Hindustan Times’ Paathshala is an initiative that supports the education of underprivileged children. This initiative started in 2012 as the “You Read They Learn “campaign. Over the years they have made a difference in the lives of more than 60,000 children.
Through this initiative HT Paathshaala connects people who want to volunteer to create a positive difference in a child’s life with organizations working with underprivileged children across the country. Project KHEL is HT Paathshaala’s partner organization in Lucknow.
Girl Rising is a global campaign for girls’ education and empowerment. They use the power of storytelling to share the simple truth that educating girls can transform societies. Together with partners, they launch high profile campaigns to bring visibility to the issues girls face and inspire people to dismantle the barriers that hold them back.
Project KHEL is partners with Girl Rising in raising awareness, inspiring action and making change happen through screening film and educational videos and facilitating discussions
The Beyond Sport Foundation is a unique registered charity. Together with their expert partners and through the Beyond Sport Awards, they support inspirational people and projects that are using sport to make a resounding and powerful impact in some of the most disadvantaged and excluded populations from around the world. Annual Beyond Sport Awards take place – celebrating the leading examples of how sport can be used to address a range of social issues. Throughout each event, key themes are identified that require a more intensive focus from the world of sport for development – for example use of sport to enhance girls’ education, child protection, sport’s role in urban communities.
HeForShe is a solidarity campaign for gender equality initiated by UN Women. Its goal is to engage men and boys as agents of change for the achievement of gender equality and women’s rights, by encouraging them to take action against inequalities faced by women and girls.
Gender Equality has been an intrinsic element of Project KHEL sessions. We have pledged our support for the campaign, as engagement partner by creating awareness through social media and life skills sessions.
Menstrual Hygiene Day
Menstrual Hygiene Day (MH Day) is a global platform that brings together non-profits, government agencies, the private sector, the media and individuals to promote Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM).
MH Day raises awareness of the challenges women and girls worldwide face due to their menstruation and highlights solutions that address these challenges, including through media work.
It catalyses a growing, global movement for MHM and supports partnerships at global, regional, national and local level. MH Day also creates opportunities for advocacy for the integration of MHM into global, national and local policies, programmes and projects.
StoryWeaver, an initiative of Pratham Books, is an online platform that hosts stories in languages from all across India and beyond. So that every child can have an endless stream of stories in her mother tongue to read and enjoy. StoryWeaver is an open platform designed to be innovative and interactive. It invites both, the weaver of stories and the reader to connect and share the fascinating world of words and illustrations. Project KHEL is partnering with this initiative for our story telling sessions with adolescents and children in and around Lucknow as well as in other regions.
Results For Development
Research for Development Institute (R4D) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to unlock solutions to tough development challenges that prevent people in low- and middle-income countries from realizing their full potential. Using multiple approaches in multiple sectors, including Global Education, Global Health, Governance and Market Dynamics, R4D supports the discovery and implementation of new ideas for reducing poverty and improving lives around the world.
We have been profiled in their web-based platform of innovative WASH based programmes, which aims to increase access to WASH for the poor through fostering collaboration amongst implementers, funders, researchers and other stakeholders.
The Rickshaw Sports Project (RSP), set up in 2013, is a socially driven project, that takes Cambridge University sports players to India and Nepal to deliver a sports education programme to disadvantaged children, during the university’s summer break. Project KHEL hosted six students from Cambridge for a fortnight in Lucknow, introducing them to sports for development, traditional Indian sports and games and helped manage the India leg of their tour.
Eco Femme is a social enterprise with a global mission and reach, working in the area of menstrual hygiene management by enabling women to manage their menstruation in a healthy and dignified way. Eco Femme has designed a premium range of cloth washable pads that are available internationally including in urban India. Profits from sales help sustain their educational outreach work in rural communities and enable to provide cloth pads at cost price to economically disadvantaged women. Project KHEL is Eco Femme’s Pads for Pads Program implementation partner in Uttar Pradesh.
BolteRaho is one of the leading content sharing and publishing websites in India. BolteRaho translated to English, means ‘Keep speaking’! It covers almost every category and topic and finds trending topics over the Internet and shares them to readers. Not only one gets to read the content, one can even publish their own stories on the website. BolteRaho is our social media partner to feature and share our work and events through their website and other media platforms.
Girls Count is a civil society response to the gender biased sex selection and the declining child sex ratio. It is a unique initiative which brings together over 200 civil society organizations and individuals for collective action against the skewed child sex ratio in India and poor status of women and girls. It aims to bring together stakeholders from diverse fields to create an enabling environment for women and girls by challenging deep-rooted patriarchy. It is also working towards raising the accountability of the state machinery to implement all gender related laws and policies in the country.
Help Your NGO
Help Your NGO visions to make charity giving become more transparent by making NGO financials available for review and analysis. It helps smaller NGOs have the same visibility as larger NGOs and access pools of money or chunks of time that tend to be monopolized by larger NGOs. It also helps those who wish to donate money and/or time selects a cause and charity of their choice to work with. NGOs raise their level of growth and evolution by accessing articles and taking guidance from ‘HELP YOUR NGO’ on how to be better organized to handle the challenges of growth.
Samhita Social Ventures
Samhita Social Ventures is a leading social sector consulting firm enabling people and organizations to give strategically to drive change. They work with companies to create and implement CSR strategies aligned to business objectives and help philanthropists and foundations address causes dear to them through impact-focused initiatives. They have a network of 20,000 NGOs across India and immense credibility.
GuideStar India, an initiative of Civil Society Information Services India, is India’s leading provider of NGO information. Their portal www.GuidestarIndia.org is India’s largest, fully searchable database of reliable and comparable information on over 4,200 NGOs. With another 70,000+ NGOs on their offline database, they have brought down the cost and time of connecting with NGOs. By joining GuideStar India, Project KHEL demonstrates its commitment to being a transparent & accountable organization.
Janeshwar Mishra Park Community
Making the best use of a community park, we have begun engaging with child hawkers operating out of the space and children living in settlements around the park, who are otherwise seen loitering around aimlessly in that area. The families of the 60 odd children we are engaging with, have migrated from different parts of Uttar Pradesh and nearby states to explore better livelihood opportunities in the city.
