Prior to Vidyanikethan, the NGO, the founders of Vidyanikethan had actually started Sri
Vidyanikethan School. It was a natural decision to start the school because the founders were
themselves qualified and experienced teachers. The Founder had done M.Ed. A place for
starting the school was available in Jaraganahalli. The place itself was not very populated. There
was a growing population of families were working in the unorganized and informal sectors.
There was no school at that time, which was 35 years ago. Therefore, given the need, the
founders started the school. The school was known as school mane as the founder started the
school in just two rooms with about 10 students.
Soon after, the founders started the NGO known as Vidyanikethan as they felt the need to
strengthen their educational interventions. Subsequently as the NGO grew, Vidyanikethan felt
the need to branch out to other areas and therefore started activities in socio-economic
empowerment, health, natural resources and community empowerment.
As mentioned above, Vidyanikethan started activities in socio-economic empowerment, health,
natural resources and community empowerment. Once again, given the intense involvement with
the community, it was a nature decision to add these core areas, as Vidyanikethan aimed for
sustainable and comprehensive development of the society. For this, it had to work not just on
children’s education but also with women, youth, community, basic infrastructure and amenities.
The founders of Vidyanikethan had learnt a lot from its past experience of working in NGOs and
with other NGOs. It understood that there is a need for community centric interventions so that
the community can work for its own good and we could support them by facilitating with
opportunities and providing them with useful information. Therefore, we initially approached
CBOs which were already working in various communities, then we started mobilizing women
in particular to start self-help groups. We got support for starting literacy classes for women at 5
slums. That was our first entry point in the communities where we worked with the women.
Then we gradually started motivating the women to start small savings activity. As we worked
with the women, we felt that we should develop their skills so that they can earn and supplement