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Empowering India at the Grassroots

The Satyameva Bottom-of-the-Pyramid Initiative

This is not ‘a giving back to the society’ project.
This is about creating self-worth, emotional and financial independence, learning opportunities and personal excellence in life and in work.
Once the MIND gets cleared, it can provide the SEED for the evolution of the spirit.
The Satyameva Integral Community development project was initiated in Chandigarh in July 2018. This program engages women and children who want to learn and earn and works simultaneously on the entire ecosystem around the learners and includes adult orientation to health, hygiene and waste management.
This is a program that seamlessly integrates education, skills training and revival of handmade skills to create a rich environment for learning and mutual support.

What we are doing

This is not a charity but an empowerment program
The Learn & Earn Scheme utilizes the traditional skills associated with the cultural and social traditions of India — Hand Embroidery, Macrame, Stitching, Weaving, Quilting, Patch work, Pottery and Carpentry.
Skills to Certified Courses
Handmade is not just about products but about culture, social threads, history, psychology and evolution and progress of communities in India. Folklore, art forms and family traditions have been associated with handmade works. By revival of handmade products, we are able to support some master artisans and their families and keep alive handmade traditions of India.
Selected senior artisans are heading and designing the program to train the next generation in traditional techniques. This also creates an effective model for us to replicate for other disappearing traditional crafts of India.

Other Certified Courses

Basic non-formal education for the girl child

One serious issue with migrant labor in the city is the safety of the girl child. Both parents go to work — who will take care of the child? Satyameva community project engages such children by providing them with at least 6 hours of daily basic non-formal education. We help them in developing thinking and communication skills to enable them to deal more effectively with everyday life.
Informal education which is not confined to classrooms and is practical and functional is the most effective learning model for such communities.
Learning from the environment, direct engagement in the act and developing analytical and logical thought processes contribute towards a deeper understanding of everyday life.
The learning program is designed using the Free Progress learning pedagogy where each learner’s individual interests and talents are encouraged and fostered.

Current Engagements

Children from Gandhi Colony, Bhainsa Tibba (slum), aged between 7 and 15 are engaged in learning program

Several women are learning macrame, stitching, hand embroidery and weaving

A few women and school drop outs are getting trained in Hindi and English languages through a customised learning program

A few children from govt schools come for practicing computer skills

Volunteer Stories

How I spent my summer break volunteering at Satyameva Center

Divya Jain

During my summer break, I volunteered at the Satyameva center. While at the center, I learned a lot about what they do and how they do it. On the first day, I went to get familiar with the place and the people. I observed the artisans weaving and crafting, and I admired the art work displayed at the center. I think it is great how they are bringing back the concept of fully handcrafted work, since nowadays, everything is automated. The painting, carving, weaving, and cutting of their products is all done by hand.

I really admire how hard everyone at the center works and how selfless it is to create a place like it and keep it working so well! The outcome of the products the artisans make is unbelievably good.

I wanted to get involved hands on and since I like painting, I helped to paint some of their products. I also assisted in tying business cards to their products which were ready for delivery. Other than helping with the artwork, I spent the rest of the week teaching the children at the center.

On my first day there, I was a little shy because I did not know how the children would react to my presence since I was new. Instead of going straight into teaching them on the first day, I observed the way the class went on throughout the day so that I would be familiar with it the next time.

As I observed the class, I noticed that the way they learn here is very different than the way I learnt things in my school. At the center, the kids learn basic life skills. For example, when I got there, all the kids were already well behaved, and that is because behavior was the first thing they had to learn, since they are not exposed to that in the slums. I was pleasantly shocked about how much they already knew! I could tell that the center made a really big impact on their lives. I could not wait to teach the kids, but first I had to get to know them better.

The next day, I sat with some of the kids and played a game with them during their play time. This way, they were able to get to know me better. It was difficult for me to communicate with them since I could not speak Hindi, but I was able to understand it fluently. I sometimes had to ask the teacher or my mom how to say a certain sentence in Hindi. I began to teach the kids simple words in English such as colors, objects, or animals. I would associate the words with things that they could see around the room so it was easier for them. I would point at something and tell them what it was in English. In the end, I would review the words with them.

I think English is really important to learn in India because a lot of communication happens in English. The kids loved learning English with me, and later they wanted to learn how to count in English too. I was amazed at how well the children co-operated while I taught.

One day, before going to the center, I visited the slum in which the children lived in. It hurt to see their living conditions and at that moment, I realized how often I take things for granted. The tiniest things would make the kids happy. We brought them jump ropes and hula hoops and they were the happiest I had ever seen them. I also drew with them and guided them if they ever needed help.

Lastly, I taught them how to paint with watercolors. In the end, I became really attached to the children and I was so sad to leave. I realized that the children really just want to be loved and cared for since some of them don’t get that at home. Teaching them and getting to know them was one of the best experiences of my life. They made cards for me on my last day there and said a long goodbye. Overall, the center really inspired me and I want to bring the idea with me to America in some way. I hope I can come back next year!

Our experience volunteering at the Satyameva community center

Kirti Jain

My daughter and I had the opportunity to spend a few days at the Satyameva center this summer. We had a very humbling experience witnessing the workings of the center and felt very fortunate to be able to be a part of it.

The Satyameva team is a group of selfless, dedicated and hardworking individuals striving to make a difference in the lives of the poor and under privileged people. The team works together to help preserve the Indian arts, culture and values. Attention is given to each and every detail at the center be it educating the kids, providing meals, cleanliness, employee welfare or product development. There is no hierarchy at the center and every worker is treated equally. All are required to pitch in and work together to get the work done efficiently. Communication is the key.

The center helps preserve the Indian arts by providing employment to the artisans and promoting their work. The artisans also are able to leave their legacy behind by teaching their skills to their co-workers and kids enrolled at the center.

It was heart warming to spend time with the children from the slums enrolled at the center. In a short period of time, my daughter and I became very fond of them. They had an aspiration to learn and responded to love and attention. At the center, they are not only learning how to read and write but also basic life skills like cleanliness, interacting with people, mannerisms, empathy and love. These skills will set them apart from other kids in their slums and hopefully will motivate their peers to join the center.

Good luck to Satyameva for this endeavor and hope they continue to grow and are able to reach the masses. They have our full support in fulfilling their mission!

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