In order to empower youth, one must address the social causes that affect them within their communities. Our activities thus reflect a diversity that will holistically contribute to building the confidence and critical thinking skills of young adults. Our primary goal is delivering a transformative education to children, youth and young adults but it has expanded to include adult literacy programmes, livelihood development, counselling, activism and special initiatives for tribal peoples.
Akshara’s primary objective is to provide children and youth with vocational and professional education thus enabling them to access opportunities. Since 2005, Akshara has proven to be a fundamental stimulus to furthering the economic welfare of rural communities in Maharashtra.
The learning journey that begins with Akshara at a primary school level, never really ends, but if we had to name our ‘destination’, we may describe it as ‘enabling young people to stand confidently on their own feet, with dignity and a sense of purpose’. With our focus on empowering girls, this aim becomes particularly relevant.
Through this programme, we work with local Katkari tribal communities to help create a safer environment through initiatives like solar lighting, basic healthcare and low-cost sanitation, and also offer children some educational support.
We have a trained senior counsellor on the Akshara team, but it would not be an exaggeration to say that all our teachers are lay counsellors in-the-making. They are prepared for this by the discussions and interactions that we have as a teaching team, in which we frequently discuss how to handle various situations.
When it comes to key issues like access to education and healthcare, gender relations, caste and communalism, Akshara uses both direct intervention when warranted, as well as a more long-term approach that aims at changing attitudes at the community level.