This is an illegal settlement under the Husadiya flyover in the Vineet Khand area of Gomti Nagar. Most of the residents hail from distant villages of Sitapur, Balia and other districts of Uttar Pradesh and work here as daily labourers or Rickshaw pullers. We engage with more than 70 children here through our play based Life Skills programme as well as other pilot programmes.
Khidmat Foundation founded by Ms. Gayatri Tyagi in 2005, its primary objective is to help underprivileged children. Khidmat Foundation provides support to poor children by providing them with free meals, aiming to reduce malnutrition in them. It also provides elementary education and literacy skills to these children.
Project KHEL engages with more than 30 children associated with the Khidmat Foundation’s Nishatganj center. Most of the children work as rag pickers or beggars at the traffic signal close by to help add to the family’s income, where parents are either working as Rickshaw pullers or Household helpers.
Bhartiya Balika Vidyalaya
Bhartiya Balika Vidyalaya is a government aided school located in the Hazratganj area of Lucknow. Established in the year 1949, it has a vivid 67 years of history and achievements. There are 2 schools: Bhartiya Balika Vidyalaya Primary and Bhartiya Balika Vidyalaya Higher Secondary School within the same premises. The children mainly belong to families of 4th grade staff of private and public companies as well as domestic help. Currently the school has more than 1300 children enrolled and attending classes. Our sessions are being conducted with two different sets of children from class 4th and class 9th with total of 170 children.
Rajakiya Baal Griha (Baalak), Mohaan Road
Rajakiya Baal Griha (Baalak), Mohaan Road, is a government run shelter home for boys. Most residents are either orphaned or abandoned or had lost their way from home at a young age and never met their families again. With the encouragement of UPSCPCR (Uttar Pradesh State Commission for Protection of Child Rights), Project KHEL is running it’s Made in Maidaan programme here and we are currently working with 50 adolescent boys at this shelter home.
Rajkiya Bal Griha (Balika)
Rajakiya Baal Griha (Balika), Motinagar, is a government run shelter home for girls. Most inmates are either orphaned or abandoned or had lost their way from home at a young age and never met their families again. The Child Welfare Committee has allowed Project KHEL to conduct the program here and we are currently working with 60 girls at this shelter home.
Study Hall Foundation
Project KHEL has partnered with various programmes of one of the foremost educational initiatives of Lucnow, the Study Hall Foundation. At their Non-formal Education Centers (NEC) whose main objective is to impart quality education to children with a special focus on reaching the underserved parts of the population, Project KHEL has been conducting sessions with the children who are from slums. We have partnered with SHF for NECs in Gomti Nagar – namely, Lohiya, Ujariyaon and PatelpuramSituated. Project KHEL engages with some of these children in what is perhaps their first experience of organized games.
Project KHEL has also partnered with the SHF for conducting MiM sessions with classes 4 and 5 at Prerna Girls School in the past. This school extends quality education including sports and co-curricular activities to over 600 girls from the neighboring slums and communities. Compelled by their circumstances, many of them work in houses as domestic help.
An after school programme run by Modern Academy, Prayaas was founded in 2011 and has a current enrollment of 310 students from underprivileged backgrounds – children of daily labourers, domestic helpers, rickshaw pullers and so on. The school offers education from classes Montessori to Class five. The school charges a normal fee which covers all aspects of the childrens’ education including tuition fees, summer and winter uniforms, books and stationary. Project KHEL is currently working with classes 2, 3, 4, and 5.
Mamta Foundation was setup in April 2001 by Dr. Suresh Agarwal in memory of his wife. Dr. Agarwal built Mamta School for the children of underprivileged families living in village Khanipur on Sitapur Road, Itaunja. With a population of over 22,000, Khanipur has long suffered from illiteracy, water shortage, lack of health facilities and awareness. Today, 200 children from the village are enrolled at Mamta school and benefit from basic education facilities provided at a very nominal fee, most of the poorest children and girls study for free or are sponsored by individual donors. The school has a library and a small computer center and children are encouraged to pursue their dreams and to learn new creative skills; they even have their own newspaper ‘Mamta Digest’ and a theatre club.
Justice Triveni Sahai Shiksha Niketan
This school was established in 2010, with an enrolment of 480 children.The school was started by Shri Satish Chandra Mishra, Member of Parliament from Uttar Pradesh in the Rajya Sabha, in memory of his father Justice Triveni Sahai Mishra for the children of underprivileged families living in village Khanipur on Sitapur Road, Itaunja. The 550 children currently enrolled in this school belong to an agrarian background and in most cases are first generation learners. The school fee ranges from Rs. 50/- to Rs. 160/ between classes Nursery and 10. Project KHEL is currently working with children studying in classes 6, 7, 8 and 9.
Pramodini is a government aided school in the Jopling Road area of Lucknow. Established more than 50 years ago, Pramodini School began getting government aid in 1997. There are 3 schools: Pramodini Elementary, Pramodini Primary and Pramodini Junior High School within the same premises. While the education, books and uniform for classes 1 to 5 is self-sponsored, the government provides for the same to children from classes 6 to 8 for free. The children mainly belong to families of 4th grade staff of private and public companies as well as domestic help. Currently the school has more than 350 children enrolled and attending classes. Our sessions are being conducted with children from 6th to 8th standards.
Nav Srijan, the after school programme run by Seth M. R. Jaipuria School Gomti Nagar was started in 2010 with a batch of about 50 students and has now scaled to more than 250 children enrolled in the programme. This school is run for children belonging to the lower socio-economic strata, ranging from families of domestic workers to rag pickers. Preference for admission is given to children from more deprived backgrounds. Currently, classes are run from LKG to Standard 3. The syllabus for Nav Srijan is exactly the same as that of the mainstream Jaipuria School. Children are provided education free of cost and also free provision of books and uniform. The administration’s perspective towards education ranges beyond literacy and is inclusive of improvement in manners, behaviour, sanitation and hygiene and building cultural sensitivity of the children.
