Keshava Seva Samiti: Reaching Out to the Unreached

via published on September 12, 2009

Keshava Seva Samithi is a Charitable Trust that serves the economically backward sections of the society, with a special focus on slum dwelling families. KSS is managed by a team of dedicated volunteers with an aim of creating a sense of dignity, equality and responsibility.
For about a decade, the Samithi has been executing several service projects in more than 150 slums in the city. The thrust areas of these projects are education, health, women and youth empowerment. As of now, direct beneficiaries are around 9000 annually.KSS is exclusively supported through voluntary efforts and the support from philanthropists and donors, is bound by the spirit of service.

The Objectives

• Create a sense of dignity, equality and responsibility among these poor people
• Impart values and life skills to them, particularly to the children
• Empower women in such families for economic self reliance.

Vidya Bhagya – Tuition Centres:

(Vyasanga Kendra) This is a scheme focused on school going children, wherein additional coaching (tuitions) is offered after their school hours. Being from illiterate families and studying in schools with poor facilities, quality of education received is often very sub-standard.
Hence, KSS has been conducting these tuition centres in 50 slums. Spoken English classes during weekends are also offered to these students by volunteers from the IT Industry and other MNCs as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility.

Measurable indicator of achievement:

This has gone a long way in enhancing their performance in school and helped in controlling dropouts. So far KSS has been successful in providing tuitions to 5400 students in 3 years.

Shishu Mandirs:

Slums have the most number of daily wage employees which include both men and women. This leaves most of the children below 6 years of age unattended. Hence, KSS has been managing 3 Pre-school learning centres for children aged between 3 and 6 yrs.

Measurable indicator of achievement

There are 3 shishu mandirs covering 3 slums. These mandirs have supported 270 children in 3 years.

Bala Samskar Kendras:

(Value Education Centers) (6-14 yrs) Slums, being areas which are both educationally and financially backward, value education among the younger generation always takes a backseat. Hence, to inculcate better cultural and moral values among the children, 18 Value-Education Centers are run by KSS. Children are taught singing, dancing, story telling, yoga and breathing exercises, meditation, drawing and craftwork etc., and educated via games (learning through playing).

Measurable indicator of achievement:

There are 18 Bala Samskar Kendras catering to 1000 children. These are conducted weekly between 9 am to 12 am.

Summer Camps are conducted annually in atleast 7 places each numbering around 129 children for 20 days. The children are taught drawing and painting, dancing and singing, arts and crafts, yogasana, story telling, social awareness, personal hygiene, awareness of global warming, importance of rising pollution and using biodegradable and eco friendly recycled material by experts from their respective fields.

Mobile Library:

A ‘Book lending library’ in the slums to instill reading habits in the children is set up in one slum. About 100 books are available in the library and is being managed by one librarian working as part time. The books available are in two languages and cater to age group between 8 and 20 years. Subjects like sports, wildlife, grammar, stories, fiction, poetry, educational books etc., are circulated to the children at their doorstep. Reference books like encyclopedia and magazines are also part of the library.

Measurable indicator of achievement:

54 students are registered as members of this and every 15 days, books are re circulated among them.

Vidya Vahini:

Target: Youngsters above 13 yrs

This programme is focused at encouraging students to continue their education beyond high school level. This has helped talented and meritorious students to study further and improve the living standards of their families. This has helped to reduce child marriage. In this scheme, students are adopted and all their needs are taken care of. Some are given scholarships and others who are in need of an environment which is conducive to studying are provided with hostel facilities.

Arogya Bhagya:

This is a wholesome scheme adopted for the entire wellbeing of the slums and undertaken for all the inhabitants irrespective of age, sex, caste or creed. The programmes conducted under this scheme are as follows:
• Free/subsidized health check up and health assistance camps which include eye, dental, childcare, gynecology, general hygiene
• Conducting free dispensaries in slums
• Pranayama and Yoga activities
• Free eye surgeries and spectacle distribution to the needy.

Measurable indicator of achievement:

13 eye camps have been conducted which have benefited 4780 people in the past 3 yrs. 135 patients have undergone cataract surgeries free of cost.
Free distribution of spectacles have been undertaken for 750 people.
6 camps for children have been held where free health check up facilities have been provided to 3000 children primarily for malnutrition, skin diseases, ENT etc.

Mathru Shakthi:

Target: Women

Every week, women from slums are brought together and social awareness programmes are conducted.


Target: Women from the weaker section of the society seeking employment opportunities.

SHGs:Formation of Self Help Groups (SHGs) of women for economic and self reliance has been very successful in the slums. These SHGs are registered with nationalized banks who gave a matching grant for the savings made by the women. One volunteer in each group coordinates this activity and manages the book keeping.

Vocational training: Vocational training is provided to women based on the needs assessment carried out from time to time in the slums. Computer classes, screen printing, tailoring, beautician courses, agarbathi making, candle making etc., are conducted.


Income Generation Activity (IGA) is an offshoot of the SHG activity. These women earn revenue for contributing to the SHG saving through various IGAs. Following are the programmes undertaken by the women:

Making “Paper Bags”: News papers are collected from residential apartments and converted into bags which can be used as alternative to plastic bags. These bags are sold to super markets, groceries, NGOs and corporate for their seminars, workshops etc.,

Job Placements: Destitute and orphaned girls who are above the age of 16 yrs are given vocational training and appropriate placements. Many of them are offered jobs as supervisors, volunteers in the KSS programmes itself.

Measurable indicator of achievement:

Tailoring classes are being conducted regularly which consist of 6 months course. 2 classes are currently in progress with 150 women benefiting from these courses.
20 women who have benefited from the tailoring classes have been gifted with tailoring machines.
There are 20 self help groups catering to almost 400 women in various slums.
Push carts and vegetable carts have been given to 14 women.

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