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Moneylife Foundation celebrated its first anniversary at the Welingkar Institute of Management...

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When one teaches two learn

Each One Teach One Charitable Foundation promotes education among underprivileged secondary school students, says Dolly Mirchandani

Established in 1983, Each One Teach One Charitable Foundation (EOTO) aims at creating opportunities for underprivileged children, mainly high school students in municipal and government-aided schools. The Foundation provides coaching to these students so that they can cope with their curriculum, thereby helping to reduce the number of dropouts. EOTO also provides these students uniforms, notebooks, stationery as well as nutritious snacks.

The origin of this effort goes back to 1983 when Jyoti Tanna, founder-trustee of EOTO, came across a few children wandering on the streets, instead of studying at school. She learnt from them that they didn’t have the basics, such as books, uniform and other necessities required to attend school. She decided to help them get back to school and was gratified at the positive impact it had. That very year, Ms Tanna got together other like-minded people to set up the EOTO to help underprivileged children studying in municipal schools to complete their education. EOTO has, over the years, reached out to over 8,000 students and is run by five committee members and seven trustees with the help of 40 staff members.

EOTO conducts surveys to select needy children from various municipal and trust-run schools. It identifies needy children with a financially weak background, or single-parent families. It also tries to help physically-challenged children who have just entered high school (8th Standard) and supports them for three years, until they finish school. The Foundation also provides computer education, conducts career-guidance programmes, personality-development workshops and offers scholarships. It organises extra-curricular activities such as yoga, karate, dance and sports, conducts health camps and annual picnics for children. In addition to helping children, the Foundation supports schools by conducting training programmes to help teachers upgrade their skills and avail of quality teaching aids.

EOTO is currently active in six municipal schools and three government-aided schools in Mumbai’s Sion, Andheri, Vile Parle, Ghatkopar, Charkop (Kandivli), Chunabhatti, Bhandup and Dadar. It also works in Palghar, Neral, Badlapur and Panchgani. It is active in some parts of Bengaluru as well.

Deepak Nagwanshi, EOTO’s manager-administration, says, “EOTO receives donations in the form of individual sponsorship, corporate funding and funding from trusts or other NGOs.” A sponsor can support a child by paying Rs10,000 annually for three years. It has also created packages for corporate support. For instance, corporates can support 50 children through secondary school, or can support the developmental activities of 500 children in primary and secondary schools. Donations made to EOTO are exempt under Section 80(G) of the Income-Tax Act. One can also make donations to the corpus fund. Interest earned on these funds goes towards supporting children. Some of EOTO’s Indian donors include Benchmark Computer Solutions, Mascot Engineering, Sujaya Foundation and Vulcan Industrial Engineering. International organisations include San Diego-based Kaivalya Mandiram Trust and Asha for Education (the Seattle chapter). Mr Nagwanshi says, “You can also become a volunteer for conducting academic and non-academic activities like coaching, career guidance, art & craft, etc, or you can provide employment opportunities to our ex-students.”

Mr Nagwanshi says, “By 2014, the Foundation plans to reach out to 40,000 children in urban as well as rural areas by conducting academic & developmental activities; it plans to extend its focus to younger children. To strengthen its ex-students’ association, we want to start a recruitment cell for ex-students. Many ex-students help the Foundation by way of money, time and talent.” You can help by volunteering or donating to the cause of children’s education.

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