Give a poor child a chance at education by The Akanksha Foundation

Give a poor child a chance at education

Thank you!

This program is fully funded because of donors like you.


Jayesh now has the support he needs to grow.

Jayesh is a young boy from a poor family in Mumbai. His mother abandoned him when he was two. He lived with his father and grandmother.

His father and grandmother were both alcoholics who fought constantly and did not look after him. The neglect and unhealthy environment started to impact Jayesh. There was no one to cook for him or groom him. So he went to school hungry and disheveled.

The problems at home also made him a distracted boy. The environment he grew up in confused him and left him feeling angry and rebellious. He disobeyed instructions and did not like to participate in class.

When The Akanksha Foundation began to manage his school, Jayesh received personal attention. He began to stay after school to read and practice English. With love and support, he even grew confident enough to face the challenges at home.

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About The Program

What the beneficiary gets
School Supplies
What you get
Tax Exemption
Periodic Reports
Program Description

The Akanksha Foundation works to impact the lives of children from low-income communities, enabling them to maximize their potential and transform their lives. The organization addresses non-formal education through the

Akanksha center and formal education by initiating school reform through 'The School Project'. Kids enrolled in school are from 3.5 years onwards through 4 schools in Mumbai. They have adopted 13 English-medium municipal schools - 9 in Mumbai & 4 in Pune. Akanksha began with a simple idea to give less privileged children a place where to come and enjoy their childhood. Currently, Akanksha reaches out to over 4,000 children through these two models.

With the formal school dropout rate of Akanksha enrolled slum children being under 5%, with 75% of their alumni going to college, the organization is clearly making an impact. Donate to this program to help kids from slums to break the cycle of poverty through education.

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About The NGO

The Akanksha Foundation
The Akanksha Foundation Logo
The Akanksha Foundation

Shaheen Mistri started the Akanksha Foundation in 1991. When she was 18 years old she visited her grandparents who were in Bombay, and on that particular visit of hers, she saw the inequality in education between the private and the public schools. Vandana worked with the Boston-based non-profit organization Citizen Schools, an organization dedicated to changing the life trajectories of underprivileged children in urban areas, for four years.

At Akanksha, she served on the team to create a blueprint for Teach for India, later moving on to manage the Beyond School department serving all adolescent children of Akanksha. In 2007, she became the Director of The School Project, launched to create a network of high-achieving schools within the government system. She took over as CEO in January of 2010. The Akanksha Foundation attempts to one day equip all students with the education, skills, and character they need to lead empowered lives.

In 2015, The Akanksha Foundation was awarded the India NGO Award 2014/2015 by The Resource Alliance For setting and promoting best practices in resource mobilization accountability and transparency and In 2016, The Akanksha Foundation was awarded the Gold NGO Transparency Award by the GuideStar India Transparency

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Founded in 1991
NGO Leadership

Saurabh Taneja

areas of operation
Area of Operation
Area of Operation

Early Education | education

location of work
Location of Work
Location of Work


Awards And Recognitions
Awards And Recognitions

2015: Junoon award

last audited
Last Audited
Periodic Compliance Checks by GiveIndia

Renewals FY 19-20

Program Updates

Program Updates

22 September, 2023

An update on the program you are supporting


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Activities and work undertaken in the last 5-6 months

Total number of beneficiaries impacted was 48 out of which 50% were females, in Mumbai

Challenges faced and next steps

The total number of students in AY 2022-2023 is 417. To build on student�s voices, we have begun the process of selecting a group of students who would be part of the Student Council Body. The Student Council works in partnership to build and lead student voices driving transformational change. From Grades 1 - 9, empowerment sessions focusing on Risky Behaviours and Personal Safety, Safety rules and how to reach out to one�s trusted adult have been carried out. 3-4 teachers dedicated spaces in their schedule to take Remedial slots for students who require additional support specifically for reading and writing. Students of Grade 7 and 8 participated in the Balkmahastov (organized by the BMC) on the 21st of December 2022. Around 22 students participated and our student from Grade 7 received the Best Dancer Award.

