About four months ago (I'm terribly behind with blogging!) I went along on an AWA Outreach trip to Diksha
Diksha is a school that was started on October 1, 2008 with just 13 children. The land was gifted to the school by the government, and they were just asked to keep it clean and tidy.
Families who have a family income of less than Rs 8,000 are admitted to the school, with no tuition charges to the family. That monthly salary cap is equal to about $160 USD.
Diksha offers a safe, healthy place for the children to be from 8:30 am until 1:30 pm, with a midday snack, a full meal and as important as the sustenance for their bodies, an education.
Now up to a total daily roster of about 60 children, they range in ages from 3 - 12 years old.
The women who run Diksha used to feed the children biscuits and bananas for their snack, but because bananas are now too expensive (Rs. 50 per 6), they just serve biscuits.
This is the amazing woman who cooks for all of these kiddos. She makes rice and dal, and occasionally vegetables when they are donated.
As we sat and visited with the administrators (who all 100% donate their time and energy), we learned that their teachers make Rs 5,000 per month. The same teachers could teach in local Delhi schools and earn approximately Rs 27,000.
We discussed options for helping these children out, including hotels gifting their daily unused produce (nothing that had already been cooked though) for the next day's meals.
We also talked at length about joyful celebrations, and how they would love to have volunteers (even one-off volunteers) come to teach the children a dance, practice yoga, color a mural, etc.
The motto of Diksha is "Give the best, leave the rest."
Diksha is an amazing place - whether you are in the Delhi/NCR area and have some time to give, or live farther away and want to give the gift of money.
(the kiddos praying before they had their snack of cake that we brought along with us)