Creating leaders who are self sufficient and will serve the nation – Kriya Sangh Soceity
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give — Winston Churchill
Sheik Nayeem is a man who stands as a testimony to this statement. He along with four of his friends started the “Kriya Sangh Society” in Rasoolpura in 2005. The KSS is an NGO which works towards making the lives of people in the biggest slum in Hyderabad a little better.
Kriya Sangh has been named after two Sanskrit words, “Kriya” meaning to work and “Sangh” meaning a united team. Mr.Sheikh was struck with this idea when he and the people of his slum worked together relentlessly for three months to pursue the municipality to start a borewell which was never put into operation after its construction. That’s when he realized how community problems could be solved if they worked as a team.
The KSS works on four main issues to make a better community. They are
1. Health and Wellness – They have a charitable clinic treating the slum people with a lot of care and love. They also organize various health camps to create awareness about health and its importance.
2. Skills and Livelihood Development – They have opened different skill centres to help people stand on their feet through the training they provide in various courses like beautician, tailoring, computers, spoken English, two wheeler mechanic, electrician, etc.
3. Water and Sanitation – The KSS runs awareness camps on the importance of water and clean surroundings. They have planted more than 2000 trees till now with an 80% success rate. They also work on reducing the use of plastic and promote the use of jute bags.
4. Education – The KSS works with Government schools there to provide better education to all children. In fact, they have recently helped clear a dump yard from one of the Government schools where more than 700+ children study so that they can go to school in a clean environment. They also conduct free tuitions to support the children.
The KSS is organized as an executive committee of 7 members. They are people from the same slum and understand the importance of education and a self sufficient life as it is after a lot of hardships that they have reached so far. They work together with a 14 member core group and over 80 volunteers both from the slum and outside.
The KSS has touched the lives of more than 1200 people so far. They aim to create young leaders through the sustainable model of their organization. Women empowerment has always been one of their main missions and also their biggest challenge. Through counseling, they tackle this challenge of women not being able to learn new skills and helped them to start working to become self-sufficient. They have also started a “Girls Football Team” to engage them in sports and to encourage their parents to think about their education and careers. In the words of Shubam Singhania, a member who joined two months ago, “It will develop team spirit among them and football was chosen specifically to help bring the concept of equality into reality. The courses of beautician, tailoring, and computer each have 30 women. More than 1200 women have already passed out of these courses and have either been placed in companies or have started their own parlor or boutique.
The KSS is currently funded by donations from individuals, mostly friends of the team. They also collaborate with different organizations. They have teamed up with Dharavi, a Mumbai based NGO, for computer training and with Hyderabad Urban Lab for youth engagement programs. However, they are in need for more volunteers both for financial and moral support. Currently, they require 20 upgraded tailoring machines to make their tailoring unit a means of livelihood instead of just being a training centre and also as the 25 machines they already have are now obsolete.
The Kriya Sangh Society aims to create leaders who are self-sufficient and will serve the nation. This is a group which believes that we rise by lifting others and is making this belief a reality.