need to work with the government to improve government schools, as it will be impossible for a non-governmental organization to fund schools for all of India. By making use of existing government schools, this project is able to minimize infrastructure costs which are typically a huge chunk of the budget and work on improving 52 schools with the funds used typically to build and run 1 or 2 schools.

At this point, Asha-Boston ($3000) and Asha-Madison ($1200) are funding 7 social workers who intervene in 52 schools (7-8 schools per social worker). Asha and Vivekananda Foundation have adopted these 52 schools. The funds are used for salaries for social workers (Rs. 1200 per month + Rs. 200 travel costs), equipment (science, books, sports), and conducting of workshops.

To improve functioning of the government school
Vivekananda is a federation of voluntary organizations and individuals committed to the cause of development of society. These organizations have been working in various sectors of social service such as Tribal Development, Rehabilitation of the Blind and Orphans, Mental Health, Rural Health and Education, Cocational Training and Community Organization. The federation is inspired and guided by the ideas of the Ramakrishna Mission.

"Vidya", 54, Paramahamsa Road
Mysore - 570 020
Ph: (821) 513366/514000

Office Bearers
President: Dr. H. Sudarshan
Vice President: Prof. N. Krishnaswamy
Secretary: Dr. P. Vidyasagar
Joint Secretary: Dr. R. Balasubramanian
Treasurer: G. S. Jayadev

Member Organizations
Chetana Trust, Mysore
Karuna Trust, Yelandur, Chamarajanagar Dt.
Swami Viveka Youth Movement, Kenchanahalli, H.D. Kote Taluk, Mysore Dt. (website)
Swami Vivekananda Educational Society, Bangalore
Sri Ramakrishna Seva Sangha, Mysore
Sri Sharada Devi Andhara Vikasa Kendra, Shimoga
Sri Vivekananda Sevasharama, Bangalore
Vivekananda Girijana Kalyana Kendra, B.R. Hills, Chamarajanagar Dt.
Deena Bandhu Trust, Chamarajanagar

The objectives of the foundation include establishing a network or organizations, sharing and exchanging of ideas, promote and assist member and other organizations, take up activities in tune with the ideals of the organization.

Some examples of their activities are: handing over of a primary health center by the government to the foundation. Salaries are paid by the goverment along with 90% of the running expenses. Foundation members run the clinic. A wonderful example of government resources being used by honest, motivated people. Another example is an interest-free loan of Rs. 1 lakh from the foundation to one of their member organizations, Vivekananda Sevasharama. They support each other at times of crisis.

Mr. Jayadeva is the coordinator of Deenabandhu and the treasurer of Vivekananda Foundation. Hence Deenabandhu's address, office space etc. is used for this project. Deenabandhu is a children's home.