SKS Chakshu Foundation believes that our strong involvement at the grassroots level and the evolution of our work through the years is better represented by our new name, empowHER India.

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News and Events
News & Events
Xmas party attened by our school children at NCPA on 16th December, 2015
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40 school children of Rakesh Jain Madhyamik Vidyamandir of Std. 8th both boys and girls attended Xmas party organized by Ms. Arti Vakil at NCPA for NGO schools on 16th December, 2015.

The children enjoyed the party of dance, orchestra and magic shows and at the end snacks and gifts from the organizers.

Ms. Arti Vakil, the organizer, praised the children of our school for being very disciplined and said, she is looking forward of our participation in her next Diwali party.
A multi diagnostic medical camp was held at our School – Rakesh Jain Madhyamik Vidyamandir
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A multi diagnostic medical camp was held at our School – Rakesh Jain Madhyamik Vidyamandir on 3rd & 4th December, 2015 under PROJECT KEEP FIT - in association with Rotary Club of Bombay Mid-Town & Saifee Hospital, Mumbai. Medical test conducted – ENT, Dental & Eye check-ups.

Shri Abuzar Zakir, the trustee of Saifee Hospital, organized, arranged & oversaw the medical tests conducted for the students of Std. 5th to 10th along with Dr. Hakimji. The following honorary doctors participated:
Counselling RJMV School Children, Series - Meeting with parents
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On 28th November 2015 Ms Varsha Jain addressed the gathering of 70 parents on career options available to their daughters after S.S.C. and made a presentation on Programs offered at P V Polytechnic. The parents listened to them intently and asked many questions on fees, career, admissions, and so on. They also felt overwhelmed that such options were available and were grateful that this information was shared with them. Some parents also asked why these options were not available for boys.

The Principal of School and many other teachers as well as Shri L G Patil, Sanstha Member were also present. Shri Patil was very happy that such initiative was taken and hoped that these efforts will be continued.

Ms. Jain informed the parents that once the schedule of Admission and notice is published by DTE in 2016, she will send the copy to the school principal and the same be put up on the school notice board. Ms Jain promised to help the interested students in admission procedure at PVP Admission Centre.
RJMV Students visit to PVP
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50 students of class 8th, 9th and 10th from RJVM school, Shivkar, Panvel,visited P.V. Polytechnic to learn about various career options available after S.S.C. They were accompanied by 2 teachers, Shri. Wakadikar Sir and Shri. Bhagat Sir. The students were welcomed by Ms. Varsha Jain and various Department Heads, who introduced the career options to them.

Then the students visited each department along with Ms. Asawari Arote and Ms. Madhura Nene where they saw the practicals being carried out by students. Later, the principal sir addressed the students and motivated them to dream for their future and inculcate the habit of reading. On behalf of PVP Ms. Varsha Jain presented books for the Library at RJVM School and requested the students to borrow it from the library and read them. All the students from RJVM looked very happy and said they would like to enrol for the programs offered by PVP!
Career Talk at R.J.M.V. School, Panvel on 26, September 2015
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Ms. Varsha Jain addressed on "Career Courses and choices after school" to about 50 students of class 9th and 10th of R.J.M.V. School, Panvel on 26,September 2015
E-Learning Program introduced at Shivkar School
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Rakesh Jain Madhyamik Vidyamandir at Shivkar recently introduced an e-learning programme for its students. Known as Kompkim, the programme covers the syllabuses from standards 1 to 10 in both Marathi and English, and comes with a back-up support of three years.

Designed and developed by SumConcepts Technologies, the programme was sponsored by Fuchs Lubricants (India), with a contribution of Rs.1,31,000, to install a single unit in the students’ hall for group teaching and an additional 10 units installed in the desktops of the students’ computer room for self-learning and revisions. The cost includes one projector and one desktop for projecting the program in the students’ hall.

The e-learning programme was inaugurated by Mr Kersi Hilloo, member of the Rotary Club of Bombay Mid-town, on November18, 2014.

