WHO WE ARE
Founded in 2013, Dhai Akshar serves as an after-school holistic learning centre in Versova, Mumbai, where we go above and beyond to provide underprivileged children with an empowering environment where they can fully embrace their identity and gain all the extra-curricular skills that are overlooked in their regular schools. At Dhai Akshar, we believe that children are the very essence of the future. Who they are tomorrow is essentially the outcome of how they are nurtured today. Our vision stems from the fundamental belief in equal and equitable opportunities for all children, and the conviction that love can transform lives.
Scholars were never made from reading countless books, but the one who understands love is greater than any learned man
"Pothi padh padh jag mua,
Pandit bhayo na koye,
Dhai akshar prem ke,
Jo padhe so pandit hoye"
Our goal is to provide a safe, stimulating learning environment for at-risk children where they can exercise their basic rights to free and happy childhoods. More than anything, Dhai Akshar is a hub for kids to come and have fun after school. At the same time, we aim at teaching them the fundamentals of social responsibility, healthy and sustainable living, and sensitivity towards people of all societal intersections through a myriad of classes and workshops - to enable these children to love, to play, to dream, and to grow.
WHAT WE DO
lighting lives lovingly
At Dhai Akshar, we strive to empower the children through our wide range of programs. Our dedicated and diverse team of teachers and volunteers bring in their expertise to create a wonderful space for over 70 children to hone their talents, and enjoy the process of learning.
We help the children every day with languages, mathematics, and exam preparation.
The Resource Room helps them grasp concepts from their syllabus and introduce them to a world of new ideas. Know more about the program here.
We also have collaborations with Om Puri Foundation and other generous individuals for academic scholarships and funding.
Weekly cleaning of Versova beach, in-house psychological counseling for the children, participation in various competitions, sponsored trips to museums, movies, plays and more!
Currently, we offer weekly classes in Iyengar Yoga, Hindustani Classical Music, Art & Craft, Dance, Theatre, Self-Defense, Mathematics, Hindi, English, Library Reading, Games & Puzzles, and Resource Room Learning
Through the years, we have held workshops in Animation, Sound Design, Photography & Photoshop, Sex Education, Beatboxing, Creative Writing, Scriptwriting, and Storytelling, to name a few
WHY WE'RE HERE
Our founders used to volunteer at a school in the locality, and realized that the harsh reality of the urban poor in Mumbai is one where systemic and societal barriers do not encourage children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds to study once they are back home from school. As a result, students are either barely passing their classes or dropping out of school due to familial responsibilities, and some cannot even be convinced to go back. These children need training in life skills to be able to earn a respectable living for themselves and their families.
While there are lots of organizations in the grassroots doing phenomenal work in filling in the academic gap, we are here to provide children with multidisciplinary vocational training so that they may pursue these talents professionally, if they are unable to or choose not to go to college.
Want to know how you can help?
At Dhai Akshar, we have been closely involved with our ever-growing community, and have involved them in every step of the development that we provide. Thanks to our friends and well-wishers, we have been able to enrich our children's lives not just at the centre, but beyond it as well.
AWARDS & ACHIEVEMENTS
Our Co-Founder/Managing Trustee Nyla Masood was awarded the 'Radio Nasha Voice of Change' award at the 20th Beti FLO Gr8 Awards, 2018
We were the recipients of the 2017 Fever 104 FM 'Voice of Change' Award
Felicitated for our contributions to the Beat Plastic Pollution Campaign by UN Environment and the Government of India
Won competitions at all editions of Aashayein by Cascade, held annually at Jamnabai Narsee School
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Donate | Volunteer | Collaborate
Dhai Akshar is a registered Trust with 12A and 80G certifications.
Since 2013, we have impacted the lives of children in Versova and we couldn’t have done it without the generous contributions of our donors, supporters, and volunteers.
This video by a former volunteer shows the kind of impact a single person can have on our children. We encourage student volunteers to spend their time at the centre.
More importantly, however, we require funds to continue doing what we do.
Would you like to support our work? Are you an organization that would like to collaborate with us? Do you wish to volunteer your time at our centre?
Meet the hearts & minds behind our operations!
NYLA MASOOD Co-Founder/Managing Trustee
SHAHLA RAZA Co-Founder
SUHAIL MASOOD Trustee
SANGEETA BHASIN Trustee
MUKTA KUNTE Trustee
PRABHJYOT ADVANI Trustee
EKTA LADE Programme Coordinator
SONIKA LAKHERA Education Consultant
ASHWINI NAWALE Teacher & Accountant
UMESH SINGH Teacher
ADITI SINGH Teacher
KAJAL DEWADE Teacher
SHAILA SHIVSHARAN Staff
HANA MASOOD Communications & Content Advisor
BHAWANA SOMAAYA Advisor
ALI FAZAL Advisor
DR. FARRUKH S. WARIS Advisor
SOPHY VSIVARAMAN Advisor
IN THE MEDIA
The Better India, 14 August 2015
Newsgram, 19 August 2015
DNA, 29 February 2016
DiaryOfAnInsaneWriter, October 2016
Mayapuri Cut, October 2017
ITSL started supporting Dhai Akshar around 3 years ago. ITSL people met the Dhai Akshar team, visited the small place at Aram Nagar Andheri and saw what a wonderful job they are doing. ITSL is very impressed with the tremendous job and their dedication towards the little children. It is a unique example where education and health are promoted together. Poverty cannot be removed without Education. Education is the foundation of prosperity. When little ones are educated, there is all around development. When we came to know about their new premises we decided we should continue the good work. We want the entire project to run successfully so that children can benefit.
There is no better expenditure of money than feeding a needy child and it’s really important for these children to stay in and learn. We love this programme, this is one of the best examples of organisations that do their work quietly and efficiently. The children served by Dhai Akshar are nourished not only by healthy food and education but also with compassion and love. They in turn will be responsible citizens of the nation.