Project Eklavya is an initiative of Indus Action that assists families in gaining access to high-quality private schools through India’s Right to Education Act, which requires 25% of seats in high-quality private schools be filled by disadvantaged children. The state pays private school tuition, book and uniform fees for successful program applicants. However, few families are utilizing this provision and 90% of eligible families are unaware of the act. Project Eklavya aims to raise awareness through rallies, door-to-door efforts, street plays, media dissemination, promotional videos and interactions with parents at Anganwadi centers.
In addition to increasing awareness, Project Eklavya assists families in determining eligibility and navigating the application process. The project operates a toll-free hotline that parents may call for more information and families are directed to help desks at Gender Resource Centers.
Project Eklavya continues to support families after successful admission. Occasionally, private schools are misinformed about the policy and may reject admission forms or try to claim fees for books and uniforms. Project Eklavya assists parents in filing grievance redressals to address such problems.
Families who gain admission are invited to participate in a 6-week Social Inclusion Program during the summer. This program prepares children and parents for the private school environment with a focus on children’s social skills. Once school begins, parents are organized into discussion groups to support one another throughout the school year. In 2016, Project Eklavya will be implementing a new strategy to increase student support. As part of secondary students’ civil society coursework, 9th and 11th graders will propose ideas for raising success rates among children attending private schools under the Right to Education Act.
Eklavya also advocates to improve the application process. Currently, 30-40% of eligible families are unable to secure necessary documents for application. Eklayva is working to increase the number of documents that may be considered as admissible proof of income. Additionally, parents must apply separately to each private school; while some schools do not have additional space, reserved seats in other institutions are left unfilled. Eklavya is advocating for a streamlined online application process so that parents may apply to all suitable schools with a single application.Project Eklavya has implemented unique methods, such as street plays and use of Gender Resource Centers, to raise awareness of the Right to Education Act.
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CEI approaches in actionPolicy & AnalysisAdvocacy (influencing the policy environment)Student supportCommunity Engagement
Model details2013Not-for-profitActiveLong-term projectFree service or product0Women and Child Development Ministry Delhi Government Directorate of Education5,500
BeneficiariesIndividuals with disabilitiesEthnic minoritiesRacial minoritiesReligious minoritiesOut-of-school childrenOrphans and vulnerable children
Communication efforts are conducted in marginalized communities in order to reach eligible families. This includes conducting public events and door-to-door communication in low income neighborhoods.
Scale5,500 total students have received enrollment assistance as of 2016
Project Eklavya is currently operating in New Dehli and planning for future expansion. The program has created an open-source template of Eklavya's strategies so the program can be easily replicated. The government of Chhattisgarh has expressed interest in the project. There are also efforts underway to implement Project Eklavya in Mumbai and Hyderabad.
On average, 50 of every 100 families that Project Eklavya informs about the Right to Education Act are eligible for free schooling. Of the 50 eligible families, 30 are able to secure the necessary documents and complete the application. Typically, 10 of these 30 families are granted admission.
Project Eklavya costs US$3 per student per month.