While addressing the students and teachers of the school, Mr Hilloo emphasised on the fundamental human right to education and its importance in achieving economic growth, increasing income and sustaining a healthy society. He lauded the efforts of the school Principal and teaching staff for achieving 96% passing rate in SSC last year and for winning laurels at the Inter-School Athletic Meet held at Priyadharshini Park last year.

He also acknowledged the efforts put in by the SKS Chakshu Foundation in taking the school to newer heights and making it one of the most successful schools in the rural areas of Panvel.

He assured that Chakshu Foundation; supported by Fuchs Lubricants, the Rotary Club of Bombay Mid-Town and other patrons; will continue to sustain the e-learning program as much as possible so that the rural youth can gain more knowledge, improve skills and foster a positive attitude.
Innerwheel Club of Bombay visit SHG Centre
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Members of the Innerwheel Club of Mumbai visited the Self Help Group (SHG) Centre of SKS Chakshu Foundation at Nere in Panvel on November 17, 2014.

They made a generous contribution of Rs 40,000 towards the program of Income Generation Activities run under SHG Federation. The amount will be distributed among four women, with Rs.10,000 each, for the purpose of starting small businesses. The financial assistance will be interest free and for a period of 18 months.

The Innerwheel Club of Mumbai has sponsored interest-free micro-finance of up to Rs.1,10,000 to the SHG Federation over the years, and continue to support the Organisation.
Rotarians Visit at RJMV School
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On February 11 we went to Nere village and its environs to visit the projects championed by Rtn Nirbhay Jain and his wife, R/Ann Urmila through their SKS Chaksu Foundation ( The group consisted of James, myself and our Swiss guest, Diana Moog, Rtn Sucharita Hegde, Rtn Rajendra Mane and his wife, R/Ann Sheila. We stopped first at the ophthalmic centre where cataracts and other eye ailments are handled free specifically through the support of the Rotary Mid-Town.

Our next halt was the training centre for the women’s self help group. We were received with warmth and treated to delicious rice rotis, accompanied by chutney and baingan that they had prepared. Rajendra asked the women what it was that motivated them to join the self-help groups. It was an open discussion with many questions and much back and forth. We learnt that the women feel empowered. Instead of wasting time, they are able to use their skills to make money and add to the family’s coffers. They have become entrepreneurs who produce and sell handicrafts, rotis, papads, chilli powder and more to make money for the project and themselves. While we chatted, Nirbhayji also filled us in on the history and structuring of the organisation. Sucharita put out an impassioned plea to reduce plastic consumption, and to stick to healthy fresh local food rather than factory produced packaged foods with little nutritional value.

After that wonderful experience, we moved to the Rakesh Jain Secondary School where vocational skills are taught. Imagine our pleasure when we were received by children lining the entrance welcoming us with a lazim performance. It was delightful. The school has a charm and spirit that is inspiring. The children demonstrated a range of skills from surveying, sample testing, and grafting, to workshop and electrical work. The students were represented both by girls and boys in all activities, a gender equality the Principal pointed out is a critical aspect of their programme. It was impressive to see how relevant the skills they learn are to their lives and those of their families.

It was an added bonus of fellowship and sharing that we joined the Inner Wheel and cheered in their ceremony of prize giving. In a fine moment of joint philanthropy, cheques were donated from the two organisations respectively by Jyothika Premnarayen and James. Monetary gifts were awarded by the President to teachers and administrators whose contribution to the school has been significant in the past year. The Rotary and Inner Wheel were joined on stage by local authorities.

James’ address to the 6th standard students was translated and enriched by Rajender. The children were excited to learn that James went to school in America. He asked the children whether any of them had been to Mumbai. Only a few have. When asked what impressed them about Mumbai, there was no answer until one voice said, seeing a plane. It was moving to recognise how fulfilling their lives are without the impingement of the city, which is so close, and yet so distant. It raises a conflict– is it better to stay unspoilt and isolated, or to have exposure to a world outside and make informed choices. James did promise to arrange a trip for the students to visit Mumbai – a conversation with our friends at the American School of Mumbai has already begun in this regard.

