Website: http://www.akanksha.org

The Akanksha Foundation runs 15 schools and 15 supplementary education centres in Mumbai and Pune.

The philosophy underlying their work is that people have limitless potential, and that all children, regardless of their background, deserve a chance to realise this potential.

They provide children from low-income communities with a high-quality education that equips them with the confidence and skills to lead empowered lives.

The schools are run in partnership with local municipalities, with a vision to create small clusters of model schools in these cities that can be used to impact the mainstream education system.

In the supplementary education centres children are encouraged to enjoy themselves through play and sport. They receive a strong educational foundation and build self-esteem to help them plan how they can earn a livelihood as a step towards improving their standard of living.

Akanksha annual report 2013/14

Why support Akanksha

Children living in the slums of Mumbai and Pune typically live in one-room shacks with no water or electricity. Fights, violence and substance abuse are their day to day reality and the alleyways are awash with litter and sewerage. Without a good education, children born into these slums will grow up illiterate, working sporadically and struggling to support their families.

Government schools are free to attend but high teacher to pupil ratios and the frequent absence of teachers contribute to the drop out rate. It is also an unfortunate reality that many of the children Akanksha focuses on were born into the lower castes of Indian culture and are not as welcome in the Government schools as they should be. Of the 320 million children in India today, almost 13 million will never attend school. Of those who do, over half will not complete primary school. In many cases it is simply their poverty that forces many children to work instead of learn.

A recent trend amongst people living in low-income urban communities is to enrol their children into low-fee or ‘affordable’ schools but even low fees are out of reach for many families.

Akanksha now works in partnership with local municipalities with the vision of creating small clusters of model schools that can be used to impact the mainstream education system.