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  NGOs >> Door Step School





Jagannath Shankarsheth Municipal School, 2nd floor,

Room no.54/55, Nana Chowk, Grant Road, Mumbai 400 007

Tel: 23826343/Telefax 23859203



110, Anand Park, Aundh, Pune – 411 007

Tel : 9520 – 25898762/ 9520- 25432165

Fax : 9520 – 25893866




The society for Door Step School

529 Arun Chambers, Tardeo Road , Mumbai 400034


Under societies Act Reg. 172-1989 G.B.B.S.D.

Public Trust Act

Income Tax Exemption No:80G/CH-39-D/IMS 28049

FCRA III no.083780514

Our Website:


Also hosted on: www.indiaworld@in/home/sahayata


Door Step School

The Organization :

Door Step School, a registered voluntary organization working for the education of the urban poor for over a decade now. It was founded in 1988 by a group of professional social workers including academicians and practitioners. The idea of forming an organization fully devoted to the cause of education was born through experience of working with the public school system and the slum communities in urban areas. The aim was to eradicate illiteracy and to improve the quality of learning at the primary level. The group was convinced that if the problem of illiteracy was to be tackled effectively the beginning has to he made with children and hence the children between 3 and 18 years of age were targeted.


• To address the problems faced by our public school system viz., non-enrollment wastage, stagnation and low quality of learning
• To provide alternate educational facilities to out-of-School (non school going) children
• To provide facilities for improving literacy skills for children (School going or non school going)
• To provide all these services at flexible timings and at suitable location- are it in slums/pavements/streets

Background :

Children in urban slum communities and pavement communities often form part of a family where education is not a priority. The family may have moved to the city with the sole objective of earning a living, sometimes even supporting an extended family in the village. Every member of the family who can lend a hand towards that cause is expected to do so. Therefore, even if Municipal schools are there and offer free education- i.e. no tuition fee is charged, children do not go to the school. They may accompany their parents to work as there is no one to look after them at home, or they may stay back to handle domestic chores and look after younger siblings while the older members of the family go out to work, or they may be actually going to work themselves. All of these situations exist in the communities where the organisation works. In fact, at the Sassoon Docks, the fishing docks in the vicinity, which is a source of income to a large number of families in the area is the ideal setting for the entire family to find work, as even 6 year old children can help to peel the prawns. In such a scenario there is no time to spare for 5-6 hours of daily schooling. The following programmes have therefore been devised to initiate these children into education.


Keeping the above objectives in mind following services were offered:

• Balwadi (Pre-primary)
• Study Classes for children in primary school
• Literacy classes for out of school children
• Mobile libraries for all children
• School bus for all children staying in where there is heavy traffic areas
• Mobile literacy classes for children on streets

Other Supportive Activities:

With the above mentioned six programs which cover almost all the educational needs of different age groups we target at, we also carry out many services conducive to the educational development and growth of children.

Publication of a monthly magazine called Hamara Akhbar, which is written by children in their own words and handwriting.

• Taking drawing and music classes on a regular basis and holding an exhibition of children paintings annually
• Production of simple teaching aids, textbooks etc suitable for the children we cater to.
• Helping 'out-of-school' children to enter the mainstream school.
• Extra Curricular activities such as competitions, sports, elocution, quizzes, etc.
• Vocational guidance - referral to various vocational institute, provision of training and guidance.
• Regular Survey to identify and know our future target group.


What kind of school is that??


A Very Special Kind! For Very Special Children!


For those children who are not fortunate enough to make school and play the main business of their childhood, Door Step School (D S S) hopes to give an opportunity - "The opportunity of Education." It is at Door Step School that they have their first experience in learning the ‘3R’s and lots more.


While a strong national movement was gathering  to ensure that education be made a fundamental right for every child in the country, Door Step School had started working towards the same aim. We commenced work in 1988 and 1993 in Mumbai and in  Pune, respectively.


The concept of Door Step School came into being while working at the Social Service Centres in the Municipal School. A major activity of the centre was visiting homes of dropout children, trying to determine the cause of their dropping out and attempting to bring them back to school. Factors affecting their inability to attend were varied and could not be influenced directly by social work intervention in the formal schools or at the community level. Therefore, the need for another alternative, whereby education would reach the children was seen and the idea of a school at the children’s door step' came into being.


The 4 pillars of the Door Step School model are i) the balwadi, ii) the study class, iii) the non formal education class and iv) the community library.