We ended this beautiful trip with a lunch organised by Urmila and Nirbhay Jain at their lovely farm for the Rotary and the Inner Wheel. The food was fine and the ambience was one of fellowship and warmth. Our thanks to them both, and to all those present.

It is a remarkable thing to stand in a class full of children with their open and shining faces. The eagerness and anticipation with which they view the world is truly a gift to see. Through our time at the Rotary, I have had that experience a few times. Each time has been a privilege. Each time has been humbling. I am grateful, and I suspect those Rotarians who have had the experience are too.
School Annual Day 2014
The annual day of the Rakesh Jain Secondary School in Shivkar was held on January 11, at the school’s new Krishna Sports Complex. The event is held every year to highlight the sports and cultural achievements of the students. It is also an opportunity for the children to display their talent.

This year the festivities included a parade, where the students marched to the tune of the school band. It was a first for the boys and girls, and the sports teacher did a wonderful job of training them. The other children, seated in the shade of the trees, enjoyed every moment of the march-past.

The sports activities included malkhamb, kabaddi, kho-kho, basket ball, tug-of-war, skipping, langadi, and 200 mtrs relay race. A ‘skipping endurance test’ was held for the first time, and the children performed remarkably well. The visitors and guests for the evening enjoyed the event and showed their appreciation by wholeheartedly applauding the performances of the children.

Prizes were distributed to the winning students and teachers. It was also announced that the School had achieved 98% result in the SSC examination, a truly encouraging feat. Gifts were also given to 20 students who were selected through a lucky draw, and the bumper prize -- a sponsored Bicycle – was won by a Standard VIth student. The eventful evening came to an end with the cultural program staged by the kindergarten students.
NGO Sports Meet at the Priyadarshini Park on 3rd March 2014
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Senior students of the Rakesh Jain Secondary School in Shivkar represented the Chakshu Foundation in a recently held NGOs sports meet. The event was organised by the Concern India Foundation for schools run by NGOs. Held at the Priyadarshini Park on March 2, the event saw 25 NGOs participating for the first time.

It was a morale boosting event for our children, who were competing with other schools for the first time. Our School won 8 medals - 3 gold 2 silver 3 bronze -- in different events. Considering it was their first time ever in an inter-school event, it was a great achievement for the children. The competitive exposure gave them confidence and a will to excel.
Students of J.B. Petit School visit Shri Rakesh Jain School at Shivkar
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Students of the J.B. Petit High School for Girls from Mumbai, visited the Rakesh Jain School in Shivkar, Panvel. It was a part of a programme where the school hopes to foster interaction between their students and students from other schools, in and around Bombay and Panvel.

The idea is to encourage healthy interaction among the students, to exchange ideas, have fun together, and build friendships. This intermingling would also sensitize the students towards different attitudes and problems of students belonging to different strata of society.

The visiting students had a wonderful time and the students of the hosting school, though initially shy, opened to a great interactive day. Notwithstanding the language barrier, all participated in skits, games and dancing with equal fervour.
Jaankar meetings boost women’s confidence
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Our Foundation is pleased to inform that the jaankar training provided by us to help women efficiently manage their SHGs has been dedicatedly followed up by regular meetings by the women. Up to 30 women meet every month to discuss and solve problems faced by them. The jaankars also interact with government officials every month to solve issues for which they need Government assistance. This also helps bridge the gap between the SHGs and the external support structure provided for them.

The Foundation had recently organized a visit to the Adivasi School for the Handicapped at Chipale for the jaankars. Around 25 jaankars visited the school and interacted with the differently-abled students and their teachers, and played games with them. They also met the parents of the students to understand the problems they face.

