Our Work

- in Shakti -

Get to know our work,
speak for itself.

Our school

Shakti School of Arts for Girls is located in Chandreswar Nagar, Rishikesh, near the town center, and has a beautiful view of the Ganges from the roof. Most of our students live in poor areas near the dry riverbed. Their families make a living by selling vegetables, working in repair shops, driving rickshaws or selling food they make. Many of the girls live with a large number of family members in a small, rented room, with an external bathroom that they share with 30 or more people in their area. It is our dream to help the girls break free from the cycle of poverty, develop their hidden talents and capabilities, and lead happy, successful lives.

Our school currently has 60 students divided in two groups of girls. The morning group is for the smaller girls, 3 to 9 years old, who are currently not attending a regular school. We work as a pre-school for those who still don’t know how to read and write, and focus on those subjects, and as a kindergarten for those who need to keep perfecting their ability to write both English and Hindi. We are also giving them introductory classes in math, science, computers, arts and yoga.

Nutrition

Another essential key to empowering these girls is proper nutrition and medical care. The Shakti School has sponsored 2 medical camps, where all the girls were weighed and examined by a pediatrician for signs of parasites and other problems, and then given the required medicines. As many of the girls are underweight, we have increased the quality of nutrition in their daily meal, and in addition to the food are giving each girl a glass of fresh milk mixed with protein powder each day.

Who else do we help?

Shakti School of Arts for Girls is a charitable project that comes under the umbrella of a global organization we founded known as Saving Lives with Love, Inc., a US government-approved tax-exempt charity. Also included is Feeding Rishikesh, (www.feedingrishikesh.org) that is registered in India as a charitable organization known as: “Maa Anapurna Sewa Project” which runs a project providing free dinners to 250 people each night and large bags of basic foods to many poor families. During the Covid lockdown, Feeding Rishikesh gave over 35,000 large bags of groceries to those in need.

We are also running a large charitable project in Venezuela called Saving Lives in Venezuela (www.savinglivesinvenezuela.org), where volunteers in three cities distribute food, medicine, baby formula, and childcare supplies to those in need.

To date we have shipped more than 20 tons of supplies into Venezuela, and are serving hundreds of people each week, including dozens of malnourished children and impoverished elderly people. Our latest project in Venezuela is a new school in the town of Mérida, which currently has 36 children enrolled. They are now receiving a full array of classes and a great breakfast each day.

Covid and Education

The Covid crisis that has roiled the world during the last two years has created huge obstacles for the education of young people everywhere. In wealthier countries, where most people have access to computers and cellphones, children were able to attend online classes, but in poorer countries like India that strategy has been impossible to implement, especially in the poorest communities. The public schools in Rishikesh were completely closed due to Covid, and most of the girls who attend our school had no access at all to computers or cellphones and were therefore unable to receive any education at all for the two years prior to the creation of Shakti School of Arts. You can imagine what a loss it is for a growing young mind to be deprived of education for two full years! More concerning is that with nothing constructive to do, young girls in the slums could easily fall into bad company and get into trouble. Shakti School of Arts has played a vital role in providing essential education and support for these girls, and given a special boost to help them recover for lost time. Now that their regular school as resumed, Shakti School continues as a high quality ‘after school program’, giving the girls a much richer educational experience than they would ordinarily receive through their public school. Our strong focus on mastering English, and self-expression through dance, art and music, will help them find new power in themselves, and bring out the greatness they all have within.

Women in India?

The tragic situation of underprivileged women in India

Child marriage

According to the UN, an estimated 1.5 million underage girls marry each year in India. One of the women we are helping in Rishikesh was married at age 12, had her first baby the next year, and by age 14 had two children! Her husband was abusive, and she was finally able to divorce him (a rare feat in India), and is now trying to raise her children on her own without any substantial source of income. How different her life could have been if she’d been able to complete high school and college and find a career, and then make her own decision to marry!

Attendance

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