Lucknow Childrens’ Home (Girls)
Lucknow Childrens’ Home was established in 1967 by Dr. Padma Sahai and is now being run by the third generation of his family. The home provides a shelter for girls who are from broken families or who have been orphaned. The shelter can house 40 girls at a time and at present is home to about 15 girls between the ages of 5 to 21 years. The shelter provides them not only with boarding and lodging but also supports their overall upbringing and tries to give them their own identity. We work with more than 10 girls from the shelter.
Akanksha school is run under the aegis of Akansha Nari Seva Samiti, an NGO in Lucknow which employs women from low income groups. These women work with the NGO daily and have been able to improve their living standards because of the support from the NGO. Set up in 2006, the school is an initiative of the NGO to provide education to the children of the women who work in the NGO as well as those who are from nearby localities. Currently, the school has around 60 children.
Acharya Narendra Dev Academy
Acharya Narendra Dev Academy was established in 1995 as a playschool for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. In the last 15 years, it has now become a full fledged school (upto Std. 8) and offers Hindi medium education. Currently, the school has more than 200 girls & boys coming from nearby localities with almost a 1:1 ratio of boys and girls. The parents of these children work as maid servants, sweepers, newspaper and milk delivery persons, etc. Some of the children pay a nominal fee and some are offered sponsorship which covers their school fees as well as books.
Deepshikha is the the campus teaching program of La Martiniere Girls College for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. These children are either from nearby slums or children of the school’s support staff. This program, an initative of the Gandhi Corner at LMGC, has been in operation for the last 40 years. Both boys & girls, aged 4 to 15 years are part of this program. Most of the children are part of a regular school program and Deepshikha aims to equip the weaker students with better understanding of key subjects such as Maths, English & Computers. On an average there are 50 children associated with this program. The children are taught by 9th & 11th standard students of La Martiniere after school hours and meritorous children are given scholarships for the year.
For the past several years, ‘Samarth Foundation’ in Gomti Nagar, Lucknow has been focusing on providing education and other inputs to the children & families of migrant Workers. eg. Construction-site workers, Daily-Wagers and Domestic Workers. The aim is to empower them with knowledge, skills and values so they grow up to become responsible members of the society. At its informal free study centre, Samarth strives to reach out to these young ones by providing them with a variety of learning opportunities, help them in overcoming obstacles, whether physical or emotional, and expand their potential for gainful employment. They also work with their families so that these children receive a positive atmosphere at home where they can grow study and enjoy their childhood. School dropouts and children from abusive background also receive education and assistance.
Ehsaas was founded in June 2002 with the distinct goal to work towards mainstreaming disadvantaged children so that they can lead a life with dignity with no stigma attached. Ehsaas has a strong belief that community participation would bring the desirable change in our society. Ehsaas works with children in difficult circumstances, children on railway platforms & on the streets without any responsible adult, children without parental care & support & children with families in crisis situation. Their mission is to make sustainable right based interventions at children level, society and family level and at the policy level to ensure all rights to children especially those who belong to marginalized groups. Over the years, Project KHEL has worked with the children at various drop in centers of Ehsaas, and also partnered with Ehsaas under the Safe City Initiative to work directly with children in a slum at Shram Vihar. The longest standing partnership is with Gharonda – a shelter home for boys run by Ehsaas.
Through a small project grant, we have been commissioned to develop content in the form of games and activities for strengthening the GARIMA and Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram projects and also conduct TOT workshops on the same
LetzChange is a non-profit organization helping people discover and donate to vetted and verified Indian NGO projects online. Through this platform, we are conducting a crowdfunding campaign.
Letzdream Foundation is a Non-profit, grantmaking organization which funds non-profits to enable them to adapt more efficient and impact-driven models of development and execute social interventions which bring about lasting change. LDF further strengthens its partner non-profits to help them reach their goals and achieve meaningful and measurable results. LetzDream has been providing matching grants based on certain challenging criteria to be met in our last two crowdfunding campaigns on our LetzChange fundraising page.
In Dec 2013, we were 2nd Runners Up in the Ripple Reward Contest. Since then, we have been featured on the site and online shopping through our page influences donations of 1% of the bill value towards Project KHEL.
WishBerry is one of India’s biggest fundraising platforms. In May 2013, we launched a crowdfunding campaign on the site to scale our Made in Maidaan programme to more location.
Hopemonkey aims to connect individual changemakers and grassroot organisations doing impact work, with Corporates and high net worth individuals to help collaboratively raise funds for their causes. Through iYogi, one of their corporate partners, HopeMonkey raised money for the Global Peace Games, 2014 held in Lucknow.
Leaving a lucrative career, Akshai founded Project KHEL in 2012 – an amalgamation of his love for sports and co-curriculars and his interest in working for the underprivileged at the grassroots level.
An MBA from the prestigious Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM), Bhopal, he has over 10 years of experience including 8+ years in the social sector in the areas of research, program development, project management and organization building and also a year’s international experience as a cultural exchange intern in Austria. Prior to this, he was the Program Head of the Development Metrics Group at the Center for Development Finance (CDF) – IFMR, Chennai where he spearheaded a team of researchers and programmers and managed a million dollar grant project funded by Google.org. Akshai has also been involved with social sector studies commissioned by international agencies such as the World Bank, USAID, UNICEF, etc. and also worked with Aide-et-Action, an international NGO where he worked in fund-raising and education development programmes. A avid sportsman and enthusiast, and a committed non-profit professional, Akshai’s vision is to impact the lives of underprivileged children and youth of India through ProjectKHEL.
With a Masters degree in Gender studies from the Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development, Angana is also a certified Life Skills trainer. During her graduation, she was an active member of the Street Theatre circuit of University of Delhi where she scripted, directed and performed street plays at prominent platforms such at Ateliers youth theater festival. She has also represented India at the 50-day ‘Ship for World Youth Programme’ in Japan in 2012. She has been a core team member of Project KHEL since 2012 and has played an intrinsic role in designing, initiating and leading the Menstrual Health Management (MHM), Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) and Puberty related programmes. A storyteller at heart, she has actively been engaged in curriculum development based on play, theater, discussions, craft and various other creative means. Her belief in the power of innovation and art have essentially made her responsible for the management of organizational team on a day to day basis. At the same time, she is also actively engaged in the strategic framework of Project KHEL. Apart from in house trainings, she has designed and successfully facilitated various external workshops and trainings for other organizations and institutions.
