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Saathi - Leading the Social Revolution

Every school in this world is over by 2:00 PM / 3:00 PM with the basic essential classes. Expensive school infrastructure is not used after-hours as effectively as it can be. Idea is to use the afternoon / evening times of the kids who are getting formal education to provide education to kids in Urban Slums. If kids are teaching basics to other kids in interactive ways to address issues like hygiene, health, education, nutrition and others, both the provider (kids) and the receiver (kids) will gain. It also helps kids in the formal schools to appreciate what they are fortunate to have and MUST share with the less fortunate ones. We bring a social revolution by doing so in a sustainable way by creating a self-sustaining env.

Photo of Manav Chaudhary
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Urban slums are global issues including some of the developed countries. This idea aims to address many issues at hand and in a way that the impact stays with the individuals (both the provider and the receiver) for the rest of their lives. 

We use existing infrastrure of schools in urban cities to provide training and education to less privileged kids of urban slums on various topics including
- basic Maths, Science, Languages and History.
- Importance of hygiene, clean water, water conservation
- Healthy living

The idea is to internalize the learning areas in both category of kids. As well as help the kids understand the value of sharing and appreciating what they have and must share with others who don't. 

Saathi will be an organization which will control the interactions, develop the learning modules, manage the accountability, work with educational institutes to bring the students/parents/teachers on voluntary basis forward to teach and ensure the participation of students from the Urban slums appropriately. 

Also, most of the students in formal schooling waste resources such as books/pens/pencils/school uniforms/other supplies. Saathi will convert that waste into useful resources for the kids from Urban Slums. 

- Cost effective 
- Scalable
- Use existing urban infrastructure
- Imbibe life long learnings for kids from all forms of society
- Brings in a social revolution in the society with the aim of developing next generation of socially responsible citizens

Further, this platform will be used for introducing informative messages for parents and use of certain kits as being developed by fellow community partners on IDEO. 

Key Challenge
  1. Maintaining regular stream of student voluteers to commit 3-4 hours on weekly basis on this program.
  2. Training modules will be agnostic of the volunteers of the day and will focus on making progress on three month basis instead of daily / weekly. 
  3. In each urban slum, appropriate incentives have to be provided to join the program. Can generate employment (second income) for some of the families within the program as well. 

Pictures shared are from the initial interactions which were managed between the two sections of society on Nov 29th, 2014 to understand the behaviour, reactions and triggers for children. We are delighted to share that over 500 wollen clothes were collected and distributed to over 300 kids in phases. We are capturing the experiences, thoughts and emotions of the children from private school which participated in this initial study. 

We will gradullay ramp-it up by bringing other set of interactions such as outdoor sports, Yoga and one hour sessions with the kids to monitor the emotions and impact before scaling it up in a more organized way. We are working with school leadership group to define it a more collaborative way. There are some very wonderful ideas which will be incorporated in taking this forward with school administration & other stakeholders. 

Who will benefit from this idea and where are they located?

Primary beneficiary - Kids in urban slums with age group of 2 years plus - Students in formal education system in cities Initial roll-out / pilot phase - North India If we can get other participants to work on the idea, we would like to start the pilot in 10 different countries (different languages and cultures) in the same time period.

How could you test this idea in a quick and low-cost way right now?

I am already working with a school in North India to collect consumables from the kids to be used by kids in Urban slums. I already have schools being run by volunteers to provide education to small kids. I need support in formalizing the concept, designing the initial educational modules in paper/electronic format and design a process for monitoring and oversight of the program.

What kind of help would you need to make your idea real?

1. Expert advice from various stakeholders to design the content in various priority areas. 2. Experts to come forward and help design the monitoring and regular monitoring of the idea. 3. Scale-up ideas/partners who are willing to work on this concept in different countries. 4. Initial financial resources to get basic minimum resources to create the platform for the idea. Afterwards, the program has the potential to generate support locally in each community.

Is this an idea that you or your organization would like to take forward?

  • Yes. I am ready and interested in testing this idea and making it real in my community.
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Team (3)

Manav's profile
Syed's profile
Linda's profile
Linda Bachmann

Role added on team:

"Thanks Linda for agreeing to join the team and build on the idea. The purpose is to build a team of diverse backgrounds and perspectives so that we can design a solution which can be taken to different cultures and societies."


Join the conversation:

Photo of Linda Bachmann

Hello Manav!
It is so exciting to hear about your involvement with your local school and your passion to make a difference in the education of young children in urban slums. Your idea of using existing school infrastructure is great.

In British Columbia, Canada we have identified public schools as an important part of our community infrastructure and a place for innovative early childhood programs called Strong Start. ( "The overall learning is shared as parents and caregivers attend with their children and are encouraged to get involved in activities like telling stories, playing games and serving healthy snacks. Join us to learn new ways to support your children’s learning, get information about community programs and services and make valuable connections with others attending the program." Source:

Have you considered a whole family approach at least initially to help families feel welcome at the school and part of their children's education. Perhaps focusing your age group on the 1-5 years in the context of social interaction and learning through play would be doable.

I also love the concept of sharing amongst families--supplies and clothing-- made available to children who may need these items. I have seen lovely examples of this type of approach work in several "Community Schools" in Surrey, BC.
Thank you for inviting me to comment and contribute in shaping your wonderful ideas!

Photo of Manav Chaudhary

Thank you Linda for bringing in that additional dimension to the idea. Wow!!! Never thought of it like that but now thinking about it makes so much sense. Parents/Caregivers are one of the fundamental blocks for a child's upbringing. If we can tap into that resource and engage them, it would be fantastic. Let us build on that in coming days to translate that into a workable plan.

I will keep you updated on the results of initial steps we are taking to gradually introduce the idea. There has been some very positive development in last 48 hours on this. :)

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