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. They catered to over 200 students in the various learning development programs which offered academic learning, life skills, community outreach, and sensitisation.

Project Highlights


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 the physical infrastructure at the centre and intervene in the area of learning disabilities and mental health for the students.


The first initiative that LENS Foundation undertook was to introduce a trained counselor at the Panchi center. The unique situation of the Ghazipur centre and the 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.

Group Counselling

  • Purpose: To help children improve their problem-solving ability and to cope with various situations they face in everyday life. The sessions also aim to build socially and emotionally strong children.
  • Objective: To help children identify manipulative 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.
  • No. of students Counselled: 90

Parent Counselling

  • Objective: Parents counselling is designed to facilitate student achievement, improve parent and student relationships, behaviour at home, and attend,ance 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

Before Renovation

After Renovation

Field Visits


On the occasion of Republic  Day, a field visit was organised by LENS Foundation for 140 children from the Ghazipur center, The children were taken to Kidzania in Noida along with five teachers. Children enjoyed the various activities over there and it was a wonderful new experience for them.

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