These activities help the women become more self-reliant and boost their self-confidence. By encouraging them to meet regularly we also hope to foster a sense of unity and camaraderie among the women.
Solar lamp distribution
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It has been the Foundation’s earnest endeavour to improve, uplift and empower the lives of the rural people in every way it can. While enlightenment through education and self-reliance are high on our list of efforts, we also try to brighten up the lives of the villagers by providing them with alternate means of power. In most areas where electricity supply is erratic, we undertake distribution of solar lamps. These lamps are either provided at highly subsidised rates or distributed free of charge.

Recently, around 200 lamps were donated to tribalwomen from remote rural areas. You too can make a difference to the lives of the less fortunate by sponsoring solar lamps. For details, click on How You can Help section.
Sewing and beauty parlour training
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As a part of its self-reliance training, the Foundation last year organised sewing classes and beauty parlour training for women. The sewing classes were held in Sangtoli, where over 15 women attended the class over a period of four months. The beauty training was held over two batches to interest women in starting their own parlour set-up.
These training sessions were aimed at enabling women to be independent and supplement their family income. Towards this endeavour, we approached the government to provide sewing machines at subsidized rates. Consequently, 10 machines were provided and distributed to these women, who now earn Rs. 200-300 per day using the skills they learnt.
Loans at nominal interest rates were also provided to women under the income generation activity, to help them set up small businesses.
Health awareness and Motivation Program
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A health check-up and education session was organized by the Foundation earlier this year at our Nere office. This event was held in collaboration with the Maharashtra Samajik Vikas Trust and was attended by around 50 women. The event’s goal was to tackle social, legal and physical problems that the women might face. A street play was performed to highlight discrimination against women and how to avoid it. The women were made aware of various Government schemes that support women’s causes.

The height, weight and hemoglobin of all the women were checked and appropriate advice given. Finally the women were informed about serious and pertinent diseases such as Breast Cancer and HIV/AIDS.
Garden Work and Sports Ground
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Our Foundation is pleased to announce the completion of two very exciting projects for the secondary school. One is the creation of a garden and the other a sports ground for the school students.
The garden created behind the school is the perfect setting for a recreational area for the children. It provides an open area for children to read, study, as well as play. The space is large enough to allow small groups of students to interact with each other or even accommodate the entire student body for an assembly.

The sports ground has been constructed on an acre of land just outside the school premises. The ground provides the much need space for recreational and athletic activities that are integral to the overall schooling experience we desire to provide.

The dedicated sports area includes a 200m running track. The students can also play volleyball, basketball and kabbadi among other games. An area has been marked for activities like malkhamb (a Indian gymnastic activity performed on a pole), gymnastics and yoga.
Sri Lankan Rotarians’ visit to the villages
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As an organisation that encourages social service that works toward uplifting the rural areas, our Foundation regularly organises visits for social groups and patrons to experience and understand the plight of the villagers.

During one such visit, Rotarians from Sri Lanka were taken on a tour of the Rakesh Jain Secondary School earlier this year. They saw the activities of the school and were very appreciative of our IBT Programme which is based on industrial / technical training.

A group of MBA students from Texas University also visited the school and interacted with the students, chatting and dancing with them! The group was most excited by the malkhamb demonstration by the students.
Students go on an Education Tour
An exciting educational tour to Verul, Aurangabad and Paithan was organized by our Foundation for the students of the Rakesh Jain Secondary School last year. It was an exhilarating experience for the students to travel to different places with their classmates.

Two ST buses were arranged to carry 80 students and 10 teachers through the trip. The students went sight-seeing to places like Nath Sagar Dam and Dyneswara Garden; and also visited places of historic importance like Bibi Ka Makbara, Dewgiri Fort and Verul Caves.
Spoken English workshop for teachers
Teacher training programme of spoken English was held by the Kotak Education Foundation early this year. Mr Kudalkar conducted the programme that aimed at helping the teachers improve their English vocabulary and understanding of grammar. Around 11 teachers participated in this training.