My experience interning with Deepalaya's gender equity and microfinancing program redefined my views on development aid in India. Although I had very limited Hindi language ability, simply being in the presence of the Deepalaya workers as they communicated with the women in the program was more than enough to understand the impact of what they were doing. I was impressed at the patience that the Deepalaya workers exhibited and the fact that they had gained such a huge amount of trust from the women. Indeed, it was because of this trust that the women were even willing to try the program. And more than anything, seeing firsthand that Deepalaya was trying to help these women help themselves was incredible, because I could understand that the impact of their work would go beyond the present moment and influence the future lives of these women and their families.
I was astounded at the breadth of the work that Deepalaya does and very impressed with the quality. They are a bright dedicated group very motivated in up-lifting the down-trodden of Delhi. We were delighted to provide interested staff and teachers with free training in the Transcendental Meditation technique of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. They experienced the great value this would have for themselves and for the children and others they are helping. We hope to be able to offer this program more broadly in their organisation so that their efforts will meet with even greater success.
It is a privelege to endorse and celebrate the work of Deepalaya. As the Past President of the International Forum for Child Welfare, I have had the opportunity to visit a number of programs that are operated by this outstanding organization. Serving the needs of some of Dehli's most needy children and youth is something that Deepalaya excels at. Their educational and school based programs have given these individuals an opporunity to break the cycle of disadvantage by acquiring new skills and experience. Deepalaya has provided social, recreational and creative outlets for children and youth who have been deprived of these opportunities within the community. With their residential programs they have provided the essentials of daily living and life skills support for those children who have no family connections. On the prevention and advocacy front, Deepalaya has not only addressed the needs of children within India, but they have worked in close partnership with other global NGO's and they have also successfully addressed the plight of disadvantaged children worldwide through their affiliation with the United Nations. Their staff are highly skilled and committed and their Chief Executive, T.K. Mathew, is highly regarded internationally. In relation to other organizations that do similar work with children and youth in other parts of the world, Deepaplay has established itself as a global leader and innovator.
My experience with Deepalaya has been as an Academic researching and teaching in the area of Human Rights Academician. Of the many NGO’s that I’ve interacted with, Deepalaya’s focus- girl child, street child and disabled child is in itself remarkable and unique. The Disabled or the differently abled child is the niche area of Deepalaya and has been dealt with understanding and compassion towards capacity building and empowerment. The latter is the constructive sustainable dimension of the work as it’s subtext says “Enabling Self Reliance” and needs to be endorsed by the larger community in any which way possible.
The dedication of Mr Mathew and the entire staff is so heartening and encouraging. Outstanding. there is a need for many more such organisations that will uplift the society in a sustainable manner.
We have found Deepalaya a very good foundation that strives to help under priviliged children to become independent, self reliant adults by spending received money well. Deepalya is a professional organisation with never forgetting what the core focus should be.
I have known DEEPALAYA from close quarters since the bigining. It had an humble start with few slum children at Kalkaji. The sincere hardword and dedication of its members and staff and the vision of its leaders have paved the way towards an organisation which it is today. It has done yeomen service in the field of child development. The magnitude of the task undertaken by it is really great and it has brought the fulfilment of several dreams of many downtrodden children who otherwise would never have seen the corridors of education. They really deserve awards and recognition which I am sure will propel them to do greater task in the future.
Deepalaya as an organization is very daring to go into places less explored and its a great platform for newcomers to maximize their potential as well as for any professional to work in a way that they never had the liberty for. Ramditti J.R. Narang Deepalaya School, that is run for underprivileged children, gave me the opportunity to be a school counsellor trainee to fulfil my field internship as a part of my curriculum in Masters of Psychology (DU). The staff was very eager to improve in their ways of teaching as well as behavior management in class. The principal, Miss Gitanjali Krishnan, was very encouraging to all the school and staff incl. me to try out methods that could work in the betterment for the school as a whole as well as paying individual attention to its residents. Where a well funded private or public school shudders from providing any kind of Adolescent Education Program, Deepalaya allowed me to deliver important and alarming messages to the students in terms of their safety and self esteem. And what I have personally most liked was that an individual's potential and not just achievements are applauded and encouraged, raising their own expectations from life as well as the will to work hard towards it. The children or the students of the school were the best part of the experience. I connected so well with them and that too, at their level which i found it to be very important. I felt that we shared a genuine relationship and i wasn't just with them because it was a part of my job or they, in their turn, weren't simply just being nice to a school visitor. All in all, a very good learning experience filled with challenges that I think I met with satisfaction and doubts that I overcame with the help and guidance of the school. My understanding of culture and the environment of the 'have nots' had not simply increased but evolved to more accuracy, empathy and belief.
Deepalaya is very dear to me through Rtn. T. K. Mathew Sir (i fondly call him as Tambachen) He is not just a member of my Parish, but a rolemodel and inspiration to us. His disciplined, honest and vibrant lifestyle is what attracts me the most. That reflects verymuch in the functioning of Deepalaya and its activities. The level to which it has grown is due to the hard willed committment and Faith in Lord Jesus in bringing out its vision through a great team work spirit among the Deepalaya family. May the Lord bless your more in the furtherance of His Kingdom. Rev. Saji Joseph Vicar, St. Thomas MTC, Karol Bagh.
Deepalaya is contributing to various underprivileged sections of the societ under the visionary leadership of Mr Mathew. the organisation is professionally managed and is poised to make greater impact in the years ahead.