“One child, one teacher, one pen & one book can change the world.” -Malala Yousafzai
My name is Aryaman Shaan & am a student of Class XII at the Dhirubai Ambani school at Mumbai . I reside in the suburb of Powai and would consider myself to be fortunate to have a great family , a wonderful home and a world class school . I have realised very early in life that everyone is not so fortunate and have taken it upon myself to do this crowdfunding campaign to make an impact to the lives of 170 children who live in the slums near my home .
These 170 children go to a wonderful school run by a NGO called Logic Centre .However they desperately need to raise money to pay for the rent of the classroom that houses these children .
Read the story in detail below and help me transform the lives of these children .
Let me introduce you to POONAM
Poonam’s mother died when she was very young. Her father re-married and soon Poonam found herself thrown out of the house. Her grandmother brought her to Mumbai and she has been in the Indira Nagar slum ever since. Severely malnourished while in the village, Poonam’s growth has been stunted and she looks much younger than her 10 years. For the last 2 years though Poonam has been trying to turn her life around with the help of Logic Centre where she is not only getting educated but also given a healthy meal every day. Poonam nurses aspirations of being a doctor one day.
Let me introduce you to BASANTI:
Basanti’s family left Nepal4 years ago when she was 9 and settled into Indira Nagar, a Mumbai slum. Soon she found herself working as domestic help the entire day, only to be beaten up by her alcoholic father every evening. Hearing of the free education, her mother brought her to Logic Centre. Though helped and supported at the Centre, Basanti showed no progress. Soon the teachers at the Center found the reason. She was being made to work for almost every hour apart from what she spent at the Centre. They confronted her father and persuaded him to reduce the number of houses she worked in. Today Basanti is a proud student at Logic Center and one the brightest too!
The Mission :
The stories of Poonam and Basanti are similar for a vast number of children living in the Chaitanya and Indira slums situated between the picturesque IIT Bombay campus and the pristine Hiranandani Gardens in Powai. The municipality school they go to does not provide proper education and the environment at home is one of abuse and exploitation. Many of them struggle with a majority of subjects, with no one to turn to for help and support. They are likely to join the vast number of unproductive adults in the slums in a matter of few years.
However, that is where the NGO - Logic Center steps in. Not only are the volunteering teachers at the Centre helping the nearly 170 children with their studies, but also end up giving them moral and emotional support. There are many cases of special bonds forming between the troubled students and their teachers who are clearly doing more than educating these children.
The center has also been instrumental in helping their students pass Grade 10, with the Centre’s topper securing 89%.
Pic : Logic centre gives a new lease of life to these bright and inquisitive children in the slums .
LOGIC CENTRE : The Story So Far
Logic Centre is not an NGO with a corporate backing its endeavours. It is a labor of love of Professor Amitabha Gupta and few other IIT professors who were moved by the plight of children in the slums next to the IIT campus. With education as the only weapon they knew to fight poverty with, the professors started out with a handful of students in a small room in the slums in December 2012. These children started bringing more children with them. However, they found it difficult to rent more rooms with their limited resources. One of them, Prof. Shobha, went door-to-door in the Hiranandani Gardens neighbourhood to collect donation. Soon they could raise a sum substantial enough to rent other rooms.
Today, the Centre continues to run mostly due to volunteers helping out, working out of four rented rooms. Chaitali Di, Prof Gupta’s wife, looks after the day-to-day operations of the Center where the children find a safe haven for a few hours not just for their studies but also get a hot meal supplied by a women’s group in one of the neighboring buildings. This apparently is the only nutritious meal of the day that the children get. However, Chaitali Di’s biggest fear is how long she will be able to sustain the endeavour, with the biggest burden being the rental for the four rooms. Dependent on individual donations, she is never sure where the next month’s funds are coming from.
Pic : Chaitali Di runs the centre.
The present and future of these 170 children, who are not growing up in a loving and nurturing environment like many of us, is dependent on every one of us. Let’s do our bit and raise just a year’s rent for Chaitali Di’s safe haven.
What is this crowdfunding campaign for ?
