The Story Begins With You!

At the end of two weeks of promotion the book collection looks like this. Pretty good going when the promotion was made in schools and colleges.
The outpouring kindness of the contributors always warms my heart, So many schools, colleges allowed us to set up a drop box and do campaign in their premises. Many of our volunteers did not hesitate to do a campaign in their apartments and gather hand full of books for children. It is amazing how it all balances out for children in need!

Well we are still short of target books this year. 

As a part of reading sessions, designed to inspire kids to spend time reading that help develop the critical thinking, vocabulary and language skills a pre-readers needs, we need to accommodate them enough quality books. 

And that is why we encourage any size of contribution, new or gently used books even if it is just one book! 
Imagine the possibilities - Donate new or gently used books and imagine how far a passion for reading could take a child.

Combining the joy of reading with the power of helping others.

We need your help!

Here's what you have to do: Support our Book Collection Drive

Do you have a stock of books not being used anymore, stowed away in some corner of your home? Donate these books for a noble cause, and support our book collection drive.

As a part of our effort to enable every kid to read, we started ‘MyLibrary’ in each of our schools, making books available for children along with regular fun activities. Kids select the books according to their interests. They feel empowered and renewed, and they begin to see new possibilities.

Since its launch in 2011, we established 3 libraries in 3 schools with 1500 books and this initiative has continued to expand, develop new resources, conducting regular reading activities, encourage children to read a wide variety of books and reinforce them to renew their reading spirits.

Where do we get books from?
We collect books from a variety of sources like colleges, schools, corporate teams and individuals who are the important partners in our work to help children discover the joy of reading.

Donate now
We are now associating with respective colleges of the volunteers with Sahaya in Hyderabad and establishing Book collection boxes in their college premises. It would help collect a good number of books by end of this drive.

You can help by donating gently used books or buy and donate through online (On request) and the categories of the books as follows:
  • Rhymes
  • Picture books
  • Beginner Readers:-Fun stories with short chapters.
  • Easy Readers:-Superheroes, popular characters
  • Bilingual books:-Telugu, English
  • Appealing non-fiction titles:-Animals, Fact books, Geography, History, Science, Sports
  • Dictionaries:
    - English to Telugu and Telugu to English
  • Monthly or weekly magazines
Donate a Book. Donate a Smile.

For any queries you can reach us:
Eshwar: 9963532307 | Aditya: 9014088995 | Srikanth: 9247766039

We invite you to visit our website to learn more about Sahaya's activities and initiatives @ and My Library information at

Education is a key to unlock one's potential

According to me, education is a key to unlock one's potential. Children who are given right supplement and stimulation arrive at school excited to learn - academically, socially and emotionally. As said, one will reach new heights if they learn to embrace the occasional tumble. A question arises what makes a really capable child give up in the face of failure, while others may be motivated by their failures. Such children require a push, slight guidance, which is also a suggested cure for learned helplessness and that is being done by Sahaya.

During the last session, we organised a computer workshop which stood at a great success having a very good impact on children. students who are really unaware of computers found it difficult when they were orally taught. But I could see them going easy with it after workshops. When it comes to what all the team have provided them, it's really huge. As a part of workshop, they were shown and explained regarding various parts, computer components etc. Apart from this,  students were given presentations and had discussions upon it which allowed them to be clear.
It's a well known fact that drama can always improve one's learning skills compared to any other activities and also a best way of approaching students in case of something difficult for them. They are shown visuals which not just lets them figure out things later but the speech also improves their language expression. I can say, this idea of workshops had truly made children more attentive than usual. As a combined effort can break down the wall of impossibility, the success of computer workshop includes each and every one over there.

On the whole what is done here is-
Go to the students :
Live with them,
learn from them. 
Start with what they know,  
build with what they have. 

All views expressed by - Akhila

Setting up the Reading Challenge

One of our big-picture goals is to build a activity where everyone reads, where everyone shares what they're reading, and where individual purposes and choices for reading are celebrated.

We want to help our students cultivate the habits of lifelong readers. We understand that each student is at a different place on the journey, and through building such activity and offering choice and challenge, we seek to draw each reader further along their path.

Reading Hour
Instead of walking each student in a class through a prescribed series of reading material or language chosen by someone else, we place value on the act of reading. We want to inculcate the values of deliberate practice, with kids immersing themselves in books by providing quality time to read, structure, modeling, and guidance.

