Focus: Children and Youth, Disability, Education, Health, Livelihoods

POVERTY of health, wealth, education and rights is a trap for social exclusion. It also kills self-worth and aspiration – qualities Deepalaya restore in their beneficiaries by enabling them to be self-reliant.

Ranjit’s is a rags to riches story – of the human spirit. Born in a Naxal-affected region in Bihar to a very poor family, his potter father moved them to Delhi with the hope of better prospects. But with the high costs of living in a city, things worsened.

It was only after Ranjit enrolled himself into one of Deepalaya’s formal schools that their cycle of deprivation came to a halt.

Today Ranjit has completed a business studies programme in the Miami Dade School of Business in the US, thanks to a scholarship facilitated by Deepalaya – and is free from the social and economic shackles of his birth.

Turnaround stories such as Ranjit’s are common to Deepalaya. Take Kavita, differently abled and married to a man similarly challenged who is unable to even stand on his own. While they had each other for moral and emotional support, the struggle got real when neither could find a job.

It was Deepalaya’s microfinance programme in Tavru, Haryana, that helped both Kavita and her husband to each start their own little business and save.

Kavita has been able to not only complete her matriculation and learn tailoring and embroidery, but also to repay all her loans. The couple now also have enough to support and educate their three children.

In the 37 years since Deepalaya started, their course of action has “evolved”, as CEO TK Mathew readily admits. But their basic ideal “to serve humanity” has not changed, and they are doing it by addressing the fundamental markers of social well being – health, wealth, education and human rights.

Their approach has been to first identify an acute problem in an area, and then find a sustainable solution – and it has worked, time and again.

For instance, the lack of basic healthcare in Gusbethi, Haryana – where Deepalaya already had a school – meant villagers would have to trek to the city for even the most common ailments. So what started as a community health centre in the village in 1999 is now an integrated hospital unit offering a variety of medical services, and is set to grow.

And it is to sustain this kind of growth in all their endeavours – for which Deepalaya have a proven track record – that they need a generous helping hand.

Differently Abled

INDIA is unfriendly to persons with disabilities – that’s a fact. And if you are born differently abled to economically disadvantaged parents, it’s a double whammy. The big-hearted founders of Deepalaya recognised that back in 1999 and have, over the course of the years, established a Special Needs Unit in Delhi’s Sanjay Colony to help differently abled children overcome their physical and mental limitations and become independent and self reliant members of the community.


A QUARTER of a million children in Delhi live in slums or on the streets and do not go to school. Just an hour’s drive from Delhi lies Mewat, a village in Haryana where the literacy rate is only 33 per cent. Deepalaya’s flagship education programme derives its rationale from these startling figures. They operate several schools in Delhi and Haryana, both formal and non-formal, that have provided quality education at an affordable cost to more than 3,00,000 underprivileged over the years.

Women Empowerment

WHEN research revealed that women in the Mewat area of Haryana were not only uneducated and unemployed, but also given no say in decision-making that involved them and their family, Deepalaya took action. They partnered with the Mewar Dev Agency to start a programme of Self Help Groups and began with five villages and three groups of 48 members in 1999. The project has now expanded to cover more than 1,300 groups with 15,000+ women in the villages of Haryana, Delhi and Uttarakhand. Amazing!

About Deepalaya

For over 10 years now I have personally supported Deepalaya for four key projects. I have had a good experience on all parameters i.e. implementation, reporting of progress and utilization of funds. Deepalaya is a responsible and committed organization.

Jyoti Sagar, J. Sagar Associates, New Delhi

I am sponsoring the education of one child. They keep me updated with his progress reports, his handwritten messages and pictures. If not for Deepalaya, I wouldn’t have found a way to fulfil my intention of contributing something to the society.

Anil Pakale, Abu Dhabi, UAE

During my stay at Deepalaya I got to see some genuine quality work. One of the best examples is the project ‘Education on Wheels’. I would like to contribute to this organisation in the future as well.

Ankit Dabda, former volunteer, New Delhi

  • AJ Philip President