For Devi, a 16 year old girl from Bangalore, whose entire universe was one kilometer radius around the Sanyasi Kunte slum where she lived, a visit to the DRIK Viveka campus was a revelation. All she had seen or known in her life before that was the dehumanizing living conditions and appalling social justice issues that shrouded her very being
Standing on the 40 acre campus she shouted to the heavens joyously.
“Where the sky is my roof, the mountains my boundaries, and the lake the mirror of my future, there may I learn the Truth of myself and of a society where every child has the right to a childhood.” Devi stood on a mound of brown earth at the DRIK-Viveka campus, pivoted around on her feet like a spinning top, hands swinging in gay abandon and hair flying in the air. Gasping for breath in awe of what she saw around her she said “thank you so much for showing me a world outside of my slum, that I did not know existed for real. I feel the magnitude of that huge mountain within me. I suddenly feel big inside.”
Ground Reality and Why DRIK DWARAKA ACADEMY?
Children and youth have never been taught the importance of their own communities in their schools and colleges, an understanding that leads to self identity and self worth. Nor have they been taught their rights as one who lives in a particular village or slum. Understanding this is as important as learning math, geography or the history of the nation. Empowering education enables the youth to become the subjects of their own destinies determining their own histories.
The groundreality is that there is a void in the current formal/normal education programs:
Lack of rights based education for the poor
The content taught has no direct relevance to the poor
Bereft of Practical learning towards self employment
Limited access to making choices for a career
Non -Learning in the political context
Losing cultural roots
Leaving an eco- footprint
Insufficient access to technology
The DRIK-Viveka Campus, and the DRIK DWARAKA Academy, were conceived for the Devis of the city slums, languishing in abject poverty. It was born to liberate the spirit of children living in polarized worlds, and for bonding together children living in the slums of the city, caught in a snare of urban poverty and those in villages, languishing in rural neglect. Neither knew the other's world, but both survived despite the shackles.
GENESIS and VISION
Its genesis is rooted in years of intense work with the poor in slums and villages, bringing the experiences of reputed and reliable organizations such as DWARAKA and AVAS to partner with DRIK in this venture. DRIK recognized that there is more to poverty, than just lack of food, housing and income that is usually indicative of their socio-economic conditions. These communities were also faced with
marginalizing and demeaning social attitudes leading to caste oppression.
alienating socio-cultural systems including those that subjugate women.
lack of community organization, unity and cohesiveness due to fears, insecurities, vested interests and external exploitation.
deplorable economic conditions, precarious livelihoods and unsteady income.
Above all there was a lack of opportunities to transform their lives.
The DRIK-DWARAKA Academy is a response to the need for a focused intervention, to provide relevant opportunities to girls, youth and women, in honing their innate potential and grooming them to be change makers in their specific communities, and the country at large.
DRIK’S vision to create holistic, versatile and relevant learning experiences, and opportunities for children, youth and women from urban poor and rural communities led us towards the development of THE DRIK-DWARAKA Academy. The main objective has been to create community leadership, generate skills that lead to employability and a hope to eradicate the multi-faceted socio-economic,cultural and political conditions of poverty and deprivation, in which millions of urban and rural poor are living today.
Advancing Our Agenda
Recognizing the enormity of the challenges our society faces, DRIK DWARAKA is dedicated to making a lasting impact through our curriculum and programs. While our efforts are driven by our organization’s singular focus, we spread a wide net by investing in a variety of progressive strategies. Learn more about our initiatives and get involved yourself.
The Curriculum is evolved to impart knowledge in eight focused groups and subjects that are relevant for overall development of the children, youth and the communities.
Interested in knowing more about the Academy?
The Circle Of Womanhood and the girl child
COW - An Important Area of Focus
DRIK and DWARAKA has partnered with AVAS in this new and innovative program. The COW program ensures gender studies are integrated into the curriculum and learning positioned in the lifecycle of womanhood.
A specially evolved curriculum addresses the innumerable issues that the girl child and women of all ages face in today's society.