Page 1


This quarter, IA started its operations in Indore. It has the maximum no. of reserved seats under Section 12.1.c of the RTE Act (~41,000) in MP, against which the government received only ~20,000 applications. There is no civil society organization in the city which is working exclusively on this issue.

Indus Action - Indore is helping potential beneficiaries spread awareness about the documents preparation. We are sure about having a significant impact in Indore, this admission cycle.

“We sought the support from many legislators (MLAs, councilors), local administrators and some NGO’s. It was encouraging that many people are aware about the provision even though admissions are lacking. Mostly, people do not have the necessary documents and the process of obtaining them is cumbersome. The information dissemination about online registration timelines from the government is very poor.�


Our Partner Entrepreneur in Lucknow, Saleem is also the founder of Saaras Foundation. He is all set to empower the lives of disadvantaged families. This year, Saaras Foundation plans to reach out to 50,000 beneficiaries, of which they have already reached out to 20,000 beneficiaries. They run a free missed call helpline to support beneficiaries in Uttar Pradesh. They’ve conducted various on-ground awareness campaigns in low income communities through autos, pamphlet distribution, community visits, radio shows etc. They have trained 500 Anganwadi workers and around 100 volunteers for information dissemination and to spread awareness among the community members. They have collaborated with 5 different organizations to scale impact. They also have structures in place for addressing grievances of beneficiaries and running application. They have operations in Kanpur, Varanasi and Lucknow and are also supporting Moradabad, Mau, Lalitpur, Balia, Azamgarh through partner organizations.


Mayur, our Policy Turk in Ahmedabad has been working over the past two months to build a solid foundation by advising the government on key aspects of the policy like eligibility criteria, neighborhood criteria, managing program mis-targeting and ensuring that students can reapply from last year. Also, we are consulting them on the use of technology (MIS and relevant framework for application forms). We have trained and built capacity for almost 400 officials manning Receiving Centers (Application centers) across Gujarat. We are not only running our own helpline number in the state but also actively manning the government helpline number as well.

Over the next few months, we will compile a list of issues in the current version of the state MIS and roll out comprehensive web and mobile based apps for better implementation. We would also work with the government on increasing the scope of the MIS for tracking school allocation of funds, parent grievance redressal systems and broadly ensure the maximum impact for beneficiaries. Geographically, we would also expand to 6 other Mahanagar Palikas, increase awareness of the right among beneficiaries along with increasing the scope to empower parents though formation of Parent Associations. Overall, our MIS intervention would impact close to 1 lakh seats in the state.

Ramesh & Devika

Ramesh, our Policy Turk in Bangalore plans to admit 3,000 children in private schools. This is being executed through the missed call helpline and through partnership with various NGOs and other interested stakeholders. The eligible parents are identified through calls and supported to file applications through a nearby application center. 38 application centers have been made available to parents through partners and also by setting up centers in cooperation with like minded individuals and organizations. The key organizations and individuals are Swabhiman Foundation, Bhumi, RTE Stupa, Lifeline Foundation, Social worker Afzal from Djhalli amongst other supporters.


Indus Action started its operations in Uttarakhand in January, on the basis of a MoU we signed with the state education department in September last year. As per the MoU, Indus Action was given four districts of the state to start operations – Dehradun, Haridwar, Chamoli and Bageshwar. A central theme of the Uttarakhand project is moving the admission process online (as done in previous years), so a good portion of our efforts have gone towards achieving this transition smoothly. We understood the requirements of the MIS in accordance with the functionalities that existed last year, the state interpretations of RTE 12(1)(c) clauses and by talking to various stakeholders in the government who will be users and owners of the system.

We did capacity building sessions at each of the four districts for education department officials, followed by school workshops and demos at block level for all blocks in Dehradun & Haridwar. On a parallel front, we have had long conversations with state NIC/CSC with an aim to integrate the RTE seat application form into the Common Services Centre (Jan Suvidha Kendra) network. We have also talked with local NGOs to use their network for our campaign – we have two partnerships on hand and are working on others.