The balwadis (pre-school preparation programme) and study class (extra coaching for school going children) serve as strategies 1) to identify children before they reach the school going age, prepare them for school and enrol them on reaching the eligible age and 2) helping to sustain them within the school set up once they are admitted.


The third strategy, which aims to cover children (under 18 years), not attending formal school, is in the form of Non Formal Education (Literacy) classes. These classes are conducted in the community at a time and place of their convenience, each class being  of 2½ or 3 hour duration.


The community based mobile libraries play a very important role in  helping to sustain and build on existing literacy skills in neo- & semi-literates. The libraries which involve the services of local volunteers, offer   easy access to adequate reading material which is otherwise not available in the communities. 


A young adult who has been with DSS for about 2 years, spending 2½ to 3 hours per day at the centre, emerges as a confident, self-reliant individual. These children are more vocal, able to express themselves clearly and aware of their environment. They have been in the limelight while participating in street plays, child art exhibitions, variety entertainment programmes and rallies. They work together to compile a newsletter "Hamara Akhbaar" in Hindi & "Anganatil A,B,C,D" in Marathi, in which they state their views and observation. They keep themselves aware of current events by reading newspapers and magazines circulated by DSS library. It is in these confident youngsters that Door Step School sees the impact of its work.


Door Step School has one goal while working in the communities i.e. imparting of literacy skills. After working in the communities for the past 15 years, the goal remains unchanged and any expansion of activity is related to it.


With the introduction of a 'School-on-Wheels' in 1998in Mumbai and in 2001 in Pune, Door Step has come closer to fulfilling one of it’s main objectives i.e. of making basic education easily accessible to a larger number of children. This venture has enabled Door Step School to reach out to scattered groups of 'out-of-school' children, living on the street or working for hawkers. The bus provides a classroom, where place for conducting class is not available and helps to cover children who usually remain untouched by any educational programme, formal or otherwise.


The bus enabled us to, simultaneously, provide a school bus service. It is crucial  that regular school going habits need to go formed from Std. I. Preference is therefore given to the very young, as they are the ones who find it difficult to go to school their own. With the school bus service, we ventured into offering supportive services to the Colaba Municipal (Primary) School, where most of the children from the communities where Door Step School works, are enrolled.


The bus also serves as a library. Children, who have already attained some level of literacy, are encouraged to read simple books in the library. Provision having been made for a library within the bus, the ready availability of books will bring a new awareness and new dimensions to their lives.


School  support activities have been extended since to further direct intervention within the Colaba Municipal school in Mumbai and a number of Corporation schools in Pune. We have introduced school libraries in some schools; in some others we are running balwadi using school premises. To help children develop their talent and potential, we conduct programmes such as reading & library activities, competitions and quiz programmes.   The aim of this venture is to strengthen the existing infrastructure of the school and encourage better enrolment and sustenance rates in the school.


With a growing number of children attaining functional literacy through the non formal education  classes and through the municipal school, but having limited channels of further growth open to them, the question “What Next?” loomed before them. In an attempt to provide some avenues Door Step School introduced vocational training. Tailoring classes, assistant wireman’s class and a computer centre have been started.


As per the annual report of July 2002-June 2003,

 we conduct:

Type of class

Number of children









Non formal education   (Literacy) classes




School on Wheels*




Study classes




Slum Libraries




School libraries




Reference Libraries




School Bus Service




Vocational Training




Computer Centre




*The classes conducted on the School on Wheels are non formal education  classes and so the number of students are included in the general non formal education  category.  



Thanks to  the support  offered by the Ammada Trust, ASMAE, Asha for the Education, Bombay Community Public Trust, Carnegie Social Initiative, Cummins Diesel India Foundation, Educate The Child, ICICI Securities And Finance Co. Ltd., InterAide, The Paul Hamlyn Foundation, UNICEF and all our other  well wishers



You can contribute to Door Step School :

1) Be a supporter, join “Friends of Door Step School”.

2) Sponsor one school going child by giving Rs. 2000/- annually.

3) Sponsor one child’s travel to school by paying Rs.175/- per month.

4) Support one class for one year by donating Rs.40,000 – 60,000/-, depending on type of class chosen for support.

5) Sponsor stationery and other educational material used in the classes.

5) Volunteer your services to organise special activities

 like art-craft, dramatics, games etc. for the children.

7) Teach interested children English.

8) Assist in administrative work.