Meet Suma

This week, we’re introducing you to Suma, one of our Sahasra Deepika graduates. Suma came to Sahasra Deepika when she was five-years-old. She gained brothers, sisters and a new family.   Suma says school was a bit difficult, especially 10th standard. But with the encouragement of Mathali (Sahasra Deepika co-founder Mrs. Ramakrishna), Suma completed 10th standard as well as pre-university. Suma is now enrolled in secretarial school and hopes to become a secretary or stenographer. “I’m proud to say that I am daughter of Sahasra Deepika.”...
International Women’s Day: Be the light for a girl in need

International Women’s Day: Be the light for a girl in need

Isaac Newton said “if I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” Newton recognized that all of his tremendous achievements would have been impossible without the hard work of the great scientists and thinkers who had come before him. Progress in science, as in society, is essentially incremental – an upward trend with great leaps from time to time, building upon the work of the past. Think for a moment about all of the giants whose shoulders you stand upon, the women in your life who paved the way for you, who encouraged you and made it possible for you to reach for your highest potential. Maybe it was your grandmother, mother, or another family member? Or perhaps it was a total stranger – a coach, teacher, or mentor, who encouraged you to go further than you ever dreamed possible. Now imagine for a moment that you are a girl in a poor family in India, growing up in a slum, or perhaps in a village. Your parents do the best they can for you and send you to school. They love you and want the best for you, but they cannot see any further than their life of unending menial labor. You attend school and maybe dream, for a time, of a better life. But along the way, something happens. You are asked to leave school and help support the family while your brother continues on, because his education is valued more than yours – simply because you are a girl. Your father abandons you and your mother cannot cope. A...

Snehotsava: Festival of Love

Recently, two young women from a nearby community held a fundraiser for Sahasra Deepika called Snehotsava, which means festival of love. What a beautiful fundraiser we had! pic.twitter.com/FnsTRDeowz — Sahasra Deepika (@SahasraDeepika) February 14, 2015 The program took place in an amphitheater in the Classic Orchards community in Bangalore. Several people in the community regularly volunteer at Sahasra Deepika, including trustees Vaishali Khandekar, Arun Kumar PR,and Rajalakshmi Natarajan. Here’s the program from Snehotsava pic.twitter.com/UD7RPYHuLQ — Sahasra Deepika (@SahasraDeepika) February 14, 2015 Anjali, 16, who has taught dance to the girls at Sahasra Deepika before, and her friend Veda came up with the idea for the program. Anjali and Veda came up with Snehotsava, a fundraiser for SD which means Festival of Love. pic.twitter.com/7c9mmx2qG6 — Sahasra Deepika (@SahasraDeepika) February 14, 2015 It began with lighting of the lamp by Sahasra Deepika founders T.V. and Vijaya Ramakrishna. A group of senior girls from Sahasra Deepika performed a dance, Aiyigiri Nandini, to open the show. Lighting of the lamp by Sahasra Deepika founders T.V. and Vijaya Ramakrishna pic.twitter.com/j9L4RlhmZO — Sahasra Deepika (@SahasraDeepika) February 14, 2015 Senior girls from SD perfrom Aiyigiri Nandini pic.twitter.com/jM6tmFhTNd — Sahasra Deepika (@SahasraDeepika) February 14, 2015 The program was entrancing. The dancers, all extremely talented young women, performed Kathak and Bharatnatyam styles of classical Indian dance. A highlight was the Bharatnatyam-Kathak Jugalbandi, choreographed by Anjali and Veda. Anjali and Veda choreographed the Bharatnatyam-Kathak Jugalbandi pic.twitter.com/tt6LD6EVOh — Sahasra Deepika (@SahasraDeepika) February 14, 2015 We also enjoyed two other dancers, Priyanka and Subhashini, who had amazing expressions on her face as she told the story of Krishna. Priyanka and Subhashini pic.twitter.com/cbt88AF7km — Sahasra Deepika (@SahasraDeepika) February 14,...
6th Annual Spelling Bee Contest

6th Annual Spelling Bee Contest

Sahasra Deepika’s 6th Annual Spelling Bee, featuring 92 finalists from 23 Kannada medium, government high schools, was held on January 24, 2015 at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in Bangalore. Archana, a student from S.V. Krishna Iyer Government High School, won the contest after 15 rounds of competition, by spelling “decipher.” Thanks to the leadership of Salma Khader, Program Coordinator, Sahasra Deepika trustees and staff, and the volunteers from Societe Generale in Bangalore, the event was our biggest and most successful to date. The program was moderated by Dr. G. Sridhar of Deeksha Network, and presided over by Chief Guest Justice Ram Mohan Reddy of the Karnataka High Court. Throughout the school year, volunteers and staff visit participating high schools around Bangalore, focusing on 9th standard students. The children are tutored in English, and the top students from each school are represented at the Spelling Bee. This year’s top 3 winners, Archana, Bindu Shree and Sandhya (from Honnagana Hatti High School), won laptops. Archana also won a college scholarship. Many thanks to all who made this year’s program possible!...

2014: A Year in Review

2014 was a year of milestones and setbacks for the cause of girls’ education. The tragic kidnapping of schoolgirls in Nigeria and the massacre of innocent children at a school in Peshawar were huge, devastating setbacks. But the recognition of children’s rights by the Nobel Peace Prize committee, the continued increase in female and youth literacy rates, and the First Lady’s push for community-based education solutions were signs of greater awareness of the plight of millions of children worldwide. This year, the world continued to recognize the right to an education, the right to not work during one’s childhood, and the right to live free from fear of gender-based violence. Through it all, Sahasra Deepika has remained a beacon of hope and a safe haven for girls who had no chance for an education. Sahasra Deepika Insitute is a place where their talents can be recognized and celebrated and their dreams can become a reality. Here are a few of the highlights of 2014, in which we celebrated 16 years of service to children in need. February 8: 5th Annual Spelling Bee Contest Students from 14 high schools around Bangalore gathered for Sahasra Deepika’s annual spelling bee contest, a culmination of our Outreach Program. The event was a grand success! April: SD student graduates This year, Bhavya, a girl who has been at Sahasra Deepika for 13 years, graduated. She is now enrolled at a junior college in Bangalore, studying computer science. August: SD grads join engineering college Two students from the class of 2012, Divya and Sharana, finished pre-university college and joined Vemana Institute of Technology. They are Sahasra Deepika’s first graduates to join engineering...