Dear Friends,

What a fantastic year this has been, not just for me but for each and everyone of our volunteers in SHLOK. Just to recap some of the significant achievements that were made possible thanks to volunteer efforts:

  1. We inspired a new chapter of SHLOK in another city and spread to 2 cities, (Bangalore and its twin city Chennai) in a short span of 6 months
  2. We have gotten interests to start something similar from Pune, Ranchi and a reques t to start a New York chapter of SHLOK as well
  3. We now have close to 12 active volunteers for our school in Puttenahalli, Bangalore
  4. We did a book and pencil box distribution @ the school
  5. We have started an outreach program through posters as a part of our vision to build connected communities on the ground.
  6. We continue to push the envelope by starting the work on computers which is the 2nd pillar on which the SHLOK foundation rests.
  7. We have found that a lot of people are waiting to join initiatives like SHLOK and we can be a platform for them to give something back to society.
  8. We have over a 100 members  and counting on Facebook and we continue to add members @ a prolific rate
  9. Our volunteers who are the most important part of this initiative continue to develop content around Akshara foundation material and this will start making an impact on the kids soon.
  10. All of our  enthusiastic volunteers (and participants) who have contributed immensely to this effort

So all in all this has been a fantastic leap of faith and we have done exceptionally well for a part time organization.

Now as we look into 2013, here are some of the key activities that we need to execute:

  1. We need to get our website up and running by Q1 2013
  2. We need to get our NGO registered officially by Q1 2013
  3. We need to provide a letter of intent to both this school and the Chennai chapter to make SHLOK official by Q1 2013
  4. We need to quadruple our volunteer base from 12 to 50 for us to spread to new schools by Q3 2013
  5. Last but not the least we need to figure out as an organization if we are going to do more stuff for the higher classes, this is something we need to debate intensely on as it requires a lot more volunteers than available @ present by Q2 2013

As i view these quantifiable outcomes i am reminded of a sobering fact that by 2020, 50% of the worlds illiterate populace will be residing in India.

And this is precisely why we should be doing something about it, especially Wrt government schools. These schools teach the poorest students. Mind you these students brim with the yearning for knowledge and are second to none when it comes to learning.

I will end this blog post with this small story which perhaps captures the motivation of all its volunteers and the hopes of all its participants.

a few days ago i was walking towards an ATM to draw some money when 3 very young girls from the Puttenahalli government school who were walking on the opposite direction stopped me and asked “Wont you teach the standard 4 kids?, we are the corner class room”

This is why SHLOK was born. SHLOK aims to help these kids level the playing field with knowledge in English and computers for starters.

Thank you very much if you have read this far and i wish you a rock and roll 2013 from all of us here @ the SHLOK foundation.

warm regards,

Ashwin natarajan


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