Stories from the ground

*Name of the student has been withheld for counseling privacy* Grade 6 student - she lives with her father, mother and older brother. The home environment has not been very healthy for a very long time. There has been a lot of domestic violence & marital distress between the parents. Her mother reached out to the school Social worker. The school counsellor has been taking one to one counselling session for the child every week to help the child deal with her emotions, create healthy coping mechanisms for her, provide her with a safe space to share her thoughts and how the situation at home affects her. The social worker also supports the mother in times of distress & home visits are done. The child has been in counselling for a year now and has shown a lot of progress in class in terms of keeping up with her studies, being independent in her thinking and using her voice where it is needed. Her level of confidence has also shot up to a great level and is becoming a good problem solver.

22 December, 2022

Give a poor child a chance at education


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Activities and work undertaken in the last 5-6 months

The school’s first goal is to strengthen the collaboration between the SMC (The School Management Committee) and Sahyog group to support other parents. Secondly, the school aims to empower all parents to support their child's physical well-being & cognitive and emotional learning.

Empowerment classes: Personal Safety Sessions to increase awareness amongst students with regard to aspects of personal safety and reaching out for support to a trusted adult.

Parent Class and Meetings: Create and leverage spaces to support all parents towards the holistic development of all children.

This academic year, we have begun a space called the Advisory in order to better understand students’ academic and socio-emotional needs. The stakeholders who are involved in the advisory are Grade 9 Teachers, SL, ASL, Social workers, and School counselors. The students have been divided into 7 groups, each consisting of 5 students. Advisory aims to increase students' voices and give them an opportunity to explore themselves and build essential life skills.

Challenges faced and next steps

As a team, our urgent need was to understand the growing socio-emotional needs of our students given the terrible impact of the pandemic. We often saw breakdowns happening in classrooms and certain behaviors that seemed difficult to manage. A number of training sessions have been conducted at the beginning of this academic year which focussed on understanding trauma, its impact on our students and the community, and how we can support the students in different capacities.

Stories from the ground

Name of the student has been withheld for counseling privacy

During the pandemic, a particular student was in the village and had been struggling with feeling a disconnect from himself and his friends in Mumbai. He was unable to focus on his online studies because of the distress he was facing during the pandemic. He was referred to the school counselor immediately after his distress was reported. The counseling is going on to date. When the student came back to school in the physical setting this academic year, this shift from online to physical school was tough. He started to feel under-confident and was undergoing peer pressure and the pressure of 9th dawned on him.

He has had a number of academic struggles with maths where understanding the basic foundational concept has been tough. Given the number of concerns for the student both academic as well as emotional, there was a support plan in place. For his academic struggles, the student was given extra classes with the maths teacher. Waiting after school to solve doubts and doing a bit of self-study became routine.

In addition to this, to cater to his socio-emotional needs counseling sessions have been focusing on helping him manage his emotions, deal with his situation back home, and build on his coping skills. Parent guidance has also been provided through parent meetings conducted by the School Social Worker and Goal Setting meetings conducted by his class teacher which has helped his mother understand how she can support her child and the child himself has noticed the change in his home environment.

He is now in a better socio-emotional state and is able to slowly focus on his academics & his journey ahead. One hope that he has for other students in his class is that they seek support in time which will help them cope with their present difficulties and have a positive impact on their future in order to grow into well-rounded individuals.

7 June, 2022

Re-imagining education in the new normal


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Activities and work undertaken in the last 5-6 months

The School Program at Akanksha has undergone several changes with schools working Online, then Ofllline & then again going online because of the Pandemic restrictions. One thing that remained constant is the focus on children & supporting them to continue learning in these difficult times. At Akanksha, we have distributed digital devices to all our students from Grade 3 - Grade 10, this has helped students be connected with us throughout the pandemic. For all Akanksha schools, we have worked on all 3 areas - Academic Achievement, Youth Development (Community Engagement) & Socio-Emotional well being of students Under Academic achievement, we have conducted the Mid-year assessments to gauge the levels of understanding of all our students & now basis on those inputs, we are working on individual learning plans to help them build the gaps. We have closely worked with our communities & supported our parents with Vaccination & ensured almost 70% of our parents are vaccinated (90% 1st dose & 60% second dose) Throughout the pandemic & even now, there are well-being calls that are done to stay connected and support the students and the parents. As a part of our engagement, we constantly focus on sessions to build the well being of our students Across all our schools, Akanksha covers 10000 students.