Our close partnership with the government and us being seen as a trusted partner has created an opportunity to learn about how education policy implementation on ground works; it has led to the realization that improving government delivery of education policy is a very effective and sustainable way to provide people benefit under RTE 12(1)(c). At the same time, due to non-payment of previous years reimbursement to private schools and the resultant government detachment has made us realize how detrimental government apathy can be to achieve benefit for a beneficiary. Talking to local NGOs and people who work with beneficiaries has reinforced our belief in the ability of 12(1)(c) in breaking the segregated school barriers and providing a democratic choice of quality schooling to people who can’t afford the same. To close, we will also add a note about schools we have interacted with in the past few weeks. Except for a few top ranked institutions, most of the private schools are budget schools with ordinary infrastructure, nevertheless, they still strive to provide quality education within their means – RTE 12(1)(c) is a provision they welcome as a source of admissions and reimbursements. These schools are ready and open to working with the government; clear consistent policy guidelines and timely disbursement of reimbursement will make it easier for these schools to act as agents of constructive implementation of RTE 12(1)(c).


Indus Action Chennai started with meeting the State Government seeking collaboration in the form of a MoU which was turned down as the government was keen on filling up government schools seats rather than private schools. This was because they felt the government is burdened by the cost of reimbursements to private schools under RTE and at the same time spend money on government schools. Till now there has been no clear verdict from the State Government on the same. In spite of this cold shoulder from the State Government and Civil Society, we have been actively campaigning for admission of children from Disadvantaged and Economically Weaker Sections in Private Unaided Schools. The planned objective is to reach out to the nook and corner of this great metropolis. We’re aware the demographic spread of Chennai and it’s suburbs is quite large and are up for the challenge.

We began this journey seeking partnership with NGO/SHG’s, Social Work Institutes and a few Corporates but till date haven't had much success other than a few which are still evolving i.e. RGNIYD, Gold Heart Foundation, Team Everest. With support staff and volunteers, we have been working on pamphlet distribution and tele-callers doing the rounds of calling to ascertain the number of eligible children. This is primarily done from our database as our missed call numbers had been quite low. In fact, some of our volunteers in some areas had to face resistance from people. The overall impact seems to be quite good keeping in mind the State Government offers many freebies in their schools, hence, parents/guardians are skeptical of how the free private school education option would suit them and their children. The hit rate of eligible families/children till now is a good indicator of the above as we are still trying to apply resources to maximize outreach to beneficiaries.


This quarter, we have signed an MoU with the Directorate of Primary Education, Maharashtra for effective implementation of Section 12(1)(c) of the Right to Education Act starting groundwork with the districts of Thane, Mumbai & Pune. Collectively these three districts have more than 41,000 seats. We worked with the government by providing policy level suggestions on neighborhood criteria & distance calculations and also rectifying issues that came up last year. We run 17 application centers across the 3 districts and also actively campaign in low income communities.

We also reached out to a lot of families by training Anganwadi workers and running a missed call helpline. We have reached out to more than 4,000 families in just 2 months. Our helpline supported more than 6,000 families whose children got selected in the 1st round of lottery by informing them & advising them on next steps.

We made a video on how to fill online school forms & guide viewers on students application registration steps. We also trained 100 volunteers and team members from different organization to support beneficiaries. It is noteworthy that the honorable minister for education in Maharashtra, Mr. Vinod Tawde, inaugurated our campaign, ‘Project Eklavya’ this year in January.


Sanmat, a partner organisation to Indus Action started the 100 day campaign in Patna with a target of enrolling 10,000 students into different private schools of the district and approx. a 1,000 in other districts of Bihar. We focused on ground campaigning and started with the mission of directly reaching out to as many beneficiaries as possible, located in 8 low-income pockets of Patna Mandiri, Yarpur, Lohanipur, Rukunpura, Rajapul, Gosai tola, Khusrupur and Gardanibagh areas. 40 volunteers from institutions like IIBM and others are engaged day and night in running the campaign.

The nature & timing of the campaign keeps changing, depending upon availability of the community members; thus, the morning campaign starts at 6 am and the evening at 9 pm. Since, there is no single window system in Bihar under RTE Sec. 12(1)(c), additional responsibility of creating an ecosystem by engaging with all the stakeholders viz. the government, private school association and community etc. is being tried out by us.

An alliance for RTE in Bihar is also being constituted and as of now we have networked with more than 100 organizations. Sanmat has also roped in more than 12 organizations in Patna for the campaign and is moving towards reaching the target. Till date, we have mobilized more than 3,000 students for admissions into private schools and are working on completing the required documents.

