The College Chaplain, Ralph Williamson, was in Delhi at the end of March, visiting the 'Saakshar' slum school project on behalf of supporters at Christ Church and beyond. We have been associated with Saakshar ('literate') since 2003, just a year after it was founded by widow Asha Kumar in memory of her husband, with the help of her daughter and other local supporters. Saakshar serves the children of Nasirpur slum in the Palam area, in SW Delhi, and three slum resettlement colonies nearby. It persuades parents, who are mostly illiterate, of the importance of education for their children, and especially for their girls, who would otherwise be denied education and face early marriage, pregnancy and a very limited life. Saakshar prepares 100 slum children for mainstream school each year with a year of informal education, and then supports those children as they progress through the school system.
Saakshar is now providing tutoring, remedial help and mentoring for older children as they prepare to finish school and hope to move on to college. Others are given skills training and English language support to find work. Saakshar has a dozen teachers and rents four small school rooms. Ralph visited with Christ Church's support, as a trustee of the charity Saakshar School Appeal which was founded here to support Saashar's work in 2009 and is Saakshr's major donor. Many members of the college and Cathedral communities support Saakshar's work - JCR, GCR, old members and current members, senior members and staff, Cathedral and Cathedral friends, all have contributed to this life changing work, along with other friends and churches. For more information see: http://saakshar.chch.ox.ac.uk
Registered Charity Number: 1143423