Shiksha was founded in 2002 by General OP Malhotra, PVSM, to provide free educational and vocational training to underprivileged children and youth. We began by adopting a government primary school and providing basic facilities, such as potable water, mid-day meal, functioning toilets, school uniforms, extra-curricular activities and additional teachers. We later established our own Education Centres with the goal of mainstreaming students into the formal education system (Haryana Board Exam) via provision of quality inputs. Our primary motivation is to enable children from poor families to join the educational process rather than be left behind due to lack of documentation (e.g. birth certificate), prior education, social isolation especially for children of rural migrant workers, or financial limitations. Currently, we have 1,000+ underprivileged children enrolled at our completely free Education Centres, where we also provide them free books, notebooks, uniforms and a nutritious mid-day meal. Meritorious students from Class V are also given full scholarships to complete their formal education at Class XII level. One of our long term goals is to establish a model Senior Secondary School for underprivileged children.
Our first adopted government primary school was in Indira Colony at Jharsa village, Gurugram, in July 2003. The school had 40 children enrolled till Class V, but only a single teacher, and lacked basic facilities like water, electricity and toilets. With Shiksha's intervention over 300 students began regularly attending it. Government schools in Jacobpura and Rosewood City were similarly adopted by Shiksha. After upgradation, they were eventually handed back to Haryana Government.
In 2006, encouraged by positive student and school outcomes we rented premises at Mohyal Colony, Jharsa village, for our own Education Centre. We accept every child approaching us for admission and follow the CBSE syllabus with a focus on academic needs of children of migrant workers. We presently have 700+ students at this Educational Centre, with numerous success stories. Most students join with no documentation and would otherwise altogether miss out on schooling. In 2010, we were requested to take over a school for rag-pickers in Wazirabad slum with grossly inadequate facilities. We have brought it up to Class V with almost 250 students. In 2013, we were requested to start an Educational Centre in Chakkarpur village for migrant children who could not be admitted in other local schools. This year we have successfully mainstreamed a majority of them into a nearby government school.
Shiksha also conducts free vocational training courses for underprivileged youth in Delhi-NCR, including for tailoring, beautician training, conversational english, basic literacy for adults, and for acquiring computer skills. We train our students in the skills required to put them on the right track for employment and provide an enabling environment to bring out the best in them.