This campaign is to support Logic Center to continue spreading hope in the lives of slum children and providing them with quality education from a dedicated set of IIT professors, educators and volunteers - people who care. The biggest challenge that Logic Center faces due to a lack of steady corporate backing is that every year they struggle to find rent for their four rooms. These rooms are situated in and around the slums so that the children can easily come back from school and take their classes at the center. The rent however is fixed at Rs. 5000 per month. With four rooms the rent for a year becomes Rs. 2,40,000, which is no mean sum. All funds collected for the campaign will aimed to help Logic Center rent out its rooms which is necessary for its survival.
I’m currently studying in the twelfth grade of the Dhirubhai Ambani School and I am pursuing science and economics. I, like any other teenager, like to play football, participate in debates, plays, elocutions and poetry writing. What I like about these hobbies is that many of them force a person to develop a skill to be able to understand and get in into the shoes of another person’s life, to understand a person and his/her struggles at a deeper level.
PIC: That's me!
I live in Hiranandani gardens, adjacent to the slums. Many people from my society, Eldora have been providing meals to Logic Centre on a daily basis by taking turns, for nearly 3 years now. I heard about this and decided to visit Logic Centre where I learnt of their bigger problem - the fact that it was hard for them to raise funds for rents. This opened my eyes regarding the plight of children roughly around my age or even younger who lived barely two kilometers away but have had experiences and lived under circumstances that were unimaginable to me. I decided that I too would like to do my bit for society that has been so kind to me and yet so harsh to others.
Risks and challenges
There should be no risks or challenges in executing the project as the school continues to operate in the same premises and aiding them with these funds would only mean that they can continue there without interruption and with a large part of their effort, that goes into gathering funds for rent, being taken care of.
I am hopeful that if we can take care of the year's rent, the Centre would be able to use the funds that they would normally gather for the purpose for other activities like buying/maintaining computers, buying books or other teaching materials that the Centre also needs.
Who are the people running LCCWA?
It is run by retired IIT professors. The day-to-day management is seen by Chaitali Di, who is the wife of one of these professors.
How have they been gathering finances so far?
Initially the professors went door-to-door in the neighborhood asking for funds to build the initial corpus. Over the years they have a small number of individual volunteers who give them as much as they can afford. They don't have any corporate sponsoring them so far.
How exactly are they supporting these children in their education?
The slum children go to schools where the quality of education is poor. They are not able to get any support at home either
as they have uneducated parents. The Centre tries to bridge that (huge) gap by giving them tuitions from 3-7 pm every day.
Has the Centre made any difference to the lives of these children so far?
First of all the Centre provides a safe haven to these children who live in unhealthy, unsafe and disturbing set ups. This is their time to really be children. At times the Centre volunteers try to talk to abusive parents to bring relief to the children.
Also, he center has also been instrumental in helping their students pass Grade 10, with the Centre’s topper securing 89%.
Thirdly, the Centre has managed to gather volunteers who provide a hot, healthy meal to the children every day. For many, it is the only proper meal they have.
In the Documentary (given in links) there seems to be corporate backing from Intel?
Yes, at the time the documentary was made intel had an affiliation with LCCWA for a short while. They helped them set up the center's computer lab. However, today there is no affiliation.
What are the crowdfunding charges?
Fueladream charges 2% for the payment for the payment gateway and 7% as crowdfunding charges. With the Goods and Services Tax the total comes to 10.62%. There is also an initial fee of 3000 INR which is being waived-off for me.
How does crowdfunding work?
Crowdfunding in India is a relatively new concept & is growing very quickly. It’s s concept that allows a large number of funders (like you) to fund an Idea or a cause or event by giving small amounts of money online. Fueladream is a crowdfunding site and platform in India that allows for such a pooling of funds.
You can fund innovations & ideas on FuelADream and be the first to get these products or make them come true. You can also do a good turn by funding charities and causes through crowdfunding. When you fund a charity it’s more like a donation & you get small innovative rewards like a shout-out on a FB page or a thank you email from the beneficiaries in addition to tax benefits.