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Vocational training is imperative for teenage children.  A range of in-house courses and links with other institutes provide opportunities for Akanksha children to develop vocational skills. Akanksha provides vocational opportunities to its older children, running tailoring, gardening and a unique art project for its children.

Art for Akanksha is project where the Akanksha children produce artworks in an environment of fun and laughter. The artworks are then packaged by the children's mothers or transformed into various products. Bank accounts are set up for each child in the project, which act as a method of saving and as an incentive for the children to complete school.  In addition to being a source of income for the children and mothers, the project channels the creativity of these children towards a productive endeavour, and serves as an important form of vocational training. 

Gardening class teaches children the different techniques of gardening and vermiculture. The children enjoy their theory and practicals at the gardening classes.

Sewing and Tailoring Class is another vocation offered at our centres. Boys and girls learn sewing, embroidery and other skills on sewing machines donated to us. All products made here are sold at exhibitions. This skill will enable children to work as apprentices with tailors and become independent. 

Computer Class is conducted at the Akanksha office on Saturdays and Sundays. Children are introduced to t computer and taught basic computer skills. This will help them take up a job as office assistants in offices and small businesses. 


The School Project is an initiative that seeks to build a small cluster of high-performing municipal schools, that redefines what is possible for children from some of the poorest slum communities in Pune and Mumbai, and has the potential for wider systemic reform. These schools are a partnership with the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and Thermax Social Initiatives Foundation (TSIF) in Pune; and with the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) in Mumbai.

With the effective management of these schools, Akanksha hopes to bring about transformation in three major areas of education. The first is to prove that every child has the ability to learn and achieve at high levels. The second is to demonstrate the importance of skilled educators by investing the majority of the school's resources into the recruitment and retention of high-quality school staff. The last, long-term objective is to effect systemic reform by using these schools as learning laboratories to improve the quality of education in municipal and low- fee private schools around the country.

To support this initiative, Akanksha runs a School Leadership Institute that recruits and trains school leaders as well as an intensive Teacher Training Program that provides pre- and inservice teacher training and development. The organization sources trainers, materials, and best practices from successful educational endeavors both in India and abroad.


Akanksha's impact in centers is captured through a Model Centre Audit process that tracks student learning, self-esteem and values, quality of time, teacher performance, student attendance, drop-out rate, parents' meeting attendance and volunteer involvement. In Akanksha schools, external tests are used from Std. 3 onwards to track students' scholastic performance. In addition, the schools are measured on several parameters similar to the Centre Audit in a School Audit process. Over the span of its existence, the organization has many alumni success stories. Akanksha graduates are encouraged to explore and discover their unique path to success. Therefore, each person decides on a different path after the completion of the program. By 2008, around 70% of Akanksha students had successfully completed their Std. 10 std exam, and over 80% of the alumni were in college or employed or doing both - a higher percentage than their peers from their communities and schools.

Quoting an external impact study conducted by P. Krishnan from the University of Cambridge and S. Krutikov from the University of Oxford,
"We find that Akanksha alumni are different from their peers along a number of important dimensions that include occupational success, self-esteem, aspirations and agency. This is particularly striking when one compares the effects to their classmates who are materially better off. These differences do not seem to be related to any influences of the schooling or upbringing at home of the alumni, making it likely that the Akanksha intervention has had an impact on many aspects of their lives, more than compensating for the disadvantages of their environment...

...Akanksha alumni leave the program transformed with a sense of hope in the world and an idea of how they fit into it."

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