The sessions conducted by Angana are innovative and interactive in nature and she ensures that a gender sensitive approach is seamlessly adopted in everything she does.
Abhilasha is a Postgraduate in Commerce, from Jamia Milia Islamia University. During her post-graduation she discovered that she gets a lot of joy from working with children, which motivated her to join Gandhi Fellowship (2013-2015). She has worked at grassroots to build leadership capacities of Rural Government Schools’ Headmasters. During her graduation she was actively involved as volunteer in Youth Alliance, New Delhi and Sadhna Forest, Auroville. She is also a member of Jagriti Yatra 2014 Cohort. With passion of travelling and working with children, she has recently joined Project KHEL’s team in the capacity of Project Coordinator. She envisions that every child should get an opportunity to reach their maximum potential and wants to reach out to maximum children through Project KHEL.
Vivek has with 18+ years of diverse work experience that ranges from managing complex high risk operations on oil tankers to conducting academic research in organizational behavior.
A graduate from the Indian School of Business, he is a passionate advocate of Ultimate Frisbee, a sport that emphasizes many capabilities that helps us become happy productive members of the society. He has played the sport at the highest level being a part of the India Masters’ team in the recent World Ultimate Championships (2016) in London and has been coaching children in Delhi for the last two years.
At Project KHEL, he lives up to his ideology of attacking problems at grass root levels. He wishes to utilise the Project KHEL platform to combine his two greatest passions – enhancing socially positive behaviors in children through the medium of play
Arnab is a certified Life-skills trainer having done his M.A (Youth Empowerment) from the Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth development, Chennai in addition to a Bachelors degree in History from B.Barooah College, Guwahati.He is a national level Cricketer and three times State Swimming Champion. An active NSS volunteer for 6 years, he has worked with children in various camps and workshops, along with participating as a volunteer in the National Para Olympics for differently-abled children. Passionate about sports, Arnab displays this passion every day with a limitless abundance of energy in his sessions with the children.
Veena is an international level tennis player having represented India in 2009 as well as a volleyball, basketball and table tennis player having played all these sports at various levels. Veena has been associated with Project KHEL since 2012 in various capacities and having completed her Bachelors degree in Computer Applications from the University of Lucknow, she joined Project KHEL full time in 2016 to teach sports and life skills to the children she loves spending time with.
Pooja Singh has been a Project KHEL beneficiary since December 2012. One of the 16 inmates of Lucknow Children’s Home, Pooja joined our team as a Community Coordinator in December 2013. Currently pursuing her Bachelors in Psychology, Political Science and Sociology she has shown outstanding improvement in her personal, social and cognitive skills and has exhibited leadership traits that helped us identify her as a Community Coordinator. Her ability and interest in interacting with children, especially girls, and her experience as a beneficiary makes her a valuable asset to the organization.
Vikram Namdev (Vicky)
One of our older beneficiaries from Samarth Foundation, Vicky is a sporty, fun and energetic young person. In our sessions, he had shown remarkable improvement from being a disinterested teenager to a very helpful peer leader. Vicky has played football at the district level and had represented team KHEL in the Play for Smiles Football Tournament organized by Project KHEL. His enthusiasm in sports and the opportunity to reach out to underprivileged children keeps him motivated to work with us.
Life Skills Facilitator
Divyansha recently quit her job as a software engineer at Accenture Pvt. Ltd., Bangalore. With a B.Tech degree from Galgotias College (UPTU), she took active part in organising events and participating in camps organised by Rotaract Club in college. She also lent a hand in various community services with the Gandhi Corner while studying in La Martiniere Girls College. She has been actively involved in various social initiatives wherever she got a chance and has always had an aim to make positive changes in society.
“Be the change you want”, with this thought Divyansha took a break from her job and decided to pave a new path in her life, which brought her to Project KHEL! She now aspires to be a part of the development sector as a Lecturer after completing her post-graduation.
Arushi is a B.Com graduate and a Certified Financial Planner. Always being inclined to be on the field and work for the betterment of the underprivileged, she decided to purse a career in the social development sector and is pursuing her Masters in Social Work from Lucknow University. She was actively involved in sports activities back in school and Project KHEL is her means to reconnect to sports and games. She loves interacting and playing with kids and the concept of Project KHEL, teaching beyond classroom and bringing a change through games interests her a lot.
Shyam Chand Rajput
Sports and Life-skills Facilitator
An MBA from Punjab Technical University in Advertising & Marketing, Shyam runs his own business of print advertisement.
A passionate cricketer and a sports enthusiast, he has also participated in the 5th and the 6th North Indian Invitational Karate Championship in 2006 and 2007, securing a bronze and a Gold medal respectively.
After a long stint with us as a MiM facilitator, Shyam now continues to be associated with us through our Ultimate Frisbee team practices, simultaneously learning and coaching with passion and zeal!
Pooja is a national level Volleyball player. Pooja has completed her B.Sc. and B.Ed. and is currently pursuing her M.Sc. from Lucknow University. Pooja loves playing sports other than volleyball and has also completed her NCC “C” certification and represented UP in All India Vayu Sainik camp at Bangalore & the Air Force Academy at Hyderabad. She loves working with children & her exuberant & outgoing nature makes her the favorite of the children we work with.
Amit completed his graduation from Lucknow University and is currently working as a “Senior Business Analyst” with TSR Global Research. He has been involved in sports while being in school and college, played football and volleyball at state level, and has also participated in athletics at regional level. He says he wants to be part of Project KHEL to encourage the young and needy who are the future of our society. Also sports being his passion is one of the major motivations as well.