Challenges faced and next steps

The constant school closures & opening did lead to some learning loss however now that schools have opened up in person we have crafted a strategic approach to identify learning levels & create personalized learning plans for all our students. The focus is also on Grade 10 students who would appear for Board exams soon in the next 2 months. The clear focus is a grade-wise approach to build fluency in numeracy and English for younger grades & to support the Grade 9-10 for the board preparation by extra classes & close mentoring The final year-end assessments for all students would be done by April month.

Stories from the ground

Ayush Dinesh Kori, 14 years, Grade 8 student from Akanskah school. Family Background: The child lives with his mother and two older brothers (from the mother’s previous marriage). The mother remarried after her first husband’s death. However, the mother and father (2nd husband) had separated in the year 2018 due to domestic violence in the house as the father would get aggressive with his children as well as the mother. Father has been an alcoholic for the past 5 years. The mother works two jobs to support the family. Mother hardly gets to spend time with her children and she rarely attends school meetings due to her long working hours. The child is close to his mother and siblings share a good relationship too. The older brothers and mother encourage the child to learn more as he is in an English Medium School, so in those terms, the family is supportive of the child's education and is encouraging, as they want the child to pursue a good education. Currently, the family situation is faring well since the mother along with her kids who were once thrown out have been brought back to the house and the husband is giving them their monthly expenses. Currently the husband (the father of the boy has gone to the village but the mother has the access to the house and the expenses are also provided by the father). Challenges:
During the lockdown phase the child was irregular on the online platform (also to note that the child has never been good with his studies). And this online platform has further hampered his academics due to his irregularity. Celebration: School (the staff, the teacher, social worker/counselor, and the helper didis) from their end have been in touch with the child and family in terms of wellness and any concerns if there were any. The school has provided the child with tab and required recharges at the regular interval. From October when the school commenced the child was regular on the offline platform and his participation levels have been good due to the school encouragement and support so he managed to progress in terms of his participation in the class until the school for this few months was on.

28 November, 2021

Another year with Virtual Learning for the students


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Activities and work undertaken in the last 5-6 months

With the Pandemic in full swing, the schools remain closed for physical education. However, at Akanksha, we have ensured that we are in touch with each of our students & connected with them to help them in every possible way. This help is with supporting them with academic /learning material as well as being connected to parents & supporting them with essentials like Ration & medical help as required, guiding them on Covid appropriate behaviour. We reached out to all our students & conducted virtual learning through dedicated devices provided by Akanksha for Grade 8-10 & shared home devices for grades below 8th.

Challenges faced and next steps

Learning Gap The summer vacations have created learning gaps especially for students with different learning levels, which sometimes makes it difficult to engage them at all times. Also, some students who were irregular last year have now started connecting to the virtual classes. They are experiencing some level of disconnect and due to an increase in learning gaps facing difficulties coping up with the concepts taught. Network Challenges Students who are still in the village do face network issues resulting in them missing synchronous and asynchronous work. Student Safety Challenges that we foresee when the school reopens are ensuring student safety and following sanitization protocols keeping in mind the age group and space constraints. Way Forward Bridging the learning gaps that have been created due to the virtual space and the pandemic situation Handling socio-emotional spaces with care and sensitivity keeping in mind the different emotions and experiences the students and parents will be coming from due to the challenging situations in the past months.

Stories from the ground

The biggest impact created comes from the fact that children's education never fully stopped or halted even during a deadly pandemic.

