10 NGOs Rejuvenating Education in India

Children smiling with their books
Education spreads smiles

India has four NGOs for every 1,000 people in the urban areas, and 2.3 NGOs for every 1,000 people in rural areas. The importance and impact of these organization in various spheres are on the rise. The development sector has been given an impetus with the Companies Act 2013 laying down guidelines for Corporate Social Responsibility. Credibility and potency have become essential features in the sector.  

We have curated a list of 10 amazing organizations which are driving change in the education sector.


1.    Make A Difference (MAD)

Students studying at a MAD centre
Students studying at a MAD centre

Ideated by six passionate friends in Kochi, this youth-driven organization registered as a nonprofit in 2006. Currently, the organization works with 3,400 children in 23 cities with the help of an impressive 3,800 strong volunteer base. It strives to ensure that even the most vulnerable children in shelters are able to realize their dreams and break the vicious circle of poverty, through its interventions which Empower Children, Improve the Ecosystem, and Enable the Sector. Volunteers provide educational and mentoring support, and help build the children’s emotional health.   

MAD’s impact has been impressive. 89% of its high school youth who leave shelters are placed with jobs or are enrolled in universities, and 78% of its students received scholarships for tuition and living costs.

You can make a difference here.

2.    Teach for India (TFI)

Shaheen Mistri’s, the founder of TFI, believes that only a people’s movement can ensure children’s quality education. Since 2009, TFI identifies and recruits bright candidates as fellows every year. Fellows commit to teaching low-income schools for two years. They enable the holistic development of students, and also make an impact on the school and community through their initiatives. At the end of two years, fellows are equipped with leadership skills and a deep understanding of the educational system. Today, alumni of the fellowship occupy positions of influence where they have the power to initiate macro level changes.

With a presence in 7 cities where 1,100 fellows are shaping the lives of 38,000 students, TFI is ensuring children receive education and at the same time building dynamic young leaders.

Here is how you can help drive the revolution in education.

3.    Pratham

It was established in 1995 to provide education to children in the slums of Mumbai. Today, it has grown in scope and reach with a focus on high quality, low cost, and replicable interventions which addresses the lapses in the education system. With a mission of ‘Every child in school and learning well,’ the organization has addressed several issues such as learning levels, dropout rates, child rights, and teacher training. Their programs focus on education, vocational training, technology, vulnerable children, and research and advocacy. Notably, it’s research and assessment unit publishes the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), which is the only annual source of data on children’s learning outcome in the country today.   

Know more about Pratham here.

4.    The Akshaya Patra Foundation (TAPF)

Students enjoying Mid day meal supported by Akshaya Patra
Students enjoying Mid day meal supported by Akshaya Patra

Established in 2000 and headquartered in Bengaluru, the organization addresses malnutrition and supports the right to education of disadvantaged children. Working on a public-private partnership model, it provides fresh and nutritious meals to children in government and government-aided schools as an implementing agency of the government’s midday meal schemes. With a vision that no child shall be deprived of education because of hunger, it aims to feed 5 million children by 2025. TAPF focuses on technology to help scale their operations, with its state-of-the-art kitchens receiving worldwide acclaim. Today, TAPF is the world’s largest not for profit run Midday meal programme, serving 1.76 million children in 12 states. On February 11, 2019, it commemorated the serving of 3 billion meals!

You can ensure that the Akshaya Patra is, indeed, never exhausted.

5.    Akanksha Foundation

Students at an Akanksha Foundation School

In 1991, Shaheen Mistri and a few friends set up in a classroom donated at the Holy Name High School in Mumbai. Subsequently, 60 afterschool centers were set up over the next 16 years, with the help of teachers and volunteers, to help 3,000 odd children. The School Project, a collaborative effort of the foundation and the municipal corporations of Mumbai and Pune, began in 2007. Today, it runs 21 schools in the two cities. It works to design strong teams and structures that can ensure progress in Student Achievement, Youth Development, and Community Engagement. It develops excellent educators, empowers teachers with best practices in pedagogy, and ensures stakeholders are held accountable for student growth.

Akanksha Schools and Centers have consistently outperformed other schools in the SSC and HSC examinations in Maharashtra. They have been successful in improving student attendance, student retention, parent participation, and teacher retention.

You can help plug the holes in the system.

6.    Child Rights and You (CRY)

Rippan Kapur and six friends started sCRY with ₹50 and an urge to improve the plight of underprivileged Indian children. CRY acted as a link between people who were willing and able to contribute resources, and organizations at the grassroots which lacked resources. Today, it works with a vision of happy, healthy, and creative children whose rights are protected and honored in a society built on respect for dignity, justice and equity. They are involved in direct action, community mobilization, and stringent planning, monitoring and evaluation. It assists other organizations in domains such as grantmaking, capacity building, and community mobilization. The organization also plays a vital role in advocating for child policies.

You can ensure Children’s Rights are not overlooked.

7.    Bachpan Bachao Andolan

It was founded by the Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi and works towards a child-friendly world where all children are free from exploitation and abuse. It identifies, releases, rehabilitates and educates children in servitude. It achieves this through prevention, direct intervention, coalition building, mass mobilization, and legal action. It helps rescued children reintegrate into society, and guides them in their psychological recovery. It strives to ensure timely justice to victims and enhances abilities, skills, and knowledge of child protection institutions in the country. While it advocates for amendments and new laws for child protection, the organization believes in the strict enforcement of the fundamental rights of children as enshrined in the constitution.

You help Kailash Satyarthi’s mission to educate children by supporting KSCF here.

8.    Deepalaya

The organization has been operational since 1979 and enables the socially and economically marginalized to become self-reliant. It focuses on girl children, street children, and disabled children. The organization believes that the community has to be sensitized for the empowerment, capacity building, and social transformation of the marginalized. The organization currently has more than 35 projects in several states of North India. Their interventions span across education, vocational training, health, institutional care, and women empowerment.

The organization has educated 3,15,859 students in its 2 formal schools and 13 learning centers.

You can help transform a marginalized person into a self-reliant citizen.

9.    Bhumi

One of India’s largest independent and youth volunteer non-profit organizations, Bhumi was founded in 2006 by a passionate group of friends who wanted to change India for the better. Volunteers are involved in educating and mentoring children from orphanages, slums and village community centers. It strives to build an equal and socially conscious society. Ignite is the organization’s supplementary education programme which provides underprivileged children support in English, Mathematics, Science, Computers, Robotics, Mentoring, Arts, Sports, and life skills. Over 10,000 children are benefitting from Ignite.

You can help break the vicious cycle of poverty.

10.   Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS)

KISS was set up in 1992 at Bhubaneshwar to provide basic education to 125 tribal children. Today, the institute has 25,000 indigenous students – including 12,000 girls – who receive holistic education from kindergarten to post-graduation, along with vocational training in a variety of disciples. Its unique pedagogy and curricula ensure zero dropouts. The institute has helped students build confidence and equip them with other life skills. Its students are academically proficient and are renowned for their excellence in sports. Graduates from the institute find employment or enroll for higher education, at par with their peers from mainstream society.

You can help a tribal student in materializing their dreams.

These are just tens of many more such organizations doing incredible work in the field of education. Explore to find an organization that speaks to you. All organizations listed on our platform undergo a due diligence process to ensure your donations are being used to facilitate real change.  

About Jayashankar Vengathattil

Jayashankar spends a lot of his time reading and attempting to write. As a reluctant optimist, he hopes to have a book to his name some day. After the initial bout of awkwardness, he will talk to you about things ranging from mental health to the coolest Excel hacks.
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