Exactly a year and a month ago, we talked about Sarvani, an all-women-run organization on this platform, words from the founder Drishti Kharbanda herself. And today, we decided to revisit the organization to see how far they have come in their journey.
Among the youngest female founders of India, Drishti has recently finished her post-graduation in Journalism and has taken multiple initiatives in the last year.
Whether it is about empowering women with their ‘Women Made Crafts’ initiative (1) or conserving water with their ‘Trees for Tomorrow’ campaign (2), the 22-year old and her team at Sarvani always find themselves at the leading position when it comes to doing something good for the society.
“While Sarvani is an all-women organization, we cater to society irrespective of gender and economic background. We believe that everyone can grow and shine if given the right opportunities. And we aim for Sarvani to be that opportunity. It is a platform that empowers everyone, be it women, men, or children. At Sarvani, everyone gets the chance to voice their problems and opinions,” said Drishti.
Here’s a glance at how their year has been so far.
Sarvani Remains Committed to Their Core Mission
A team of 130 young female volunteers came together and started their journey to build Sarvani back in February 2018 from MCM DAV College, Chandigarh. Today, they are working tirelessly to spread their message via initiatives likes solution-centric discussions; ‘Savarni Talks,’ art and poetry for several causes included but not limited to:
- Gender equality
- Upliftment of underprivileged
- Reducing period poverty
- Establishing human rights
- Women and children welfare
- Environmental concerns
- Rural Development
The basic idea of Sarvani is to help each other and grow together.
Prominent names in the Indian media platforms like Republic TV, Zee Networks, Red FM, The Logical Indian, and others have featured Sarvani for contributing to social welfare and other causes.
Here are some major initiatives Sarvani has undertaken in the past year:
- An Act of Kindness: Whenever any new volunteers join Sarvani, they start their journey with an act of kindness, offering a helping hand to others in any way they can.
- Cleanliness Drive: Sarvani actively organizes cleanliness drives where work on grounds and clear all waste while spreading awareness.
- Sarvani Birthdays: Since its foundation, Sarvani has celebrated its birthdays with children of orphanages to make the day memorable for everyone.
- Sarvani Cyclothon: Sarvani aims to inspire people to work on their physical health and use cycles over automobiles with their cyclothons.
- Sarvani Flair: Sarvani aims to offer one platform and recognition to all artists by displaying their crafts at Sarvani Flair.
- Sarvani Pad Drives: The Sarvani team believes that menstrual cycles are not a choice and pads should be neither. The pad drive initiative aims to donate pads to underprivileged women and young girls. Notably, they also have sponsors like Peesafe and Haqseperiod.
- Sarvani Fera: The art trip initiative aims at encouraging children to celebrate art, a subject habitually ignored in our country.
However, one initiative of Sarvani that intrigued us the most is their vision to offer free and inclusive education to children during the tough time of the pandemic and beyond.
Introducing Sarvani Pathshala
In April 2020, when the Indian schools were closed amid the rise of the coronavirus pandemic, several children went a step farther from education. Even though many schools started embracing virtual learning, the situation didn’t improve for students from under-resourced communities.
And when Drishti observed this great loss, she started a school from her own house so students could continue their studies, now named Sarvani Pathshala. There is a simple idea behind the initiative: if we can’t bring students to schools because of the pandemic, it doesn’t mean we can’t bring learning to them.
Today, the initiative, which started with less than ten students, has 90+ children divided into three groups: junior, senior, and secondary, based on the level of learning they have previously attained. You would agree that the process is unique since their division is based on their abilities and not their age – which is standard practice. Also, their team constantly makes efforts to persuade community members from the Tricity to send their children to Pathshala and not drop out of school.
“Our goal is to ensure that every student is on the same page and they make most of the teachings,” said Drishti.
Students learn varied subjects from three teachers and other volunteers. Volunteers give them academic learning and also conduct different workshops so these students can learn brain-stimulating activities like dancing, drawing, yoga, and even new languages.
There have also been self-defense workshops for all women in partnership with the Swayam team – an initiative by Chandigarh police, interactive workshops explaining good touch, bad touch, toy drives, and art & craft workshops.
At this point, we asked Drishti whether she sees Sarvani Pathshala as more than a platform for education, and she wholeheartedly agreed.
“We try to give our children a holistic school atmosphere with various programs. We arrange several co-curricular activities and formal events to keep the entire learning process interesting for their comprehensive growth. For instance, events like an annual day or sports day offer children a well-cherished break from a routine which can be quite monotonous,” said Drishti.
Notably, at the end of every competition and event, Sarvani also gives toys to kids.
“These toys are not distributed; we give them as a prize to children; the idea that they have won the toy instills a feeling of merit in them,” she added.
All in all, children’s academic performance has shot up remarkably thanks to the entire team’s efforts.
We talked about several other things with Drishti, and then this one question popped up, what makes you keep going on?
“Our Students’ Smiles Make All Our Efforts Worthwhile”
We asked, “you are doing so much for everyone. How do you keep doing everything consistently over the past four years while also completing your studies? How do you find the time and encouragement? We know you are running Sarvani Pathshala from your own house. But, how do you stay inspired with your mission?”
Drishti smiled and said, “what makes the Pathshala initiative worthwhile is the desire of our students to learn. They always reach classes before time and eagerly wait for teachers to come. They are all inclined towards learning and get discouraged if we have to cancel any class due to other engagements. And smiles we see on their innocent faces when we say today is an activity day; that’s all encouragement we need to keep moving ahead with Sarvani Pathshala.”
You Can Contribute Too
Her passion for impacting the lives of these children drives her to run the initiative every day. We can tell that Drishti has a big vision with Sarvani Pathshala.
She talked about how it will trouble her to see these children studying out in the open during the upcoming winter months and how she is planning on building a new school with a slew of facilities, including classrooms equipped with projectors, benches, floor mats, clean drinking water, and washroom facilities to take Sarvani Pathshala to the next level.
Drishti is also planning on adding more teachers, volunteers and including middle school too in their academic offerings.
And your contribution can further Sarvani’s mission of ensuring everyone gets a chance to grow together.
Be a volunteer, an ambassador, a sponsor, partner, or directly donate; your actions can make a difference in the lives of those children.
Contribute to making a change.
You can donate here :
Ac no- 50100335365576
Branch IFSC code: Hdfc0000061
Bank : HDFC