It is through this lens that, along with few volunteers we designed the Reading Challenge for different grades. The challenge began last week and will continue through the end of the 2014-15 school year. In last weeks reading challenge for 8th grade, we have few avid readers, as well as many who are still "developing readers." We created the Reading Challenge with the following goals in mind:

  • To empower children s individual interests and preferences
  • To build reading habit
  • To promote wide reading
  • To challenge students to either read more in general[bilingual books] or expand their reading to new genres

We are excited about the first iteration of this activity, open-ended, year-long challenge that offers something to engage every kid. We are keeping track of who reading what book. It is a work in progress and, with our goals in mind and our students' feedback, we will assess the effectiveness of this strategy and make changes to improve it going forward.

Learning Expeditions coming soon

Preparing Students for the Challenges of Tomorrow

The inspiration that made us to think on the other side of the coin.

We always think about new ways and ideas to educate children in many aspects, but the inspiration given by Subhramanya Aditya’s Mother made us to think on different aspect to be taught to the children. That is what ‘Awareness on Health and Hygiene’

“If Health is zero, how can we achieve 100% Knowledge??”

This is what we questioned ourselves… which resulted to this session.
A session on Health and Hygiene - experienced a new way of interacting with children by sharing many thoughts.
It always sounds good when we hear something from the students when we try to project something, which we experienced in our session. The team has prepared some presentation with images on creating awareness on Health, Cleanliness and other Hygiene conditions. Students were very interactive during the session and got quick responses to the questions posed to them. Actually, students were aware of many things, we simply tried to increase the awareness among them. 

For the first time we have seen that no student got bored up with the continuous seminar session. Students were very interested in adding their points to our explanation. They were very much involved in the topics discussed and without any hesitation they accepted our request to spend a few more minutes even after listening to the lunch bell.
Getting out of personal and professional activities, the team struggled to make the day’s social activity a big success by holding discussions and presentation preparations for weeks. But entirely the pain just flew away on receiving smiley thanks from the pupils.

We wrapped up the session with complete satisfaction. Hope to carry this satisfaction in coming sessions too.

Ravali Dara

Teacher's Day at ZPHS KP School

One more memorable day at Sahaya. Teacher's day celebrated on 6th September at ZPHS Kukatpally School.

Yes, it happened in Sahaya session . 9th class students played the role of teacher mentoring, teaching  6th and 7th class students. They divided themselves into 6 groups and taught some topics to their juniors. I was really amazed by the way they explained to students by interacting and engaging them with riddles in between to make it interesting.
Parven explaining adverse effects of Plastic usage
Sreeram once said he had life time opportunity to experience the best mentoring session at ZPHS Narsapur. I felt sad that I couldn't experience such session. But I don’t regret anymore.

We had a wonderful experience in our last session by being a student and listening to 9th class students Parven and Rupali's class. Am not at all exaggerating on their teaching skills, they didn't require any volunteer to control the class. Students listened very keenly and showered with doubts too at the end of the class. Parven and her friends topic was on Pollution and they explained the drastic effects of plastic, paper  usagein a controlled way and the effects of deforestation. Rupali and her friends explained on solar panel usage, how power can be generated from solar source and its uses to mankind. Functioning of heart, types of blood groups and layers of earth were explained in detail by other students with diagram on board.
Block diagram of heart and its detailed explanation
Actually the day started with the inspiration to teach students practically about Computers. We had a practical hands on session using laptops.
Enthusiasm to learn more .

Kids undivided attention on laptop
Pooja revising the topics
They were very excited to know about the basic things like how to turn on PC, MS Word, calculator, home screen icons, wallpaper. In the afternoon session, students startled us with their teaching skills, at the end of the day as a token of appreciation, some gifts were given to students who taught in classes.
Parveen and her team
Gift to the students who taught layers of Earth effectively.
Thanks to all the volunteers wholeheartedly, lets move forward with many more events and workshops which brings out the inner talent of children.


SWECHA 2K14 - a success story...

As there will be a lot of things involved to call an event or a plan to be a success, SWECHA 2K14 event too involved a lot more things to call it a great success.

To let everyone know about this success story, I would start with the planning of this event that started many days prior to the decided date. Firstly, a great work done by the core team to list out the events that can be conducted to the students, which would enlighten their talent of applying their knowledge and sharpen their skills to come out with a solution for a given problem and then finalizing the events to be conducted by taking all the volunteers' views into account.