Yukti has completed her Masters in Social Work from the University of Lucknow. She was an active member of Gandhi Corner, the social work club at La Martiniere Girls College and took part in organising various social service camps. Thus, being inclined to work for the underprivileged she decided to contribute towards the development sector and joined Project KHEL. At Project KHEL she is actively involved in teaching life skills to children, helping them lead their life in a better way and also manages a lot of the back end administration and official work.
Joy Banerjee is currently pursuing Bachelor in Arts from Lucknow University. He has been actively involved in sports especially in Football, Athletics and Basketball since his school days. Joy was also the captain of his school Football team and has played Football at district level. He thinks sports are the best way to learn and to put energy in a perspective. By working in Project KHEL he has learnt to connect various experiences of life and channelize them in a positive manner for the betterment of less privileged.
Freedom is one of our oldest beneficiaries and youngest facilitator from Deepshikha. He has been an extremely disinterested and laid back teenager when he joined our sessions, over the course of time, we saw him transform into an extremely animated facilitator when put in charge of younger kids. His new spark of interest to do better sessions and enthusiasm for sports has inspired him to join Project KHEL as a facilitator.
Sera is pursuing her masters in social work in mental health from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. She has completed her MBA from Amity University, Lucknow, after having done her O Levels at Cambridge University and A levels at the University Of London. Her previous corporate working tenures include Client Servicing and Business Development with Leading Advertising industries in Dubai. In addition to this, Sera has acquired training as a special educator teaching students with special needs; suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) as well as those affected by Autism spectrum disorder.
Her involvement with Project KHEL has helped foster her need for change, and understanding that a healthy mindset and a strong character could effectively be inculcated through sports.
An emerging entrepreneur of Lucknow, Suyash indulges in a myriad of hobbies including skiing, traveling, sports, and music. His intelligence and perseverance saw him representing India in the international mathematical Olympiads in Malaysia during his high school and later won him the title of the youngest business achiever 2013-14 in favor of Surie Polex.
Suyash is passionate about football, basketball, cricket, shooting, go-carting, bowling and snooker. Apart from being actively involved in sports, he is a trained kick boxer, a motorcycle stunt rider and a volunteer with PETA- People for Ethical Treatment of Animals. He hopes to expand his reach towards the betterment of society, especially children, through Project KHEL, bringing to them, the perseverance, discipline, humility and teamwork that sports has helped imbibe in him.
Brought up in Lucknow, Iccha completed her Computer Engineering from the National University of Singapore and has been working in Singapore ever since. She has worked in the financial services industry as an IT Analyst as well as IT Project Manager. Having come across so many human beings struggling for life, she wanted to help out. She began with monetary contributions to charities but soon realized that it was not enough. She wanted to work closely with an organization that was directly impacting the lives of people by devoting her time and energy. Soon, she came across Project KHEL right in her hometown, Lucknow. After following the organization’s work for around a year, she decided to begin volunteering for the same. Currently she contributes by online content editing.
Ms. Setia has a Masters in Chemistry and over 20 years work experience in the Corporate and in the Social Sector. In addition to primary job responsibilities, throughout her career Tanuja has been organizing and conducting capacity building trainings for her colleagues and ‘program beneficiaries’. Development and maintenance of the M.I.S. system at an Indo-Dutch Water and Sanitation Project, funded by the Royal Netherlands Embassy, was Tanuja’s first experience at working in the villages of Uttar Pradesh. As a founder-member of an education project under the aegis of The Study Hall Educational Foundation, Tanuja has been closely involved in the improvement in quality of education being imparted to underprivileged students of village schools and urban slums in and around Lucknow and has in-depth understanding and experience in the field of education delivery. She has conducted a number of workshops on gender rights and sensitization for the resident girl students of the Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas and their guardians.
Niti Saxena is a development professional and a qualified lawyer. With significant experience in quantitative and qualitative research on child rights, women’s rights her area of expertise includes Right to Education, Gender, Patriarchy, Women and Child Protection issues, Laws related to women and child, Right to Choice in Relationship and Decision making etc. As trainer and researcher, her expertise is not only limited to constitutional and legal frame work but also encompasses International human rights law particularly CEDAW and CRC. She is part of the core team at Educational Resource Unit (ERU) and also the former Executive Director of AALI (a feminist legal advocacy and research group headquartered in Lucknow).
Dr. Amrita Dass
Dr. Amrita Dass is a leading Educationist and Career Counselor. She is the Founder-Director of ICS-International and has the distinction of pioneering the career counselling and guidance services in the country. ICS has conducted career counselling and teacher training programmes in more than 200 schools and colleges in India and abroad.
A consultant for several leading schools of the country, she has also designed and conducted numerous training programmes on Leadership for Principals focusing on Leadership in Education and on Excellence in Education for Teachers. In addition, she has conducted Leadership Programmes for national and multinational corporates. She is a columnist for many leading newspapers of the country and writes on a wide range of educational, career and leadership issues.
Dr. Dass is a Member of the Governing Bodies of several schools which include Woodstock School, Mussoorie, Bishop Cotton School, Shimla, Nirmal Bhartiya School (NBS) New Delhi and Auckland House School, Shimla. She has also been a Member of the Steering Committee on Women and Child Development, Planning Commission of India for the Ninth Five Year Plan. She has participated in many international conferences such as the U.N. Social Summit- Denmark, U.N. Conference on Women – China, the State of the World Forum – U.S.A, Global Knowledge Partnership – Malaysia. Dr. Dass has visited several universities in UK, Canada and Singapore as a special invitee.
She is a recipient of the Lions Club Award for Outstanding Social Work, the Rotary Award for Vocational Excellence and TCS-Women Achiever of the Year Award.
