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Scholastic books and computer tongues, sounds like a ‘nerd’, doesnât it? Being called Nerdy has rarely been taken as a compliment. You would probably get a horrified look from a young girl, if you introduced yourself such.
These two things are however a source of excitement for her. Who knew that she would be an inspiration to many to love these as well? At an age where most of us are wondering about the career or job to pursue, this young girl is spreading education and completing hers in parallel. This mysterious, dynamic person is none other than the 21 year old Nupur Bhardwaj, the founder of LECIN, Lets Educate Children in Need. Along with completing her degree in B.Tech from Ramanujan College, Delhi University, she is pursuing her dream of educating the ones in need.
HerÂ inspirational journey began with an organization called ‘Young Association’ in Aug 2014, to Apr 2015. Along with many volunteers, she too started teaching at the Indrapastha Slum (IP) . Later, itÂ this was the first slum to be adopted by LECIN to spread the light of education. ‘Young Association’ helped Nupur understand how a charitableÂ organization operates. She was heading three slums at the time when she had to move out due to personal reasons. In the spring of 2015, she volunteered at an orphanage based out of Jhandewalan, Delhi.
In a monthâs time, on May 31st 2015, the seed for LECIN was sown at the IP.Â Since then, there was no looking back for Nupur and LECIN. At a small temple, an enthusiastic group of seven to eight volunteers, with dedication and determination, started teaching the students of IP. The volunteers were keen to help, and felt that their efforts at IP were not sufficient.Â This timeÂ serendipity came to satisfy their hunger. Somewhere in Oct 2015, a volunteerâs maid who resided in one of the districts in South Delhi spoke about the need of education at the slum she stayed. In no time, LECIN had their second baby –Â the second slum they adopted. Like IP, here too the classes were held at a temple in the vicinity. Mansarovar ParkÂ in East Delhi is the third slum adopted by LECIN. To assess the success of their efforts, the volunteers ran a survey. They realised that the condition was extremely pitiful. The parents of the children in the slumsÂ were not invested enough in their children to evenÂ botherÂ sending them to the freeÂ classes arranged by LECIN. But the volunteers atÂ LECIN did not lose hope and optimistically started classes in their third slum.
LECIN’s vision is to provide quality education to the children residing in slums. Today this organization is very happy and proud to be educating approximately 60 students with the help of 20-25 teachers. Their mission is to have at least 10 slums under theirÂ wing in the next 5 years. At 60, which is exceptionally far-flung, NupurÂ has a simple wish of havingÂ her family by her side and feel proud of her work.
English and Mathematics remain the primary subjects taught at these slums. The classes conducted by LECIN gives these children a chance to build a strong foundation. Most of them study at the nearby government schools. It was a tough task for Nupur and the volunteers to have a consistent attendance but they did not lose hope and stayed firm.
An NGO named Pravah has played a vital and direct role in Nupurâs life and indirectly in LECINâs too. A fellowship titled Changelooms by Pravah, helped Nupur understand the journey of a leader and has made her a better one herself. The importance of a mentor you can count upon, strategies and concepts of funding became crystal clear to Nupur when she was a fellow from Oct 2016 until March 2017 at Changelooms. Motivation was never lacking for Nupur and LECIN adopted their fourth slum located in Kalkaji, Delhi. Along with English and Math, computer education was also initiated at this slum. There was a test that theÂ children had to take to get theirÂ seats confirmed for the computer class. Being a computer science stuent herself, conducting these computer classes was a dream come true for Nupur.
LECIN not only focuses on studies but also has some amazing extracurricular activities for their children. Kalakriti, Naitikta and Roobaru are amongst them. Children get involved in card making, fish making, rakhi making, storytelling, essay writing.Â Besides these,Â they also undergo sessions on moral values, importance of hygiene, basic etiquette, etc.. LECIN also organizes anÂ annual clothes donation drive, which yields massive results.
There were times when people tried to discourage Nupur by saying that her efforts wouldn’t pay off. Her parents were also worried that her studies wouldÂ be adverselyÂ affected due to her involvement in LECIN. But Nupur kept marching ahead, along with the enthusiastic volunteers who have made LECIN a success. It is said when your deeds areÂ fuelled withÂ noble intentions,Â only theÂ best follows. The NSS team from Nupurâs college has been really generous.Â ToÂ help them get exposure, the NSS team has invited the LECIN children for various events at the college. Eco club Holi fest was one such event at which the children were hosted.Â TheyÂ enjoyed refreshments, pottery making, and numerous games.
Unnati is LECINâs annual cultural eventsÂ programme. Like last year, this year too it is being held at The Delhi Public Library, Chandni Chowk. Nupur along with the other volunteers is really excited and looking forward to Unnati which will take place on May 31st 2017. There were a lot of lessons learnt from the first event; therefore LECIN is all geared up with a meticulously planned eventÂ this time. The elated and motivated children areÂ working hard at rehearsing their acts to perfection.
Nupur’s believes that one should not take up social work with the underlying assumption that they are doing something for the underprivileged. She believes that serving the communityÂ helps inÂ one’s own personal progress and makes oneÂ a better person.
Letâs put our hands together forÂ Nupur Bhardwaj, the #Atypical Woman for the month of August of the 2017 SiyaWoman Calendar.
To learn more about LECIN, please contact Nupur Bharadwaj on their FB page
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Vinisha, 30 aspires to leave a mark on this world (of course, a positive one) before turning into ashes. She is an avid reader and a blogger. Her husband is her biggest motivation who always encourages her to keep smiling .Writing is a form of meditation to her and she loves to write a lot about women in form of short stories, poetry or just a small write up. Her love for penguins has grown over the past few years which has added a new dream in her wish list to see the penguins live one day.
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