We are in the second phase of the four outlined phases: 1) Awareness & mobilization 2) Documentation & application for admission 3) School readiness and 4) Post-admission tracking. We were able to engage Vikas Mitra’s, Anganwadi workers and ward councilors in the campaign who helped us mobilize students and run helpdesks in the communities. We also engaged senior citizens and home makers in the campaign. Rastriya Jan Shiksha Sangharsh Samiti, BSEA, TRY, Rang, Pranjali, Our dreams, Sab Samaan, Pard, VCET, Satkarm, Samriddh Bihar are some of our key associates. We also met the association of private schools and a new association is also about to be constituted in the coming days. Our volunteer march, “Mahaabhiyan” has generated buzz and has been instrumental in getting encouragement and support from other CBOs, auto unions and senior citizen groups. We are in the process of identifying places in communities to run our school readiness workshop to catalyze inclusion with other kids. As of the challenges faced, we received less support from the government, outright refusal and hostile behavior from private schools and were faced with a sudden call to stop campaigning from a state minister, which we dealt with gracefully.

We had several open discussions with the District Magistrate of Patna and the District Education Officer on the motive behind running the campaign. In principal, they have shown solidarity for the cause as of now and have agreed to most of our proposals on providing support for calling a meeting of private schools and a single day lottery based admission process.

Currently, the IA tech team is working on the following tech stack: Government Centered Technology Solutions This technology stack consists of a fully integrated Management Information System (MIS) for the Government Officials to manage the schools and families, in implementation of RTE Sec 12(1)(c). Specifically, the solution enables the government officials: 1. To start/stop the admission process. 2. To visualize and monitor the information pertaining to the schools under the act. 3. To implement custom lottery logic, in assignment of the registered students, to the registered schools. 4. To track the reimbursement, to minute detail of the child.

School Centered Technology Solution The technology solution allows for the schools to become an integrated part of the process. The solution enables the schools to: 1. Register their information and seat availability for the said section 2. Monitor the allotment of their school to the students 3. Monitor and track the reimbursements being sent to the school(s) for the allotted students Citizen/Family Centered Technology Solution The technology solution allows the citizen(s)/families to become an integral part of this policy implementation and access its provisions. The system provides for the following: 1. Parent(s)/Guardian(s) can register their child into the system. 2. Parent(s)/Guardian(s) can check their eligibility to access the scheme. 3. Parent(s)/Guardian(s) can track the status of their application and the corresponding school allocation.

Calling campaign specific technology solution The Campaign Management System is currently in the development phase, with its requirements being calculated with the operations team and a strong mobile build being prioritized. As a product, it will allow the following information: • Call and record beneficiary information and track their progress through various stages • Manage different types of volunteer campaign, with integration with ICT

We are glad to announce that CISCO has come on-board as a major funder for the year 2018-2019. They will not only partner in our efforts by funding some of our technology products (MIS systems, Citizen app, etc.) but also help us start conversations with state governments, brainstorm on our technology vision, etc. We are eager to leverage CISCO’s expertise in all of these areas and design high-impact and systemic interventions this year!

This quarter was all about fulfilling the promises and expectations made by Shiksha Sahyogis. It was a time when we and others were able to to witness the power of women in the urban villages of Delhi. It was a time when we came across various stories where Shiksha Sahyogis, were empowered to help thousand of families around them. It was a time when the Indus Action team was eager to witness if the social business model for Shiksha Sahyogi is going to be a success? Results, outcomes, highlights‌ 100 day campaign 13 locations 140 Shiksha Sahyogis registered. 120 retained by the end of the campaign 60,000 families supported (with phone and ground survey) 1.8 Lakh calls made to identify and support eligible families 2,000 direct applications support 2 Lakh revenue generated from application support (contribution by families )

Womens Day was just around the corner when the “Shiksha Sahyogi Jalsa� was organized: 6th March 2018. The day was marked to celebrate Shiksha Sahyogis initiatives, achievements and acknowledge their efforts. Other partners and stakeholders: Families of Shiksha Sahyogis PVR Nest Bal Umang Drishya Sansthan (BUDS) Pratham Association of Women and Children Education Charitable Trust (AWCECT) Indus Action and the Shiksha Sahyogi also had an chance to share their work and experiences with Jamia Community Radio & Apna Radio 96.9 FM (IIMC, JNU)

The last three months saw an exciting run-up to the pilot of the School Readiness Programme (SRP). Our Shiksha Sahyogis used the Application Desks in their respective communities to assess the school readiness levels of 3 to 7 year old children in the presence of their parents.

