“Ritinjali brings hope where there is none…”

- Ritinjali’s website, www.ritinjali.org

At the end of the four-week academic session, students will move off-campus as part of their two-week India experience.  During this period, the faculty at the Jamia has jointly worked with Ritinjali (www.ritinjali.org) to structure a programme which will provide students with the opportunity to volunteer with Ritinjali’s community development initiatives and at the same time, have this experience count towards their overall academic credits obtained from the ISS.

Ritinjali is an effort that works for education, for providing opportunity, for providing learning as a means to awareness, such that learning may lead to an open window, an access to a better life. Its mission is to provide holistic education towards nurturing empowered, responsible citizens, capable of not only providing for themselves, but also of contributing actively to their local communities through enterprise, awareness and self-induced social responsibility.

Ritinjali strongly believes that education is the most powerful engine of social change enhancing the opportunities open to each individual. Over the past two decades, Ritinjali has been working through a variety of initiatives and with varied community groups in many educational and development related endeavors. While based in Delhi, Ritinjali's efforts have reached areas as far-flung as Rajasthan, Tripura, Meghalaya, Gujarat, Orissa, Karaikal, Kargil, Leh, Bihar and Uttaranchal.

Its work with the government schools of Delhi and Rajasthan complements its mission of providing quality education to all through the rejuvenation of the government schooling system. As far as universal literacy is concerned, Ritinjali is providing holistic education to the marginalized children in Kusumpur Pahari (a slum cluster behind Vasant Vihar, New Delhi), Nathupur Pahari (a slum in Gurgaon) and Dalil Ekta Camp (a slum in Vasant Kunj) towards nurturing empowered, and responsible citizens. Ritinjali’s Second Chance School in Mahipalpur, New Delhi - a school for urban deprived young adults who did not get their first chance, providing vocational training, apprenticeship and entrepreneurship development programs as well as schooling through the National Open School system - is an attempt to mainstream the alienated youth in our society.

Its work in Tihar Jail of providing free legal aid and conducting counselling, rehabilitation and income generating activities for juveniles and women inmates and their children in Jails 5 & 6 respectively has been acknowledged by the jail authorities who awarded us with the “Best NGO of the Year Award” in 2003. Ritinjali’s Night School is an evening program to impart basic education and life skills training to boys who work as coolies at the INA Market, New Delhi.

Ritinjali's extensive experience in the field of education, in dealing with marginalized children and youth, whether at the Learning Centre in Kusumpur Pahari, at the Night School, or at Tihar Jail for adolescent boy inmates, with the government schooling systems in Delhi and Rajasthan and its expansive volunteer and professional networks, agility and expertise, puts it in a vantage position to implement varied kinds of education and community development projects. It has continued to focus directly on building community capacity and collective processes towards a more inclusive society. It collaborates closely with different stakeholders - teachers, parents, education department, community and religious leaders - for a smoother implementation of its education programmes.  It uses effective monitoring & evaluation protocols to refine programme design and to ensure programme impact. For more information on its initiatives, please visit www.ritinjali.org.