For any event to be executed in a perfect manner, we need volunteers... considering this point to be the most important, the idea of turning up the volunteers to the event, along their friends has justified the cause at its best. As far as I know, the number of volunteers that turned for this event was really immense and made the task easier to execute.

Then on the most awaited day, Aug. 2nd… in the morning, with all the volunteers... senior volunteers with the experience of being a part of such events earlier, planning to make it even more effective and the new volunteers, with the excitement to do the  things in a proper way and to experience the warm welcome of the students with their innocent and pure smiles posing a question.. "What's new to learn today?"… All the Sahayans, determined to transform the day into an another memorable page in Sahaya's diary gathered.... then the senior volunteers not only trying to inculcate their tradition of handling things in such events to the new volunteers but also giving them the freedom of making the day even more special by performing the things in a better way with their own ideas. All the volunteers, having a clear picture of the works to be done in the given time, got dispersed to the respective classes.
Then there starts the day... the interaction with the students who would come to us with a lot of queries in their minds, the moment they know about the events to be conducted on that day...some students anxious to show their skill, some students doubtful about their performance and some with excuses... by convincing all the students that this day is one of the special day that gives them a chance to shine up with their talents, to know the way to pen down the things they already learnt and their ability to answer a question by giving it a thought.With a lot number of doubts from the students and equal number of explanations by the volunteers, we ended up the execution of the tasks and gathered for a meet... there the core team members addressed all the experiences of both senior and new volunteers, giving an appreciable invitation to all the new ideas from the volunteers and a detailed discussion about the performance of the students in the events, we called it a day.
The action is done and to check the reaction or in other words to know result of the creative planning and the perfect execution, we need to go through the performance of the students in the events, after finishing this, there comes a need to appreciate the best performers with some prizes and for this we saved the date as Aug. 15, Independence day. On that day, with all the volunteers present there, saluting our national flag and witnessing the celebrations in the school, followed by the prize distributions by the senior volunteers to the students, who made their mark in the events with the best performance. It was the day which not only let us to celebrate the joy of making the SWECHA event a success, but also a day which reminded our school days, where we found everyone in white uniform representing a special day, the days when we eagerly waited for our turn to deliver that 10 times by-hearted speech in front of the huge crowd...

We were done with the celebration in the school and gathered for a meet where in there was a discussion about the upcoming sessions to be held, the new ideas that can be implemented, a brief explanation about the events conducted in Sahaya in the past and their impact on the students, different views of the volunteers about the events… and a very special moment where probably for the first time, a volunteer surprised the Sahaya team with her special appreciation... an album which described about Sahaya… then we ended up it with a brief idea to handle the next session...

Then in the very next session, as usual I was welcomed with a lots of smiling faces which in turn carried an expression of asking "What's the new thing that you teach us today?"… I was overwhelmed with their response and satisfaction about Swecha event... a boy came to me saying excitedly, that he secured a first prize from his section and I could clearly find a confident and happy feeling on his face for the achievement. When they came to know about the plan for the day to discuss the question paper, I could find most of the students being very active and desperate to reveal that their answers were correct. I felt so happy to know that most of the students were able to remember the things they learnt in previous sessions and were able to recollect them very easily. The appetite of students to learn new things and their ability to grasp the new things which were taught to them, raised the spirit in me that I must come up with even more creative ways to provide them with all necessary knowledge.

I conclude my post by conveying my gratitude to the Sahaya team, especially the person who introduced me to Sahaya and all the people who inspired me to be a part of such a great organisation. Being a part of Sahaya, I would definitely try my level best to do my bit for the sign of improvement in the students.

Insights & Evidence: Empowering Successful Kids!

Our volunteers know how motivating it can be for kids to discover their "sparks" - those activities and interests that truly engage kids to be their best. Discovering those sparks can help students express their personalities.
We found that creative arts, athletics, and learning are the top interests that kids identify as their personal sparks through various interactions with kids in schools we visit. Other activities like reading, current affairs, nature, and curiosity to know new things also spark kids’ passions.  Kids need attention necessary to help them identify and nurture their sparks. Swecha events - a platform where kids get freedom of expression with joy.
Empowering successful kids
Helping kids identify their sparks, and providing them the opportunity to develop those interests, appear to be important additions to academic educational methods and help them achieve success.
Every caring effort of volunteers will be fruitful when students learn and reflect what they learnt. We always offer a challenge that’s well-matched to the child’s skill level, with clear goals.
One of the factors we identified in turning schoolers onto focusing on their spark is self-efficacy: students’ sense that they are competent and able to have enough knowledge of things happening around them, around the world. To encourage this in kids, we try to restructure learning so as to maximize opportunities for success  by building on skills that students required.

