Bachpan Pratinishtha is a registered non-profit (DIC/JAL-314/ 2014-15) that works for the cause of children's education in Punjab, India. The organization primarily provides school supplies such as textbooks, notebooks, stationery, and tuition rebate for a selected group of students across three low-cost private schools in the city of Jalandhar. Additionally, they also organize drawing competitions, health check-ups, and clothes donation drives from time to time.
Even though, the Right to Education Act, 2010 provides for free and compulsory education for all children till the age of 14, government schools in the state do not have English as a medium of instruction and are often characterised by poor infrastructure and low learning levels. In a country with a strong colonial history, English is considered to be the key to a better future, which is why these schools have become a preferred alternative to government schools.
Bachpan Pratinishtha was started four years ago by Dr. Reena Walia, who has been an educationist all her life. She is currently the principal of Zenith Public School, one such private school that strives to provide quality education to students from low-income families.
Despite the nominal tuition fee charged by some of these low-cost private schools, parents sometimes struggle to cover these expenses. India witnesses a huge number of school dropouts every year and Dr. Walia did not want a lack of economic resources to be a reason for children dropping out of schools. This motivated her to start Bachpan Pratinishtha, a name that translates to 'Dedication to Childhood'. The organization is currently funded by friends and family of Dr. Walia. However, ever since it expanded its reach to three schools, from two until last year, the organization has been facing a paucity of funds.
I am a student of Social Work at the Columbia School of Social Work, New York, and I'm fundraising on behalf of Dr. Walia. I sincerely believe in the cause that she is dedicated to, and trust that the funds raised for Bachpan Pratinishtha will enhance the learning experience for many children from underprivileged sections of the society.