All About Gunjan Foundation
‘GUNJAN FOUNDATION’ is a non-governmental social organization founded in 2004 by Mrs Sushma singhvi with a mission to pursue educational and other welfare measures for uplifting the underprivileged sections of society. It sought the task of educating and creating social awareness for the less fortunate thereby improving opportunities for better standard of living. GUNJAN reaches out to children, especially the girl child to promote empowerment, self-respect and self-reliance through free education and vocational guidance, which fosters hope and confidence in pursuing fulfilling lives.
To provide quality education to children of marginalized sections of society to enable them to be at par with private school educated children.
Gunjan Foundation’s mission is to educate the less fortunate who are unable to afford formal schools. The Foundation reaches out to children of various slums in the surrounding areas of the school. This is done through the mobiliser who spreads the word about our school as well as does a socio economic survey of these areas so that we may accordingly organize awareness programs in addition to providing education.
Presently, the Foundation runs morning and afternoon schools. About 210 students are enrolled in the morning school, running Nursery through class V. There are 120 students altogether in various classes and 20 Girls enrolled in each of Beauty Enhancement and Stitching Course. Swapna Sarthak School is running completely free of cost. Everything that they could possibly require for a meaningful education is given to them totally free of cost including books, copies, stationary, uniforms for summer, winter and a Taekwondo dress, wholesome mid day meals, etc.
We continue to believe strongly that education is the key to building a strong nation. Literacy does more for society in one generation than anything else. It does away with age-old rudimentary customs, ill beliefs, superstition etc..As a result when we made our humble beginnings in 2004, we have been primarily focusing on fulfilling primary/junior level educational needs and aspirations of the students. Education being our mainstay, we are visualizing a secondary school cum vocational centre with modern amenities to provide opportunities for higher education and overall personality development of the poor and underprivileged children and women so that they may become better prepared for jobs in today’s competitive environment.
Education: Running two schools:
- Morning formal school since 2010
- Afternoon Remedial & Skill Development School since 2012
Partnership with Sri Aurobindo Ashram
- Gunjan Foundation has partnered with Sri Aurobindo Ashram, New Delhi for its Clean Mind Program wherein every Sunday children attend sessions on keeping their minds peaceful, uncluttered and pollution free.
- Gunjan Foundation has also partnered with the Ashram for a ‘Good Health’ camp wherein the Ashram will send a medical team for all the students of Swapna Sarthak school and their parents and will organise a complete health check-up for them.
In 2013 Mahima Kumbhat, a class IX student of Shri Ram School decided to start a collaborative project Project Smile’, to collect clothes, utensils etc from various communities to distribute to children and families at Gunjan and other
NGOs (Prayas, BalSahyog, Sapna, Naritaav, Nanak, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Sakshi, The Earth Saviors Foundation, Vidya, Manav Purt Nyas etc.). Her thought was that if NGOs can come together and share their collections, then they can support each other with their surplus donations.
- Published book ‘Exploring Mind Pollution’ which was realised by Lyrist Sri Javed Akhtar.
- Exploring Mind Pollution, a book on Mind Pollution was published by soliciting articles and messages from various personalities from India and abroad. The personalities include Dr. Karan Singh, H.H. Dalai Lama, Late Dr. L.M. Singhvi,, Dr. S.Y. Quraishi, Dr. David Frawley, Justice R.C Lahoti, Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Prof. K.M. Lodha amongst others.
Monitoring and Evaluation
- Give India does onsite monitoring and regular evaluation
- Association for Stimulating Know How (ASK)
- PSU’s, MNC’s and other Donors monitor by periodically taking updates by onsite visits and through their own detailed documentation and reports submission requirements.
- Regular teacher meetings to discuss progress of course curriculum as well as children’s individual progress
- Surprise visits by management to ensure processes are being followed in school eg. safety measures, cleanliness, discipline, lunch tasting etc.
- A person from management onsite every day of the week.
Impact and Achievements
The top achievements of organisation:
- Saurabh, taught and nurtured by Gunjan Foundation since he was five years old is now in class IXth of Ridge Valley School – no mean achievement since he made it to this school on his own merit. His journey, once he passed out of Swapna Sarthak School, took him to Summerfield School where he studied for 2 years and did exceedingly well in academics. He was therefore selected to appear for the admission test for Ridge Valley. It came as no surprise for us when he cleared the admission test with flying colours and was granted admission to Ridge Valley, a much sought after school in Gurugram. This school was established in 2011 under the guidance of Universal Learn Today (the learning division of the India Today Group and promoters of Vasant Valley School, New Delhi).
Through the efforts of Gunjan Foundation and based on Saurabh’s meritorious performance, he has now been granted complete educational scholarship by DLF Foundation. We are thankful to them for their kind gesture.
No doubt Saurabh’s journey was not an easy one. It was uphill all the way and involved hours of hard work and dedication especially since he had to be always competing with main stream students. His humble background made the going tough for him as he is a first generation learner and there were no academic inputs from home except the encouragement to stay focussed and succeed. It was his sheer grit and determination which saw him through.
When asked what he wanted to become when he grew up, his reply was clear and unambiguous-‘District magistrate.’
- March 2018 was a very special month for Gunjan Foundation run Swapna Sarthak. 90 children from classes 5, 6, 7 and 8 passed out school and joined mainstream schools. The passing out of students (some of whom had been with us since nursery) left everyone with mixed feelings – the joy of our students moving on and the sorrow of parting. At the special farewell assembly which was conducted just before the onset of the final exams there was not a dry eye amongst the teachers and stude
Then to begin with a list was made of the students who required monetary support. To be able to fund the students in their new schools a scholarship account was started. All our volunteer teachers came forward and expressed a desire to sponsor the children in their pursuit of further education. The word spread and many more people came forth with a desire to lend their support. As of now Gunjan Foundation has made arrangements for resourses for all the children and will be supporting them for a minimum period of a year. Efforts are on to arrange for more finances to be able to continue supporting them throughout their school years.
Two schools were selected for the students to continue their studies – Lady Florence and Sishu Kalyan Kendra. Both schools are highly established schools and much sought after. Some students opted for Lady Florence while the majority of them opted for Sishu Kalyan. Sishu Kalyan has now arranged for a bus which plies only for our children and picks them up and drops them off at a convenient location.
All the children are very happy and have settled well in their new schools and have adjusted with their teachers and freshly acquired friends. They are very charged up and motivated to do well and prove themselves.
We wish them all the best for a very bright and successful future.
- One area where our children have always taken keen interest and have always excelled is taekwondo. The past few years have seen our students walking away with either the gold, silver or bronze shield in the zonal events. This year, 2018 too Abhishek Kumar of class V brought laurels to the school when he received the silver medal in Taekwondo Championship, Gurugram.
- Gunjan Foundation firmly believes that skill training can contribute significantly towards individual growth and the growth of a nation. Driven by this belief, in collaboration with Bella Madonna, we have started classes in beauty training meant exclusively for the underprivileged ladies of Nathupur and surrounding areas. Bella Madonna is one of the best beauty salons in the NCR region. Its trained beauticians impart industry-relevant and job-oriented training to the young trainees thus empowering them to becoming economically independent in the near future. For the trainees everything is free of cost as the whole project is funded by Tatas which includes all the material cost, the cost of commuting etc. By the end of the 6 month course the trainees would have gained relevant vocational skills to enable them to earn sustainable livelihoods.