Swecha 2K14 events will help kids not merely be “okay,” but be the best they can be: confident, capable, passionate and thrive.

We thank all the volunteers for their efforts and the support in organizing Swecha event that develops kids do better on a wide variety of developmental outcomes.

MY LIBRARY - The transition from being unable to being able to read

It's no secret that children who grow up with a love of books will be more successful in school. The goal is to make the library a familiar environment so that students grow up knowing how to use the library and feeling like the library is a great place to be. If our students can be inspired by the excitement of finding knowledge and by works of the imagination, they are likely to benefit from these vital elements of personal development throughout their lives, both enriching themselves and enhancing their contribution to society.

“My Library” should help to build the linguistic skills needed for evolving competencies in telling, imagining, understanding, reading, and being a social person.
Rupali, 9th C from ZPHS Kukatpally stated that “ My Library, will help me to learn my favorite Science experiments and also English, I have seen a good number of collection in my library, I will keep my library clean and tidy"
Likewise, we can easily identify what are the possibilities that can be adopted by the students using My Library and below are few

  • Good communication and problem solving skills
  • Ability to initiate and participation in Team Work
  • Eagerness learn new skills and develop professionally

These findings underscore the important position the library plays in the reading achievement of children who lack access to books and other reading materials in their daily lives.

We thank our subscribers and contributors towards My Library.

!!!! 15 Feb 2014 !!!!

  • A unique day in the diary of SAHAYA.
  • A day SAHAYA stepped ahead to reach its goal.
  • A day that reduced the gap between students - volunteers - school management.
  • A day of joy and fun.

Why??  How??

“I learned many things in the ground that books didn’t teach me” - Sachin Tendulkar.
“Even an empty ground teaches more than a full book” - Sarvepalli Radha Krishnan.

These lines tell us how important sports & games are, in the process of learning. Today, even corporate companies recognized the importance of sports, especially team sports to develop the elements like team spirit, sportive spirit, fighting in odd conditions and many more and are encouraging employees to take part in team events.

SAHAYA, which always tries exploring and improving the talents of its children, will never forget or overlook such an important thing which helps children to achieve their goals.

SAHAYA conducted many events like JAM, Memory test, Drawing competition etc., to identify the talent of the kids.

Now it’s a similar kind of step by SAHAYA, that not only helps in identifying the talented students but also makes them resourceful . And that step is conducting a SPORTS competition. Even though it is limited to only one sport and to only girls this time, it is a good sign.

The day started for me with a surprise to see no volunteer in the school (ZPHS-KP) even at 10:00AM. After a long waiting other volunteers joined me. At around 12:00pm the arrangements started after taking the permission from the school management. Within no time the court was ready and the students were in the ground. Dharani (treasurer), who is good in volleyball, trained and shared his valuable suggestions and tips with the junior’s team (6th & 7th class). After the lunch break, both the teams were ready for the competition.

The game started with the words of encouragement from the principal, PET sir and Dharani. By 2:30pm, all the players, referees, score sheet (25 points) and audiences were ready for the action. The ball was first served by the senior team which got them 3 points in successive serves. Later the junior team opened their account and crossed the score of their opponents.

The match swayed in such a way that no one could guess who will win the match. At last, the senior team won the match with 26 – 24. The junior team fought till the last point but the result was not in their favor. With a small break both teams got ready for the next fight. Again a neck to neck scoring continued till 15 points then a girl from junior teams started to serve and brought 7 points in a row and everyone thought the game turned one sided, but senior teams bounced back when the serve was broken. Finally, the senior team won the second match also and emerged as a title winner.

Principal of the school presented the medals to the runners and  the winners and presented the winner trophy.

The boys came up for a friendly match where PET sir and Dharani also joined each team.  Sreeram and a school faculty joined Dharani’s team. The way Sreeram received the smash by PET sir and the blocking by the student got a good applause from the audience. Later, remaining volunteers also joined the play and had a very good time.

This event is supported by School Management, Sahaya Volunteers and a Team Lead from TCS through vol. Anuradha, who is playing a sponsor role in this event.

I end this post by conveying my heartful thanks to School Management, Anuradha and to all SAHAYA volunteers, who worked for making this event a success.
--Santhosh Kumar