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SPARSHA TRUST

Children Coverage Detail

Year Female Male Total
2009-10 28 21 49
2010-11 115 96 211
2011-12 50 156 206
2012-13 150 231 381
2013-14 108  181 289
2014-15 99 127 226

Our mission and aims

Mr. Gopinath. R comes from the remote village of Manchigana halli in Kolar district. He was the youngest in an educated family of 4 children (1 elder sister and 2 elder brothers). He did not enjoy a joyful childhood because his father sold all the family’s properties and the house to fund his alcohol addiction before finally abandoned the family when Gopinath was 3 years old. His mother started to live without shelter, with 4 young children, and later in a hut built thanks to someone’s help who gave some space in his premises (now also people of Manchigana halli called Gudusalu Ramakka and their children). The children could not afford to go to school, and were forced to work with their mother. Even the young Gopinath had to accompany his elder brother to clean cow shed and work in the farming field for daily meals.

While cleaning the cow shed, Gopinath was watching the owner’s children going to school, he heard them talking about the school, the games, etc., he was wondering: “why can’t I go to school too?”. Five to six years passed, and one day Gopi’s father came back to the village, telling to everyone that he was now leaving in Bangalore and doing construction work.  Gopinath approached his father and followed him in the city as he thought that he was now in a good position and could take care of him. In Bangalore (NGF), his father took him to work with him and to live with his new wife (by that time he had second marriage). His step mother was very affectionate towards Gopi, she hold his hand and enrolled him in a nearby school. Gopi’s life completely changed from there and built up his desire to reach for the skies. However he was still forced to do a part time job with his father after the school hour.

He was lucky to have likeminded friends in MSW. With their support, he started a group called the SWAP-Social Worker Association for People in the year 2002. Through this association he focused on improving primary children education. He went with his friends to government schools and private schools in Ramnagar, city market, cement colony, Yeshwanthpura. They met slow learners, study disabled, school dropouts, etc., identified their problems, and accordingly counselled them. They were also organizing, through this association, health check-up camps, awareness programs on education, and personality development classes for the government schools’ children.

In 2004, Gopi Started working on child labour issues. His career started as a state level Coordinator for the project of State Alliance For Education. This work led him to travel all over Karnataka for 3 years and to study the problems of children who are deprived of education. He decided to raise his voice to bring every child to school and to improve the quality of the education in the Common School System in India.

During his job he met one of the Singh community groups in Akkiappa Garden, near Yeshwanthpura. In this community, no children had ever reached high school, because when children reached the age of 12 or 13 years old, their parents pushed them into the workforce: making and selling knives for the boys, cooking and taking care of their younger siblings for the girls. Gopi managed to convince the parents to bring their children back to school and every day evening, for 2 hours, he organized special coaching and personality development classes for them. After 3 years of effort, it was a memorable day when 7 boys and 2 girls passed the SSLC scoring above 60 percent. All the children continued their higher studies in Vivakananda College, Rajajinagar. Now the oldest children are taking care of the youngest and ensure that they get minimum education (at least 2nd PUC).

In the same time, during his Sundays, Gopi started to search children who had never been enrolled in schools or had dropped out the educational system. He found a group of such children near Bettalasuru who was engaged in quarry work. Gopi installed then a paper hut in the area and started to give them awareness about education every Sunday for 2 to 3 months. Later he even started to give non formal classes to these children.

Based on his experience, Gopi realized that he would not be able to reach more children by working individually. He discussed with his well-wishers and finally registered an organization in 2005 with a team of MSW volunteers. The organization ‘SPARSHA TRUST’, which means ‘to touch a needy’, had been created.