Choone Do Aasman – A mission to send 5000 underprivileged children to school by Independence Day

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New Delhi : Smile Foundation, a national level development organization, has pledged to liberate 5000 children from bondage of illiteracy and send them to school through its initiative Choone Do Aasman. Even as India celebrates its 66th Independence Day on August 15, 2013 around 12 million children will still be languishing in the clutches of poverty and deprivation, slipping further into a dark future. Through Choone Do Aasman, Smile Foundation aims to send 5000 children to school by this Independence Day as education holds the promise of ensuring a dignified life for these children.

Choone Do Aasman started in 2009, an initiative of Smile Foundation and supported by NDTV, with objective of enabling children from disadvantaged and difficult circumstances in realizing their dreams. It showcases dreams and aspiration of underprivileged children amidst difficult circumstances from across India.

The core belief behind the initiative is that children should be at the centre stage of development in order to effect a lasting change. Education was recognised as the main tool which could enable children to grow up as empowered individuals who would know about their rights, secure a dignified livelihood, make informed choices, and resist oppression; eventually coming out of the vicious cycle of poverty and suffering.

Since 2009 Choone Do Aasman has not only brought the difficulties as well as dreams of underprivileged children to notice but also sensitized millions privileged citizens to take a step further and contribute to the larger cause of child education.

Speaking about the initiative Mr. Santanu Mishra, Co-Founder and Executive Trustee, Smile Foundation said, “As a young and responsible organisation, we think that the efforts put in only by government as well as development organisations will never suffice to build an educated, poverty free and liberated society. This will happen when members of the civil society come forward and participate proactively in the development process. I would like to use this platform for requesting the privileged section of the society to come forward and support our initiative toward enriching the lives of those who need it the most.”

At Present Smile Foundation has 70 education centres under its Mission education programme across 21 states across India having benefitted more than 200,000 children. Through this initiative with support from NDTV, Smile Foundation aims to address the issues relating to lives of the under privileged children through the power of education, beginning with sending them to school, ensuring regular attendance, sensitizing their parents, equipping them with basic life skills to lead dignified and empowered life.

Besides Mission Education, Smile Foundation is undertaking many other national programmes such as Smile Twin e-Learning Programme, Smile on Wheels, Swabhiman etc.