The following are the key outcomes of the massive initiative: 1. 1000+ children were assessed across 13 communities in Delhi 2. 75% children were found to be NOT School Ready 3. 240 children were registered for the School Readiness Programme 4. 27 Shiksha Sahyogis were trained in using the School Readiness Kit and applying principles of Active Coaching for adult training. 5. The curriculum focuses on 4 parental habits - "Look", "Follow", "Ask Why" and "What and Why of Feelings" - and 4 areas of Child Development - a) Pre-literacy Skills b) Prenumeracy Skills c) Creative Development d) Socioemotional Learning 6. 8 SRP centers have been set-up across Delhi so far. 7. Mother-child pairs will be visiting the SRP centers in their respective communities, twice a week, to be coached on using the School Readiness Kit and building parent habits for enduring learning. It is an exciting yet challenging way forward. We hope to learn and iterate rapidly in order to crack the code for scale and sustainability.

The last quarter has been very upbeat on the government engagement front across different states. The highlight has been the official sign-off on the state level MoU with the Directorate of Primary Education in Maharashtra. The Education Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Vinod Tawde launched our campaign this year with our Partner Organisation Tapasya Pratishthan sounding the bugle for awareness drives. In addition, campaigns were officially launched in Chhattisgarh by the Director, Department of Public Instruction and supported in Bihar by the Cabinet Minister for Road Shri Nand Kishore Yadav. We also met and apprised Secretary, Education Shri Anil Swarup during the conclave organised in Uttarakhand for NGOs on the progress of the work and the impediments that need to be resolved for effective implementation of Section 12(1)(c) of the Right to Education Act, 2009. The Secretary, Education asked the state officials to adopt our system and provide a government face to it. In Uttarakhand, we have a state level MoU with the government as well.

At the State level, we have had very engaging meetings with the Principal Secretaries of Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, with the additional Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh and with the Deputy Secretary of Maharashtra. In Gujarat, we are officially supporting the government in addressing systemic issues as well in answering queries of beneficiary families who reach out to the government helpline. Additionally, we will be providing capacity building for officials across the State for them to support the beneficiary families better during the application cycle. In Chhattisgarh, we have developed the product designs of the Online MIS systems for the government to implement. In Maharashtra, we worked with the government in dynamically resolving the issues which came up in the application portal. We have, across different states, actively engaged local officials, legislators and corporators in driving awareness around the right of children from socio economically disadvantaged families to access quality education.

We have in the last quarter also collaborated with lawmakers in asking data specific questions to ascertain the status of implementation of this provision in the Parliament. Both in the winter session and the ongoing budget session, questions drafted and championed by Indus Action were asked by lawmakers in the Parliament and the answers were provide by The Ministry of Human Resource Development. We have continued our partnership with the Delhi Commission for the Protection of Child Rights in conducting research on this provision aimed at identifying the pressing challenges that hamper its implementation in letter and spirit. Indus Action is also providing support to the Women and Child Development Department, Delhi in the formation of Anganwadi Samitis.

Round table by CCS The Centre for Civil Society organised a round table on ‘Separation of Roles in Education’, for which Indus Action was invited. The roundtable had representations from the government and the civil society with Secretary, Education, former Chief Secretary of Delhi and Member of the Delhi Commission for the Protection of Child Rights, among others as some of the participants. Indus Action in its contributing remarks brought to the fore the absence of a streamlined framework of disbursements under Section 12(1)(c) at different levels. On account of this intervention, the need to set up streamlined processes was acknowledged by Secretary, Education. The lack of reimbursements is one of the foremost challenges that this provision faces. Indus Action will follow through in working with both MHRD and State Governments, especially the ones in which Indus Action has an official MoU partnership with the government as well as with the civil society to design and implement a disbursement framework for reimbursements under Section 12(1)(c) of the RTE Act.

E&Y Foundation – has been supporting us since 2016 and provided active inputs to all our strategic plans. DRK Foundation - has been supporting us from 2017 with coaching and active exposure to their international network of partners. CISCO - has pledged to support us this year on our technology interventions across UP, Gujarat and Maharashtra. Their experience in working with various governments and usage of technology is going to help us scale and deliver better quality rapidly this year. BARCO - Our first corporate and consistent supporter since 2014, their catalytic investment has helped us grow by 300x in the last 4 years TAP India Foundation - Our longest standing advisor and champion from 2014, they provided critical governance and funding support in the incubation years Parthenon - Has been the latest addition to our family and we are very grateful to the support they have offered us to scale up impact of our work

IA Newsletter | Q4 2018  
IA Newsletter | Q4 2018