Stellar Foundation was set up in 2006 with the primary objective of providing education & training to primary school children. The foundation is Stellar’s first step towards formalizing its philanthropic efforts & providing an umbrella for all social development activities undertaken by Stellar & its employees.
Internal to Stellar
The first step in recognition of Stellar’s social responsibility started in-house in a small way by sponsoring the education and vocational training of employees from an underprivileged background, who otherwise would not have been able to finance the same for themselves. In the last 5 years, the company has sponsored two such individuals by providing them basic skills training and subsequently has provided in-house employment along with on-the-job training. Both employees today have transferable administrative and IT skills. Some of the other initiatives include regular coaching classes by an external faculty for improving the computer literacy and English language of the Blue collared staff at Stellar as well as all domestic help of Stellar employees.
External to Stellar
On the larger canvas, Stellar has focused its charity efforts to include quick response to natural disasters as well as education of underprivileged children. In fact we were one of the first organizations to respond to the Red Cross, in aid of the Tsunami victims and have been involved with similar causes in the past. On the developmental front, Shailja has been sponsoring the education of a number of children.
Located in Delhi West, Sanskriti was setup 6 yrs ago by Ms. Aruna Sharma. It caters primarily to the needs of the girl child and looks into the various aspects of their education, health & hygiene as well as an all-round development of every individual.
Before establishing Sanskriti, Aruna was actively involved in a social project as a coordinator with a community centre which addressed the situation of children on the platforms in the Delhi Railway Stations. Her intense involvement with them made her realize that these children were being abused both physically and mentally and were not secure in those surroundings. Wanting to safeguard the interests of these girls, Aruna set up Sanskriti which operates out of her residential premises. She has converted two floors of her house into a home for these children and most of her endeavors have been financed by her supportive family.
At present there are 29 inmates within the age group of 4 to 17 years. They include children of sex workers and drug addicts who have either been abandoned or whose parents’ have been unable to provide a healthy and secure environment to them. Aruna, through Sanskriti, provides these children with education and vocational training (all the children go to public schools) and takes care of their basic needs including health and hygiene. However, due to a financial constraint, she has been unable to increase the number of girls at Sanskriti and set up a foundation for them.
Stellar saw within Sanskriti, an opportunity to contribute immensely, and has set up a formal trust, to channel efforts towards this cause. In fact, we were highly impressed with Aruna’s focus and altruism in bringing up these girls. To begin this association, the entire team at Stellar celebrated the festival of Diwali in 2005 with the children at Sanskriti and gifted them blankets and sweets.
Going forward, Stellar decided to focus on the following aspects which are absolutely essential for the growth of these children:
- Health & Hygiene – We began our association by concentrating on the medical aspect. Stellar made arrangements to set up medical camps (with contribution from our clients) for providing necessary medical help for the well-being of these children. This includes annual health packages as well as availability of proper first aid facilities.
Stellar has also taken the responsibility of treating critical illnesses like Hepatitis B and Tuberculosis to promote an overall healthy environment at Sanskriti. Our efforts include the provision of basic facilities like water purifiers, carpets, blankets etc.
- Education – Each individual at Stellar is passionate about making the children at Sanskriti self-sufficient. To ensure this, we have allocated days to the members of the team who go and teach English, Science and Math, subjects with which these children need maximum assistance. Stellar arranges to make available books, stationery, school uniforms for ensuring that the above objectives are met. We have installed power backup to ensure the children have no constraints in continuing their studies.
With the ultimate goal of ensuring that these children have better grades and are more confident, we spend time with them on both educational as well as co-curricular activities, counseling them on all matters related to Health & Hygiene, elements of relationships and friendship.
Hasmukh Kala with Growth for All
Savda Ghevra is a massive re-settlement colony for slum dwellers shifted from rest of Delhi. Currently, around 3000 families live there, but this 259 acres area will eventually house over 21,000 families. Hasty, unplanned shift has led to plethora of problems for this poor population.
Shailja has been part of “Hasmukh Kala” with Growth For All (Srikant Sastri, Social Innovator) has been working (with the Delhi Government, Chief Minister’s office) to address livelihood, health, education and cultural issues.
“Hasmukh Kala” program launched at Savda Ghevra brings dance and music to the lives of 50+ children. Music & dance takes over these children on weekend afternoon as they learn intently from their “guruji”. Hemu Javeri, the brain behind Hasmukh Kala and friend Shailja first visited Savda Ghevra a few months ago. They quickly gave shape to the “Hasmukh Kala” program, identified the right teacher and got started.
It is immensely gratifying to have committed people step in and complement this movement with their thoughts and vision.