25 September, 2020

Dawn In Blackboard Jungle

A trust that enlists corporate support to give state-run schools a makeover

Dawn In Blackboard Jungle
You won’t find the usual drab trade-union-office decor at Naandi Foundation’s swank office. It even has a CEO in quest of "social equity partners", not regular donors. Run along the lines of a corporate house, it prefers to call itself a non-profit developmental organisation rather than an NGO. Its focus areas include education, health and creating sources of livelihood.

Naandi was set up in 1998 at the behest of Chandrababu Naidu, the then chief minister of Andhra Pradesh. He asked business houses to set up a trust that would work as a funding agency and attract funds from nris which could then be channelled into development of rural areas. Very little funds actually trickled in from overseas. But thanks to generous indigenous donors, Naandi survived.

It now works closely with the government in many projects. Take education for instance—rather than setting up new institutions, the foundation works with existing government schools. "We prefer to complement the government’s work. State-run schools today cater only to those who cannot afford expensive schooling....



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