Divya is currently working as a Senior Programme Coordinator of ‘Pravah’, a Delhi based organization working to impact issues of social justice through youth citizenship action. She has ten years of experience on programme management, research, monitoring and evaluation at national and international level primarily on themes of livelihoods and gender. Having done her graduation from Middlesex University and Masters in Development Studies from London School of Economics, she has worked with several organizations, including Oxfam GB in various capacities, i.e. as a researcher of the campaign to end violence against women, livelihood advisor (Nahr-al-Bared Camp Lebanon, as Food Security and Livelihoods Expert in the Oxfam’s River Basin Programme, Bangladesh; as a Project Officer of Integrated Rural Development Programme in Rajasthan. She has been a consultant on various developmental issues such as the USAID funded ‘Project New life’, aimed at improving people’s livelihood in the aftermath of 2007-08 floods in Darbhanga, Bihar. She has also conducted needs assessment surveys with flood affected communities in Kheda district, Gujarat and Barmer district, Western Rajasthan and monitored relief response processes in these areas.
Rohit has worked in the Corporate sector for over 15 years and his understanding of the nitty gritties of the corporate world, specifically the telecom sector is immense. Rohit has worked in service oriented roles, leading various teams and most recently, was with the telecom giant, Vodafone in the capacity of Senior Manager. Recently he has ventured into entrepreneurship and is working independently. His firm AR Enterprise is in its nascent stage and with his years of expertise it is bound to reach its zenith in a few years time.
Deeksha has been a member of the Swechha (www.swechha.in), a Delhi based NGO since June 2012. She currently holds the position of the Programme Manager in the organisation and works closely with the youth and children through community interventions, travel programmes and campaigns. Travelling into the wilderness, long walks, endless cups of chai, a bit of drama, writing and working with children are some of the things that particularly keep her going.
Deeksha graduated in English Literature from Delhi University’s Jesus and Mary College and went on to pursue Advertising and Public Relations in her Masters from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication. During her college, she was actively involved in street and stage theatre as a script-writer, actor and director. She along with her team voiced her opinion on social issues such as drug abuse, rural immigration and homosexuality through her ‘nukkad nataks’. She started her professional career with a public relations firm as an executive and worked closely with clients in healthcare sector. She was also a part of an adventure-based learning programme and was involved in several educational camps as an activity leader in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
Mr. Supersh Awasthi retired as the Deputy Director at RDSO, Ministry of Railways. A renowned and widely respected sports person, Mr. Awasthi’s passion has always been sports. In 1972, he represented the UP state handball, Softball and Basketball teams. He has represented the U.P. State Basketball team in the National Championship and other tournaments for a record period of 17 years, from 1969-1987. He has represented the Indian Railways Basketball team from 1978-1980 and in 1984.Mr. Awasthi was awarded the Pierie Gold Medal for being the most outstanding sportsman of the University in 1972. He has captained the RDSO’s Basketball and Cricket teams and has won the athletics Individual Championship.Apart from his exploits as a player, Mr. Awasthi is a successful coach. He has coached the Indian Railways Women Basketball team which won the National Championship in 1986. He also coached the Indian Railway Men’s team which won the National Championship in 1987, 1990 and 1993. Besides being the Secretary of the Basketball, Cricket and Volleyball Clubs of RDSO Sports Association he has been associated with the successful conduct of various championships organized by RDSO SA like Indo-American test match, Pre Asian Basketball and All India Inter Railway Badminton Championships. Mr. Awasthi is also a qualified referee of the Basketball Federation of India.
A young dynamic lady, Radhika is a graduate from the renowuned Lady Shri Ram College in Delhi University. After her graduation, she went on to pursue Masters in Business Administration from the National Law College, Jodhpur following which she joined her alma mater, LMGC and is presently teaching in the middle school. She has been actively involved in the social sector and has volunteered with organizations such as Shanti Sahyog, Delhi. She has been helping with Project KHEL in various capacities since its inception is and is one of the programme’s most ardent supporters.
Mrs. Farida Abraham has been an educationist for the last 31 years. She is currently the Principal of La Martiniere Girls College, Lucknow, a position she has held for 15 years. In addition, she is a board member of Aukland House School, Simla, Chickar International School, Bareilly and Wyneberg-Allen, Mussoorie. She is also an authorized inspector of schools seeking affiliation to The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations Board.Mrs. Abraham has been felicitated with numerous awards & recognitions such as Woman of the Year – 1st runner up by Hindustan Times, Educational Leadership and Lifetime Achievement awards by organizations such as ICS, All India Anglo Indian Association, State Bank of India, Rotary Club, Times of India, etc.
Mrs. Surabhi Kapoor is Founder and Head of DOSTI – a wing of Study Hall Education Foundation which nurtures children with special needs. After completing her Masters in Education, Mrs. Kapoor went on to complete her Diploma in Special Education from the National Institute of Mentally Handicapped, Secunderabad. Her experience of 30 years in this field include Lectureship as well as administration. Mrs. Kapoor is on the managing committee of Jaipuria School Lucknow and Balbharti School.Mrs. Kapoor adopts a broad and enquiring approach to her work while exploring with great sensitivity all areas of her projects. It is her love for children that motivates her to do so. Surabhi has been awarded: THE SCROLL OF HONOUR by the International association of Lions Club,in recognition of her excellent services performed with devotion and dedication in the field of care for the handicapped.
Shinjini, is currently pursuing her PhD in Development Studies from the University of Cambridge from where she has also completed her MPhil in Development Studies with distinctions. where she was a Commonwealth Scholar (2010-2011). A post graduate in Population Education and Rural Development, she has an undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. With four years of experience as a program anchor and associate in the development consultancy PROACT – operating in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand – she has led qualitative studies, assessments and assignments in multiple districts on the NABARD-SHG bank linkage project, monitoring and evaluation of rural drinking water supply programs Swajal and ARWSP, contributed to CARE’s UP State Strategy, led processes for building three NGO networks headed by minorities, Dalits and women by providing technical assistance and training to various NGO partners in different states and remote districts.As a member of the Project Advisory Group for the BBC WST Reach and Response, Bonded Labour project she has provided strategic inputs to BBC WST’s efforts in the state. She has also acted as a resource person for the DFID sponsored PACS program in Uttar Pradesh and published various reports for the Sri Dorabji Tata Trust, UNICEF and USAID sponsored projects. Shinjini has also documented and monitored the progress of the Sure Start project for PATH.
