Voice of Slum is an NGO that works for children from the slums since 2016. The organization endeavors to educate and impart life skills to slum children so that they can be a part of mainstream society. Voice of Slum was founded by two young individuals Chandni Di who grew up in a slum and Dev Pratap who ran away from home at the age of 11 lived in railway stations and who was a drug addict. The inspiration and motivation behind starting the organization was the lived experience of Chandni and Dev’s struggles. The struggles both Chandni and Dev endured growing up in the slum, they did not want other slum children to go through the same and experience the hardships of living in a slum and not experiencing the childhood that every child deserves,that is how Voice of Slum came into being.
To present slum children with opportunities and help the children break barriers to make sure that they reach their full potential through education.
To transform a generation of slum children through education by making them a part of the mainstream society.
Both Dev and Chandni were passionate about serving the slum kids. They met and came up with the plan to start an NGO focused on helping slum kids enter mainstream society. They somehow managed to open an NGO but couldn’t go far without funding. Thanks to the active support of the mentors they connected to on social media, they were able to launch and sustain their initiative. Their mission is to get slum kids into education, train slum teenagers on vocational skills and help them fit in the mainstream society.
Dr. Kalam Bridge Course
Voice of Slum’s Bridge course is focused on children, who are engaged in child labor, street children, and children working as domestic help, children who are addicted to drugs, and so on. The programme identifies children living in the slums of Noida, Uttar Pradesh who are out of school and children who do not go to school and are first-generation learners. Community mobilizers and volunteers of VoS visit families and convince the parents to send their children to join the Bridge Course. The course helps in bridging the gap of children’s lack of education and prepares them for the mainstream school, it focuses not only on their education but helps them build their confidence and empower them. The program has so far reached 700 children and 15 slums. The bridge course is for one and a half years, and when a child completes the course he/she is sent to the mainstream school where VoS sponsors 75% of the school fees and
support financially till graduation.
After School Program
The after school program provides academic support for all subjects to all the children who have joined the mainstream school who have been a part of the VOS bridge course. So far 300 students have been enrolled in
mainstream school, both government and private schools. The after school program also focuses on helping the kids cope with stress, motivates children to continue going to school because the change in environment sometimes makes it difficult for the children to adjust, we also encourage them to participate in the class and in different events and help them develop their self-esteem. We also provide them with school supplies and health checkups.
Slum Post is India’s first magazine for and by slum children. Slum Post is a bilingual magazine which highlights and covers stories of slum children. All the reporters of the Slum Post are slum children; they go to
communities and covers stories of slum children who defied the clutches of poverty and hardship and emerged successful, it also covers the struggles and adversity slum people face, especially children in the slums. The main aim of slum post is to reach out to the Government to let them understand the real struggles of living in a slum. Slum Post works as a bridge between the people of the slums and the Government.
HOW WE WORK?
Vocational Training & Personality Development
The program was started in the year 2018; it focuses on adolescent slum girls who have dropped out of school and who are not motivated to study. The girls are given tailoring classes with an aim that through the training they learn knowledge and skills and can help them to be financially independent. Around 85 girls from various slums and underprivileged families in and around Noida have been trained under this program. Many of them run their own small-tailoring business after completing training at the center.
MEET THE TEAM
As a boy, Dev could no longer take the abuse from his father and was strong enough at the age of 11 to run away from his home. He lived on railway station for several days, got arrested and was in juvenile jail for a fortnight. He too was born to be just another slum dweller, ragpicker and a beggar, but decided to fight for a better life. To start earning to sustain himself, he first moved to Goa, working as a waiter in the restaurant of a stranger he accidentally met. After some years he came back to Delhi planning to open a mobile repairing shop with the savings he did in Goa. But unfortunately, it could not achieve his dream due to his mother’s untimely death in an accident. After spending months fighting depression, he managed to join a company as a salesperson. Even though he was earning enough to live comfortably, his heart was not happy. He then met Chandni who had similar background and thoughts on helping slum kids get a better life and Voice of Slum NGO was born. Editor of their SlumPost magazine, he has also been a speaker at TEDx, JoshTalks, the August Fest, ”Media Festival”, “Thapar University” & speaker at “Punjab University, Patiala” etc.
A girl who was once a Slum-dweller, a ragpicker, is now brave enough to manage hundreds of kids in her NGO. Chandni, from a tender age of 6, started doing roadside shows. After the untimely death of her father, she had to survive with her mother by rag picking and selling flowers at traffic lights. When she was 10, she got associated with BADHTEY KADAM, an organisation which facilitates educational and healthcare needs of underprivileged children. She not only caught up with her education but started actively working for the NGO activities. She rose to be the national secretary of the organisation. She has faced all the problems, what a slum child had to face and had to work multiple shifts to feed herself and her family. Later she was chosen to be the editor of the newspaper named ’BALAK NAMA’ which went on to become the biggest such newspaper in India. For her service, she was awarded the ‘KARAM VEER CHAKRA’ award, ’We The Women’ award by UN 2018, ’REEBOK – FIT TO FIGHT’ award by Reebok 2017 , Super Women Of The Year By ABP News 2018. She is a popular speaker at events such as TEDx, JOSH TALKS, UNDP and WOMEN CONFERENCES.