Navaakansha is an NGO in India directly benefitting more than 10,000 children and their families every year, through projects on education, healthcare, livelihood and women empowerment, in over Jharkhand,India. Education is both the means as well as the end to a better life: the means because it empowers an individual to earn his/her livelihood and the end because it increases one's awareness on a range of issues – from healthcare to appropriate social behaviour to understanding one's rights – and in the process help him/her evolve as a better citizen. Doubtless, education is the most powerful catalyst for social transformation. But child education cannot be done in isolation. A child will go to school only if the family, particularly the mother, is assured of healthcare and empowered. Moreover, when an elder sibling is relevantly skilled to be employable and begins earning, the journey of empowerment continues beyond the present generation.
Children are the future of a nation. For an emerging country like India, development of underprivileged children holds the key to the progress of the nation itself, and their education is the cornerstone of this progress. But education for children cannot be achieved without ensuring the welfare of the family – a child can go to school regularly only when the family, particularly the mother is healthy and empowered; the family has decent livelihood opportunities and a steady income.
Realizing this, Navaakansha, beginning in the corridors of education, has adopted a lifecycle approach with intensive programmes focused on family health, livelihood and community engagement through women empowerment, which addresses the needs of less privileged children, their families and the larger community.