23 March, 2021

The life of Laxmi Nagar Mumbai Public School


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In these unprecedented times, all Akanksha schools are adapting to the “new normal” and moving forward with 3 key strategies: Virtual and blended learning using technology and online platforms, focusing on social and emotional well-being of students and helping parents becoming co-educators. Laxmi Nagar Public School believes in undisrupted learning in the current situation which is why the school made most of the assistance provided by Akanksha. After researching on the virtual teaching-learning strategy, the school preferred WhatsApp for communication among teachers, Zoom App and Google Classroom for synchronous learning and Edmodo App was preferred for Learning Management System. The school also conducted a support class for students who required additional help with reading and writing once a week for an hour. Apart from learning, one live Circle Time Session and one live PE session is conducted every week on Zoom. The SEE program (part of Circle Time Sessions) and counselling space helps to create a safe space for students to express their emotions freely and build emotional awareness in students. There is also a Boys Group Sessions for Grade 7 to build leadership skills in young boys who sometimes display negative behaviour but actually have a lot of potential and are struggling in their crucial pre-adolescent stage, this program helps them to cope with the emotional challenges that come with being in this stage of adolescence. Apart from this, the school also conducted celebrations for Independence Day, National Sports Day, Ganesh Chaturthi, Teacher’s Day, Hindi Diwas and Gandhi Jayanti online. Students, parents and teachers from all grades came together virtually to celebrate. The celebrations allowed the school to detour from the seriousness of the ongoing situation and also allowed the students to perform, express their thoughts and creativity through dance, art, poems and songs. Parents meetings are also conducted monthly via Zoom and their attendance has also increased overtime to 69%. Various topics such as Nutrition and its importance, precautions to be taken for COVID-19 and a collaboration with Haqdarshak to create awareness on government welfare schemes for families have been covered in these meetings. The school has also formulated a team focusing on improving the school’s student attendance. The teamwork with SMC parents helps to follow up with students in regards to their attendance for online classes and assignment submissions. This is helping the school improve its students’ attendance across grades.

5 August, 2020

The life of Laxmi Nagar Mumbai Public School


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The life of Laxmi Nagar Mumbai Public School

Academic Achievement: As part of its initiative to track and analyse
performance, the school has put in place a data driven
tracker system with a comprehensive framework to
analyse the academic achievement of students. The
tracker allows to analyse a range of focus areas which
include analysis of subject-wise performance of
students, teaching methodologies and skills. A gradewise analysis is conducted to identify trends which is
shared with all teachers.

Youth Development: The school conducts a range of extra-curricular classes for its students which includes Kathak, Violin
classes, Yoga and singing.
The school had participated in ‘Balak Utsav’ and performed a play on Shivaji Maharaj. The school won the first prize for their performance and a standing ovation from the judges and the audience. Under The Apprentice Project (TAP), students of Grades 5 and 6 have access to a range of clubs like dramatics, dance, art and music. Students get to choose one of the 8 interest clubs from the 4 verticals of Visual arts, Performance arts (Dance, Drama, Music, and Public Speaking), Sports (Ultimate Frisbee), or Technical arts (Coding and Electronics). The students choose to be part of the club based on their interests. TAP helps enable exposure and opportunities based on the student’s passion.

Community Engagement:The school had mothers participating in most of the events and meetings, the participation of fathers has always been low. Keeping this in mind, the school
undertook an initiative and organized an event on Father’s Day to encourage father’s interest and also to strengthen their bond with their children. This was taken further and a cricket tournament is organized every month, post which the father’s meet over ‘chai-cutta’. These meetings are used as an opportunity for rapport building and to initiate informal discussions with the fathers. As a result, parent meetings has also witnessed the number of fathers’ participation increasing this quarter.

22 July, 2019


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Program Update

The school implemented practices that allowed students to collaborate with each other.
One such activity – Think, Share, Pair has been successful in getting the students to work in groups and also present their learnings to the rest of the class. This practice is used in almost every class and lessons are planned in a way that integrates and encourages collaboration.
An example of this practice was seen when the Science teacher introduced a lesson on the importance of vitamins for our body. Students had to work in groups and present to the rest of the class their learnings in the form of skits.

Story from the field

Naheeda's story is an inspiration to everyone. She comes from a very difficult background and grew up in a very conservative family. With very little socio-emotional support and money, Naheeda has managed to create a successful livelihood for herself and her family. Naheeda is an Akanksha Alumni and has been a teacher since the past 10 years. Recently, she applied via School Leadership Academy and got selected as the Assistant School Leader at our Shindewadi Mumbai Public School.

What is the expected total number of beneficiaries in this program for FY18-19?503
What is the number of beneficiaries/ benefits provided in this program, Year-To-Date503
Village/City/State where project is locatedMumbai
Total Budget for the project for FY18-1920016096
Total Expenses for the project YTD18224102