The groundwork for what is Udaan India Foundation today was laid in August 2004, when a few like-minded people came together for a common cause – a cause to educate underprivileged children in their neighbourhood. With no formal system or infrastructure in place, all that was there was a purpose to get together as many children as we could from the bastis nearby, and teach them how to read and write.
We started with 26 children, some of whom were already in municipal school, some who had dropped out and the rest who had never been to school. Classes were conducted on an informal basis for a few hours a week in the classrooms of a private school in the Powai neighbourhood, after regular school working hours. As we worked with the children, we realized that the lack of learning in school and absence of academic support at home created a huge challenge – igniting and maintaining the interest of children towards education. These were children who were at a risk of dropping out.
To support these children to cope with the academic curriculum and to maintain their interest in education and learning, a need was felt to start an after-school programme. This laid the foundation for our Learning Centre. Starting in 2005, the Learning Centre became a space of remedial teaching to bridge the learning gaps and stress the importance of education to both, children and their families. Over the years the Learning Centre became more than a mere remediation programme and grew into an after-school centre of quality education with a structured learning programme. We also introduced extra curricular activities such as art, dance and sports to expose the children to learning opportunities that would go beyond the regular academic curriculum.
The overwhelming progress shown by our students gave us confidence that the project was heading in the right direction. In 2009, this informal project was officially registered as a non-profit trust under the name of Udaan India Foundation with the following objectives:
To stress the importance of education to children and families and to be facilitators in ensuring that every child attends school.
To provide holistic learning to the underprivileged in order to maximize their potential.
To instill confidence and self-esteem through exposure to art, dance, sports and other activities.
To be a stepping-stone for children and young adults towards a better employment and a better quality of life.
Over the years we have grown to meet the educational needs of children and youth in low-income communities. Today we reach out to over 800 beneficiaries. All our programmes are directed towards providing access to quality education and opportunities enabling a brighter future for our beneficiaries.
Today we reach out to over 800 beneficiaries through our educational programmes.