Focus: Disability, Education, Volunteerism, Women, Children and Youth
Thank you! You can rest assured your contribution will be used to make a real difference
THE key programme at U&I is non-formal education for underprivileged children. This includes courses in English and tutoring in tricky subjects such as maths and science. Most of the students are first generation learners whose primary language is their mother tongue. The emphasis on teaching English is to make them more eligible for further studies and employment. The programme also includes career days, life skills training, access to a library, field trips, medical camps and counselling.
U&I first began as a group of volunteers helping at Bangalore's State Home for Mentally Challenged Boys. Now the programme has extended this work to two other state-run institutions – one a social service complex for men and another for women escaping abusive situations. At all three U&I staff provide rehab activities including vocational therapy, physiotherapy and special needs education. Much-needed social interaction and a learning environment also encourage the residents of the homes.
Three years ago, I took one my best decisions. Two cities, two programmes, multiple hours, various events later, this is the most significant part of my life. I’ve made friends, found family and become a fully functional person.
I want to thank all akkas and annas for coming here week after week to teach us. Thank you for being patient with us and for teaching us not only our subjects, but also good values.
Once when I had a ligament tear and attended the class wearing an ankle binder, the men gave me support with their hands on my shoulders though I was capable of walking by myself. That’s one of the most memorable moments I’ve had at the men’s home.
One of the best decisions I've taken in my life! U&I has made me more human and these kids have taught me so much more than I have taught them.
My journey as a teacher kickstarted when I realised that learning has no boundaries. These little ones may address me as their teacher, but I am the one who is glad to be learning from every one of them.
- Ajit Sivaram Co-founder
- Satish Manchikanti Co-founder