Mrs. Aashrita Dass is an educationist with 12+ years of experience. Currently the Vice Principal at La Martiniere Girls’ College, she also coordinates the Health Club of the College which runs in collaboration with Hope Initiative and WHO. She voluntarily manages the activities of Goonj (an NGO run by Ashoka Fellow Anshu Gupta) organising collections in the school and across Lucknow. Mrs. Dass is also the Vice President of the La Martiniere Girls’ Alumni Association and an active volunteer for Gandhi Corner, the social activities initiative of the school. She has been involved with children and education for the last 12 years having worked with the Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations and Derek O’Brien & Associates. Mrs. Dass is deeply committed to working for the less fortunate, something she already does by volunteering for Goonj, Health Club and the Gandhi Corner. By associating with Project KHEL she hopes to reach out to a much larger population of underprivileged children.
Rightly described as a kid at heart, Somya is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Law from Amity University, Lucknow. In her attempt to nurture her love for sports, she has keenly participated in sports-related activities at both school and college level and it was for the same reason that she was drawn to Project KHEL as a volunteer in January, 2016. She ardently contributes to college initiatives, one of them being, a project on extending Legal Aid to rural areas with a team of 20 members. Somya is a dreamer and she wants to pursue her dream of becoming a social entrepreneur in near future.
Sandeep, an Engineer by profession, has worked with Tech Mahindra (Hyderabad) for two years. He was an active sportsman during his school years and also member of school’s Cricket and Football teams. Over the years, focus on career aspirations took him a little away from active sports.
Project KHEL has given him the opportunity to reconnect with his childhood passion for sports and now he imparts the same life skills and learning to the beneficiaries of Project KHEL. He believes in the ‘Power of Play’ and feels that every session holds valuable learning experience for the children as well as the facilitators.
Kamzason is a certified Life-skills trainer having done his M.A (Life-skills Education) from the Rajiv Gandhi National Institite of Youth development, Chennai in addition to a Bachelors degree in Social Work from MLC University in Meghalaya. In addition, he is a national level footballer, having represented the Silchar region. Kamzason was with Project KHEL for more than 1.5 years. While he was with us, he spearheaded several initiatives including Life Skills Education, Football, Music, Substance Abuse and Civic Responsibility. Kamzason continues to be associated with us in various ways and, in his own words, “cannot leave Project KHEL”.
Alisha is a graduate in Journalism and Mass Communication from Amity University, Noida. Currently pursuing her Masters in Social Work from Lucknow University, she has previously worked with Uday Foundation and has also been a regular visitor to orphanages and old age homes, helping out in various capacities. She has also been involved with specially-abled, dyslexic and autistic kids and is currently teaching a few of them in her spare time. Her mantra in life is to make a difference in whatever she does.
Alisha is a music lover and has also been a dancer at Shiamak Davar’s Institute of Performing Arts. She used to love sports while in school and Project KHEL brought sports back to her.
Until early 2015, Sanjay was working as a Marketing Analyst at Facebook in California, USA. A sports enthusiast, he represented the Hyderabad U-19 hockey team and enjoys exploring and learning new sports, his current favorites being volleyball, tennis, and running. Sanjay also loves interacting with kids, and he was part of a volleyball coaching camp at YMCA Cupertino USA where he coached a group of 11-13 year olds. He believes that sports and games are the best medium for children to discover themselves, learn life skills, and grow into responsible individuals. He visited Project KHEL for a week in 2014 when he was in India, and left inspired to participate more actively and contribute to the sports for development sector. A few months later he joined us, and worked with us till the end of 2015 helping us strengthen the Made in Maidaan programme.
Chandni, a graduate in Psychology and Sociology, has done her Masters In Social Work from Lucknow University. Her first stint in the field of social work was with Ehsaas. Subsequently, she interned with Sahayog, Lucknow, wherein she held meetings with the youth on Gender Senstization. She did her Summer Internship with YouSee, Hyderabad. Along with her passion for social work she also practices alternative therapy (Reiki). Her love for working with children and having fun is what attracts her to the work of Project KHEL. Currently working as a teacher, Chandni conducts sessions with our children whenever she can.
Franziska completed her Bachelors in English and French in order to become a high school teacher. However, she realized her vision of educating did not match with the general conditions in German schools so after finishing her Bachelors in 2010, she decided to go abroad for an internship to Montréal (Canada). There, she was part of an organization for international community volunteer projects for 6 months. Franziska interned with Project KHEL for 6 months as part of the AIESEC traineeship program, thrilled to have found a project in which she feels she will find what she missed in German general education: the holistic approach. Franziska is back in Germany completing her education and is still in touch with Project KHEL and continues to support and follow our work.
Project Associate – Planning and Monitoring
Jayant Chatterjee holds the degree of bachelor of commerce from Lucknow Christian Degree College. He is currently pursuing MBA in finance. He is a lover of music and plays the guitar. He also has a knack for sports, and has participated in inter-school cricket competitions. He had earlier worked as an operation executive in India Offbeat. His subtle wit, humour and fun-loving attitude make him an ideal companion for the children.
Poonam Rajput is a psychology graduate with a Masters in Business Administration. Prior to joining Project KHEL she had volunteered for an orphanage Balgram and had been an active volunteer of NSS during her graduation days. She has work experience of almost five years, two years as lecturer in a management school and three years in the corporate sector. Dissatisfied with a monotonous and stressful work life, she quit the corporate sector and decided to make a career in the social development sector. She is a state level player of cricket and football and is passionate about all forms of sports. During her engagement with the Project KHEL, Poonam found real satisfaction and happiness in working with children.
Abhinandan is a district-level footballer currently pursuing B.Sc from Lucknow University. An NCC ‘C’ certificate holder, he has attended several NCC camps such as All India Vayu Sainik camp at Bangalore and has participated in AIDS awareness campaigns organized by the Red Ribbon Club, Lucknow. A sports enthusiast, he loves playing every kind of game. He loves playing with children and his is easy going and fun attitude helps him bond easily with children. By working with Project KHEL he wishes to bring a change in the life of the kids and also wants to nurture his professional skills.
