Project Panchi, Ghazipur

Project Panchi, the first project initiated by the LENS Foundation was a remedial education program. A waste management plant has been running in Ghazipur for decades and there is a huge slum community in the vicinity. The objective of this project was the enhancement of age appropriate, curricular learning for children outside of the school environment, hailing from the Ghazipur slum community. The program targeted school going as well as out-of-school children in the catchment. The project engaged subject teachers and also provided them with teaching tools and technology to help the students. The catered to over 200 students in the various learning development programs which offered academic learning, life skills, community outreach and sensitisation.

  • Beneficiaries in 2018-19
S.N Details of batch Age/ class Total no. of beneficiaries
1 Out of school 5 to 10 years 56
2 School going 1 to 4  classes 89
3 School going 5 to 12 classes 71
4 NIOS enrolled Students 10 to 22 Years 9
5 Computer class 5-14 years 234
6 Self-defence classes 5-14 years 230
7 Counselling  sessions 5-14 years 230
8 Human Resource deployed 6

§  Project Highlights

Interventions Status
Academic interventions Total no of children catered to – 216
Library program Weekly library books issued to the children to take home for reading. Approximately 100-150 books were issued every month.
Computer for students 70 students completed Level 1 computer course

9 children completed level 2 computer course

6 youth from the community also enrolled for the computer program offered at the centre.

Sanitation Workshops on improving awareness on sanitation were conducted by the teachers in which they discussed the importance of sanitation and hygiene.
Each-one-teach two & Pahal A new initiative was started at the center and children from class 6 to 12 volunteered to mentor and teach two adults from the family or community. Sixteen women took part in the initiative, and they were mentored by 10 children. The women were taught basic literacy and numeracy skills.


§  Initiatives


The LENS Foundation team studied the gaps in learning and enabling infrastructure at the Panchi centre. It found that there was a clear need to improve physical infrastructure at the centre and intervene in the area of learning disabilities and mental health for the students.

Counselling: The first initiative that LENS Foundation undertook was to introduce a trained counsellor at the Panchi center. The unique situation of the Ghazipur centre and a lack of availability of formal systems of education meant that students needed to be treated with care to ensure that they continue to be present at the centre and keep learning. The trained counsellor ensured that both students and their families knew the importance of education in the context of students’ holistic mental well-being.

The periodic counselling sessions dealt with children’s behaviour, social skills and emotional health, including their ability to cope with problems, work in a spirit of cooperation with others and regulate their emotions.

The sessions were divided into Individual, group and parent counselling.

Individual Counselling

  • Purpose: To explore the feelings, beliefs and behaviours pattern in the children. An attempt to identify the challenges the children face in the environment in which they are forced to live.
  • Objective: To discuss issues that were affecting their academic, social and emotional development.
  • Mode Used: Child centred therapy, play therapy techniques along with a solution focused counselling theory (i.e., drawing, role-playing, puppetry, etc)
  • No of children attended to 77


Group Counselling

  • Purpose: To help children in improve their problem solving ability and to cope with various situatuions they face in everyday life. The sessions also aim to build socially and emotionally strong children.
  • Objective: To help children identify manapulative behaviour.
    • To help with emotional difficulties through feedback.
    • To offer a supportive environment to develop social skills
  • Mode used: Some sessions may involve only discussions, while others may involve group therapy activities that may include ice breakers, energizers, skill development, problem solving or trust building exercises.
  • of student attended: 90

Parent Counselling

  • Objective: Parents counselling is designed to facilitate student achievement, improve parents and student relationship, behaviour at home, attendance and help parents in understanding their children so that they can develop socially.
  • No of Parents Counselled: 12


LENS Foundation found that the Panchi centre needed urgent help in distributing its resources as all its activities took place within the same premises, thus resulting in inefficient delivery of individual activities. It discussed possible remedies with the implementing partner and concluded that student learning could not take place in the same premises where livelihood-generation activities took place. The Panchi centre also had a working tailoring project undergoing, where noise from sewing machines adversely affected the performance of students. LENS Foundation ensured that a new premises was created for students for dedicated and peaceful learning.

Once the focus was brought back to learning activities, it beautified the centre to make it more appealing to students. It undertook following additional infrastructural changes:

  • Building separate room for the counsellor which was filled with requisite material like information chart, waiting area, dedicated therapy space etc.
  • Ensuring amenities like fans, light, proper electricity, drinking water
  • Learning aid materials like white boards, charts, carpets, computers
  • Creation of a library space
  • The premise was painted in bright colours to make it more appealing

The bathroom was also renovated to make it more hygienic

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