MEET MITHU MANDAL, COMPUTER TEACHER: OKHLA CENTRE, PROJECT WHY, NEW DELHI
Mithu Mandal lost his legs to polio at the age of 3, and was never interested in a formal education.
At Project WHY, he not only learned about computers, but became good enough to teach children how to use them.The Project Why Okhla centre where he teaches, supports the education of 350 children, quite a few of whom also learn computers from Mithu. Without this centre, Mithu would not have a job.
In the coming year, this centre is about to lose its funding and faces a very real possibility of shutdown, which is why we’ve now launched the #HelpMithuSaveSchool fundraiser.
PROJECT WHY ACTIVITIES
Project WHY is a flagship programme of Sri Ram Goburdhun Charitable Trust, which provides educational support to underprivileged children. This non-profit, after-school support programme goes beyond academics, to include life skills and all-around development.
Project WHY reaches out to 1200 children and 160 women.
Since 2005, Project WHY runs a computer education programme. Mithu started as a student, worked his way up to being a teacher’s aide, and then took over as the computer teacher.
WHY THE PROJECT WHY OKHLA CENTRE SHOULD REMAIN OPEN
The Okhla education centre began its activities in 2004 to address the problems of an extremely vulnerable group of children who were targeted by drug and other mafias.
Space was not easy to find and the only option was a space near a garbage dump. It was ‘reclaimed’ and classes began under a plastic sheet held by bamboo poles. The centre is the result of hard work from its staff and founders, who have faced everything from littering, to assault from criminal elements in order to keep it running for all these years.
Today, the Okhla Centre has a stable structure, and Mithu runs its computer programme. It helps retain children in school, offering primary and secondary education along with the computer classes.
The centre is an important component of the neighbourhood, keeping crime, drugs and negative elements at bay and replacing it with education and employment.
WHAT IS NEEDED
To give us time to find a sustainable source of funding, the Project WHY Okhla centre needs:
1. 4 Staff honorariums for 6 months: 379, 104 (5,330 USD)
2. Electricity for 6 months: 9, 000 (125 USD)
3. Learning aids and stationery 15, 000 (210 USD)
4. Laptop for Mithu 33, 700 (475 USD)
5. Internet 3, 000 (45 USD)
6. Bank fees for fundraiser 48, 379 (680 USD)
Total 488,183 (6, 865 USD)
WHY YOU SHOULD DONATE
▪ Computer education has changed Mithu’s life, and he’s passing on his expertise to others who are gaining the skills essential at a modern workplace.
▪ The teachers Mithu Mandal, Pushpa Kumar, Sophiya Tirkey, Naresh Bhardwaj belong to the underprivileged community, so when you donate towards their salaries, you’re directly donating to the community and not a non-profit overhead. Over the coming weeks, we will be sharing their stories, each just as inspiring and full of spirit as Mithu’s.
▪ Children gaining secondary education at the centre will be going in for higher education, and staying away from life on the streets.
▪ The laptop will be given to Mithu. This will enable him to take courses, which he will use to improve his teaching curriculum.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE DONATION PROCESS
▪ If you’re donating from India, your donation is 50% tax deductible under section 80G.
▪ If you’re donating form the USA, France, or Germany, you can make tax-deductible donations via these avenues.
DONOR FEEDBACK AND COMMUNICATION
▪ The entire expense account would be put up on the Project Why website once the amount is raised. You can check out an account of our previous fundraiser.
▪ Join the Project Why family by supporting Mithu, so he can help others in his community. No amount is too small, and every little bit would help keep Mithu’s workplace, the Project WHY Okhla Centre, safe from a shutdown.
▪ Read the Project WHY story at www.projectwhy.org.
Each share can bring us three times the donation.
Add in a little to the fundraiser–with small contributions from a big crowd, we can get together to help Mithu keep his wonderful school alive!