Sports and Life Skills Coordinator (part-time)
Avinash is a Marine Engineer working on sailing luxury vessels, presently employed in Star Clippers (The company which provided the ship in the Bollywood movie Kaho Na Pyaar Hai). He also runs an event management firm in Lucknow. He is very passionate about sports and dance. He has participated in various national cricket and football tournaments. Inside he is still a kid who loves to interact and bond with other kids. When back from his voyages he never misses an opportunity to share and learn from our little angels.
With a strong belief in value of holistic education, Irma is a doctor by profession. She completed her MBBS from Era’s Lucknow Medical College and currently works at Sahara Hospital, Lucknow. She pays special attention to women’s health issues and that has motivated her to connect with Project KHEL after participating in the Red Spot’s Menstrual Hygiene Awareness camps.
She is a state level swimmer and Project KHEL constantly reminds her of the education that lies beyond the books and she believes that wholesome education is the need of the hour and the nation.
Prakriti is a post graduate in commerce and a junior national level basketball player. She has been associated with field activities like NCC and has been a member of TEARS (Towards Educated And Responsible Society). Having a balance mix of compassion and responsibility, Prakriti can mix with children and yet guide them, control them and yet enjoy them. A mother of two, she appreciates the varied difficulties faced by adolescents and has an ardent desire to provide such skills to youngsters… skills that can offset or at the very least prepare them to face the future. Prakriti has a passion for working with children, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Mirza Aslaan Baig
With a Bachelors degree in Business Administration from Lucknow University, Aslaan has been a district league footballer, a managing editor in a private magazine and has worked in the oil rig industry as well. He has been a while with Project KHEL for the kick he gets here, the motivation to work and the power to bring about a difference to numerous lives. Off this, he’s a decent cook and a writer too. With his natural ability to connect with kids, Aslaan is hoping to make a lot of difference with his association with Project KHEL.
Lubna Afzal, a graduate from I.T. College and with a Masters degree from Lucknow University, is also working towards becoming an IFS Officer (Indian Forest Services). She loves playing with children, specially small ones. She had been actively involved in sports and games at her school level and was among the better female players in school. She is very calm, easy going, understanding, fun loving, patient and with these qualities of her, she is hoping to work with KHEL in the betterment of future of the hundreds of Project KHEL beneficiaries.
Aditi is a graduate in English Hons. from University of Lucknow and also holds a Certificate of Proficiency in French Language. Having studied social work as a subject in her first two years of graduation, she came face to face with certain realities of life and decided to be one of those spirited people who want work towards eradication of poverty. Her goal is to help the needy and do her further studies in social work. She has been active participant in NSS camps for 2 years in university. Earlier she was associated with Eeshwar Child Welfare Foundation. According to her, being in Project KHEL is the best of both worlds as you are trained when you train kids. Other than this she is highly passionate about photography and loves music.
Elin recently graduated with her BA in comparative literature from Wellesley College in the United States and is currently on a fellowship in Lucknow studying Urdu language. She has loved all sports from a very young age, especially football. She played on a football team in high school and also played Division III lacrosse at her university. Sports have made a positive impact on Elin’s life, and she hopes to provide the same opportunity to the children involved with Project KHEL.
Shweta is a graduate in B.Com from Avadh Girls Degree College. She is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Social Work. She has always been passionate about social work as she believes in contributing to the society. Her first stint was with Jute Artisans Guild Association, a federation of women self help group where she promoted jute products. She has been involved in community service at orphanages and NGOs and with the NSS since college.She also has a prior experience in organising events. She loves working with children and enjoyed being a part of Project KHEL. Shweta is now teaching full-time but continues to be associated, helping out with events and functions and also coming to meet the children in sessions whenever she gets the time.
Hitkarsh Srivastava, one of our youngest coordinators, is a graduate in Commerce from Lucknow University and is currently preparing for MBA entrance examinations. Hitkarsh has been an active sports person since his school days; he was the captain of his school’s cricket team and has played matches at the district level. Besides Cricket, music, books and writing interests him too. His passion towards sports and children are his connecting points to our work. He has a keen desire of serving his society by building a responsible and capable young generation, especially those who lack the required facilities, for this competitive world.
Sports Coordinator (volunteer)
Priyank has recently completed his B.Ed. adding to B.A and M.A degrees from Lucknow Christian College. A football enthusiast, Priyank has represented Lucknow at the district level and is a certified football referee. Priyank loves working with children and enjoyed his stint with Project KHEL as it combines his passion for football with his love for children. Working with children from disadvantaged backgrounds also gave Priyank valuable perspective and insights as he pursues a full-time career as an educationist. A full-time teacher now, Priyank cannot give much time to Project KHEL on a regular basis but continues to support the initiative at events and is always ready to help out when required.
Ekta is a graduate in B.Com from Avadh Girls Degree College, Lucknow. She has completed her M.Com from National P.G. College and is currently pursuing her B.Ed. degree. She has been involved with community service, having worked with orphanages. She has also been a a part of leadership training society and has a proficiency certificate in photography.
Contributed by: Hitkarsh Srivastava Dated: 1st June, 2016 Today the name ‘Project KHEL’ almost unknown, a year before; feels no less than ‘Love of Life’ to me. It might sound exaggerated but it is something that one can feel only if one is or has ever been a part of it. I remember the days when Project KHEL … Continue reading Learning, Growing and Living with Project KHEL
Contributed by: Ankita Gupta Dated: 25th May, 2016 “We make a living by what we get but we make a life by what we give.” This quote by Winston Churchill changed my entire outlook on life. As a part of my course requirement I was to intern with an organization for the summers and I am … Continue reading A Cause for Change
Contributed by: Veena Singh Dated: 10th Mar, 2016 “Good experiences make us happy and teach us a few lessons, but bad experiences teach us a lot more…” Angana(one of my team mates) words still hover my mind as I recall our event #Menstruation matters Red Spot campaign held at the Ganj Carnival. I could never … Continue reading Experiential Learning = KHEL
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