Focus: Children and Youth, Education, Environment

IT’S a win-win situation at Bhumi – for tutor and pupil. While volunteers imparting knowledge to disadvantaged kids experience the joy of giving, young learners get an education otherwise out of their reach.

Sivakumar Selvaraj, for instance, has been teaching science at Bhumi since 2012. In his first year, a week after he had taught the concept of a water rocket, as he arrived in class an excited boy ran towards him, shouting: “Anna, guess what I did, guess na?”

For a school science project, the youngster had built a water rocket model and won the first prize! Sivakumar, 25, says: “I will never forget the joy I saw on his face. It was then I realized the importance of being a volunteer.”

Bhumi’s primary intervention is to educate and mentor children from orphanages, villages and slums across various states, including Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Rajasthan, and in New Delhi.

Trained Bhumi volunteers – students and young professionals all under 30 – provide supplementary education to government school-going kids in the weekends through fun-filled, inspirational activities, the kind that are missing in most state-run classrooms.

Bhumi also engage volunteers to create awareness among underprivileged communities about the Right to Education Act 2009, which mandates that private schools reserve 25 per cent of its entry level admissions for the free education of children from economically backward families.

An estimated 10 lakh such free seats are available each year, yet a majority lie empty – a waste of a life-transforming opportunity.

The environment and nature conservation also concern Bhumi – so they encourage volunteers to fight against climate change through citizen-led initiatives.

In the ten years since their existence, Bhumi have transformed the lives of more than 17,000 disadvantaged children and clocked an estimated 8 lakh volunteer hours!

As co-founder Dr Prahalathan KK says: “We believe that these underprivileged children whom we work with and the sensitised young volunteers who work with them are the latent potential India will need for the future. And, if we don’t act against climate change, there simply is no future for India or the human race.”

Given that about 25crore children in India go to government schools, Bhumi have made a small beginning in bridging the societal education gap that blights the nation’s progress.

They need all the resources they can get – money, time and skills – to grow and scale their impact.

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A MONTH after the devastating Chennai floods in December 2014 left the city’s beaches covered in garbage, 274 volunteers from Bhumi and other organisations joined the NDTV Banega Swachh India telethon and removed an 1.8tonnes of rubbish from one beach. This is the kind of civic initiative – which inspired more citizen-led beach cleanathons – that comes under their Catalyse project. Bhumi are seeking Campus Catalysts – college goers to spread the word about the value of volunteerism.


THE majority of Class 5 students at state schools can read text meant for just Class 2, and by Class 8, division problems elude most pupils. It is this learning gap between the haves and have-nots that Ignite is trying to bridge, run by Bhumi trained volunteer networks in over 11 cities. Rs 500 would help educate a child for a year, Rs 3,000 will train 50 volunteer teachers and Rs 13,000 would fetch a new computer for the kids. Plus, committed volunteers under 30 are always welcome.

About Bhumi

Bhumi is a unique and strong youth volunteer driven organisation, which is thoroughly professionally run and deeply committed to creating a prosperous and proud India by investing in our children and youth, the torch-bearers of the future.

Sathya Madurantakam, Senior Director, NTT Data Global Delivery Services, Chennai

Children love all the volunteers who teach them with love and affection. Every week they eagerly wait for Bhumi classes. The main strong point about Bhumi is their commitment and consistency towards the cause.

Renu Gavaskar, Eklavya Nysa, Pune

Volunteering with Bhumi brought great changes within me - my perspective has broadened and I’ve become a more positive, idealistic and strong person.

Niveditta Balachandran, Mumbai

Bhumi is the best platform for anyone willing to serve society as it gives both the guidance and the freedom to create an impact on children.

Swetha, Chennai

  • Ayyanar Elumalai Co-founder & Board member
  • Ganapathy Krishnan H Board member
  • Kathambari Ezhilarasu Board member
  • Dr. Prahalathan KK Co-founder
  • Vaishnavi Srinivasan Executive Director