Our Story

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Our Story

Milaan was started by four passionate students from the University of Delhi with objective of promoting access to quality education in rural spaces.

The first classroom at SLRC - Oct 2007Registered in 2007, in the years since Milaan has reached out to more than 10,000 children and young people through various educational initiatives, life-skills training, employability training, youth empowerment programs, and campaigns.

The seeds of Milaan’s core philosophy lie in the experiences and learnings from the India Fellowship Program. The main objective of the Fellowship is to allow educated youth from urban areas to spend time in rural areas with no defined goals and to experience life in a rural setting while looking for ways to contribute.

The experience brought into sharp focus the fact that there is a major development gap between the children in rural areas and urban areas. This, in turn, makes it very difficult for them to access the kind of opportunities that would allow them to move ahead in life. The evidence before us led us to question the basic reason behind this huge discrepancy. It is here that the value of education became self-evident.

Inception: In 2007 we collaborated with Smile Foundation as a training partner for the Twin eLearning Program with 5 centers accross Delhi, soon growing to form a team of 56 volunteers in association with the program. 

 

The earliest classes

The Swabhiman Program targeted girls who had dropped out of school after class 5th, and was designed to bring them back to school and assist them to clear class 10th exams, free of cost.

In 2010, realizing that undernourishment was rampant in the area and that a hungry child cannot be expected to pay attention in class, a midday meal was added as a regular part of the school day. 

 

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As 2012 rolled around, the completion of 5 years of Milaan’s work was celebrated with a series of creatively planned events advocating the concept of the 5th space, a fresh perspective on youth development work developed by Pravah. The tenets of 5th space were adopted as a core part of Milaan’s work internally and with the youth.

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In 2014 the construction work at the school added 7 new classrooms, two 1000 Sq. foot rooms, a lab, a library, and much needed toilet facilities. Swabhiman gained 4 partners and 4 new centers that became operational in July 2014.

In 2008, starting from 10 children and one teacher, operating from a small hovel, the Swarachna Learning and Resource Centre grew to 65 children and 3 teachers in a matter of three months. By the end of the year there were 156 students. 

 

2011 the first computers were introduced to the school and the start of computer classes for the students. Several more rooms were also added increasing the capacity of the school.

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2013 brought the launch of the entrepreneurship development program, involving a baseline survey, curriculum design, mobilization, and advocacy. This year also saw the expansion the Swabhiman program to two centers as well as the beginning of Milaan’s work in Natpurwa village. The Natpurwa centre started with a 102 children on roll and eventually the Kaintain centre grew to nearly 450 students. It also marked the shifting of the head office from Delhi to Lucknow.

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in 2015, construction began for the first floor, and a library campaign worked to fill the new rooms with busy students.