'Underprivileged' should never be a tag to any individual for a lifetime, as providing quality education, training and necessary accessories would see them reach heights like any other person. This belief keeps young minds at Kritagyata committed to improve the lives of those around them in and around the city.
With a humble beginning of helping three children from abandoned situations in and around Yelahanka pursue quality education in 2015, the team has reached out to a whopping 2,800 children till date. With the primary focus on providing a helping hand to children as well as women from different sections of society in rural areas, the team is committed to ensure that their assistance is not isolated and single-instance based, claims founder-president Aruna Diwakar.
“Touching the lives of children who have lost all hope and making them realise how each individual can grow up to lead a dignified life is by itself our motivation to work deeper. Giving access to information and assistance around health and education at the right time to children and women, and equipping them with what they need is a huge responsibility," she told Deccan Chronicle.
Vidya Spoorthi, their flagship programme, provides uninterrupted education to underprivileged children from rural areas and also supplies them with study material and school-related accessories. "This is targeted at needy students from the rural areas of the state ranging from classes 1 to 10. We also equip them with English communication, computer literacy and life skills," she said.
Children at government schools are trained during weekends to help them secure the cut-off marks required to attain eligibility for the National Means Cum-Merit Scholarship Scheme (NMMSS), which allows each student to get Rs 500 per month for education needs.
Kritagyata is working on renovation and restoration of bad-shaped schools in and around rural Bengaluru. Building toilets for girls in rural areas to avoid adverse effects of open defecation and make them feel secure is also part of this programme.
The NGO also runs an orphanage – 'My Home' at its headquarters which has 12 girl students (from the age group 7 to 13), who are provided with education, food and medical support. The orphanage depends entirely on individual donations.
But the journey hasn't been easy for Aruna and her team as they face hurdles in raising funds and manpower for their activities that are designed to assist beneficiaries at multiple verticals.
“We’re fighting the odds to ensure better living conditions for those in need. Now, we are looking for those who can help us get in touch with corporates to tap their corporate social responsibility funds which would enable us to deliver better," Aruna said.
Kritagyata's another initiative, Sweccha, creates awareness among women from underdeveloped areas on the importance of personal hygiene. Sanitary napkins are distributed to 200 women from two villages of Chintamani taluk every month. Volunteers are in constant touch with these beneficiaries, as a pilot study revealed that many women suffered from serious urological disorders.
While vulnerable women are trained with counselling and skill development under Prerna, Prakruthi is designed to develop pro-environment initiatives among school children. Over 250 saplings of fruit-bearing and shade trees were planted at a government school in Vidyanagar on Saturday.
On the need for more volunteers, Aruna admitted that 'volunteers by word' has overshadowed 'volunteers by action,' though more youngsters have been signing up for various activities at the organisation. “The young generation does have a spark in them to contribute better to society. But we require more numbers on an active basis to achieve our goals,” she said.
Hopeful of more helping hands for the organisation, Aruna said that interested individuals and organisations can contact Kritagyata at http://kritagyata.org/, firstname.lastname@example.org, at 9901238222 or at their Facebook page named ‘Kritagyata.’