They said enabling free education for the poor is fundamental. They said poverty can be fought with goodwill and sharing. What we don’t witness is how children from poor families still never make it to the mainstream/break this cycle of poverty. The answers point towards lack of quality education, long-term support, equal opportunity, the power of choice and gender equity. There is little evidence of such a working model in the country.
Why is the Parikrma model successful?
Free education: Our 1800 (4 K-10 schools and 1 Junior College) children coming from 99 slums and 4 orphanages in Bengaluru don’t just receive free education, but high-quality CBSE English medium learning modules. The children are provided with three meals and health check-ups.
Long-term support: Each child is supported right from the age of 5 to 25 years – We also bear the costs of our children’s further education, either in the form of formal college education or vocational training.
Equal opportunity: Our children have access to the best labs, both national and international programs and workshops, interactive hands-on learning from experts in diverse fields, access to all kinds of sports, host some of the best science and sports festivals in the country, are part of global youth leadership summits and the list goes on.
Eradicate poverty: We understand that our children cannot perform well if situations at their homes are unfavourable. We offer counselling and deaddiction programs to the parents, skill training for mothers and financial planning through our Community Development Services (CDS).
Motivated learning: Our teachers are special and we ensure they too receive the best national and international training, are part of leadership programs and are consistently inspired to be able to motivate and challenge our younger ones. Our teachers have been part of the British Council Global School Exchange Program, UK.
Power of choice: Our children are not limited to the basic ‘accepted’ range of jobs, whoever said they cannot be what they choose to? Our alumni today are – Chef in Dublin, lead actress, marathoner, professional footballer, Entertainment MD on an international cruiser, entrepreneurs (event management company, catering business, sports company), dentist, graphic designer, fashion designer, lawyers and more…
Gender Equality: 52% of our admissions every year are reserved for girls. The mothers receive special vocational and skill-based training and counselling – resulting in taking a stand against the early marriage of a girl child, encouraging sports for the girl child, and pursuing a career – many of our mothers are entrepreneurs today. We have our own Parikrma Girls Football Club.
In the year 2003, 165 children from marginalized families started a new chapter in life, huddled together on a small roof-top in a school in Rajendranagar, Bengaluru. Today:
• We have the highest attendance in the country at 96%
• Lowest drop-out rate at less than 1%
• We are a Chapter at Cornell University and IIMB
• Named No.1 Social Impact School in India (2019-2020: EducationWorld)
• Certified Great Place to Work 2020
• One among the Most Impactful Social Innovations in India (2016:CBNC)
Big large-impact programs
Education Transformation Centre: Through our ETC program, we continue to foster excellence in teaching and learning, impacting over 1000s of teachers from government schools, NGO workers, and social entrepreneurs.
Community Development Services: We offer wholesome support to over 1800 families in the slums via training, de-addiction and counselling, financial planning and free health check-ups.
Research and Policy Change: Founder Shukla Bose in her capacity at various forums has been part of many State and National education policies – She has been nominated as the chairperson to draft the Karnataka school education policy, and works with the Karnataka State Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), IQ Education Excellence Task Force, to check on quality in education. A member of the national CII Education Committee, Shukla helps in drafting the national policy for schools. She is on the board of a few private and public sector organizations for prevention of sexual harassment of women at workplace.
Bose has also published several papers in international journals on education and policies.
Vision and Mission
Parikrma’s mission is to unleash the potential of underserved children, enabling them to live their life on equal terms and become valuable contributing members of society.
Reforming education in India has become a numbers game. Bigger, it seems, is better. But is it? The government, as well as most non-profit organizations, are working together to improve education as if it is just a statistic. They are addressing these huge numbers without addressing the quality of education. The statistics have, at best, shown marginal change. Is a child, then, just a number to be improved incrementally?
There is a huge gap that exists between those who get a good education at private schools and those who have access only to the sub-standard government schools and low-cost, poor quality private schools. This gap creates the inequality that results in the privileged few going on to college and getting meaningful jobs, while others simply drop out of the system. This gap needs to be addressed. And that is what Parikrma is attempting to do – bridging the gap by transforming the content of education.
We believe that it is because the poor have no access to high-quality education, they are unable to break out from the cycle of poverty. Hence, generations of the poor are condemned to live in abject poverty and despair. Parikrma, hence, is a catalyst for effecting fundamental change in the way people perceive education of the poor and the marginalized.