Meenakshi Singh: Making the world a better place

Meenakshi’s ‘Donate an Hour’ not only give education to underprivileged children but also make their parents self-sustainable, so that they won’t be dependent on any other in the future. Meenakshi wants people from all walks of life to come forward and donate some time to educate underprivileged children.


“Feeding beggars once or twice is not a way to eliminate poverty, but it gives beggar a chance to depend on others for lifetime for food or other basic needs. We make them aware, give them proper sessions and bring them in mainstream society to lead a life of dignity. It is our concept of self sustainable society.”

In Donate an Hour they have categorized concept into two, first children and second for their parents.

“We don’t work as a NGO or hire a teacher to educate them. We search a suitable volunteer from that cluster of slum area. That volunteer works as a teacher for the slum children, and also set an example of self sustainable,” said Meenakshi.

She said that they don’t accept money from anyone, but their time for others.  “We convince parents who don’t send the kids to school. After that we have established a mechanism of giving after school classes to these children with help of our volunteers.  We ask them to donate few hours of their life to make someone’s life.”

In second category, they work on their parents and their social environment. They make their parents aware about their role for a better future of their children. “We organize various workshops on sanitation, health issues and their personal hygiene. Our concept is very clear that it doesn’t matter if they are living in slum, they should not beg or steal. We motivate them, bring many companies to their locality to give them jobs according to their skills also organize many programmes for their skill development.”


Many slum children do not go to the school until someone forces their parents to do so. And this is biggest challenge – we need to convince slum parents, who are reluctant to send their children to the school. “Many of the time we have to hear harsh words from these people who don’t like to send their children to the school. But, we try again and again till we don’t get success.

Another challenge is to reduce the number of children dropping out of the school. “Most of these children do not go to the upper classes just because they started earning from small age.”

“We organize after school classes to improve their academic performance better in class and feed them with thoughts of importance of education before work.”

Thirdly, another challenge that Meenakshi and her volunteers face is social refusal and lack of cooperation with government authorities. “For example, in Sector 45 of Gurgaon, we give after school classes in a corner of a park, but residents of these area ask us to leave this space because it spoils the greenery and the posh look of the colony. Apart from that, when we approach local authorities like Municipal Corporation or MLAs for sanitation or any other community work they don’t pay any attention until several letters don’t reach on their tables.”

Future Plan

Meenakshi plans to start a new project of Vidya Mali which will have a tie-up with government schools that lack trained teachers. “We will send our volunteers to these schools to educate then and also distribute stationaries. Most importantly, we don’t pay our volunteers, all of them are working free of cost. We don’t work for money but to develop a sustainable society.”

To volunteer or to donate one can contact Meenakshi @ +91 08587935395 or www.donateanhour.org

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