USO Co-Action Learning Centre
A Place to Learn
USO runs an Open Literacy Centre for the impoverished in Rajiv Gandhi Camp, Basti Vikas Kendra, Chitra Vihar, East Delhi. Operating since February 1992, USO has been allotted 2 rooms in this Delhi ‘jhuggi cluster’. A small neighbourhood of approximately 800 jhuggis, and 5000 people, this Centre aims to provide non-formal education to children and vocational training to women of the area.
Taught by USO appointed teachers, there are 2 types of classes held for the children:
- Non-formal education in the form of reading, writing and math for the children of the area who do not attend school. After attaining a certain level, USO then assists them to obtain admission at nearby government aided schools.
- Remedial classes are provided to those children who are already attending school, but are unable to afford extra tuition classes. Our teachers work with the children to strengthen their skills in reading, writing, and offer them practice on various math questions. The students of the area and therefore encouraged to study even further.
The women of the area are provided vocational training in the form of tailoring classes, knitting, mehendi application and beautician classes. These activities help women obtain better job opportunities thus empowering them even more. Many of them, as their way of giving back, have returned back to Chitra Vihar as teachers. They then pass on their skills that they have acquired over the years to the new batch of students.
As an incentive to increase and improve attendance at the Centre and motivate them to develop their skills, juices and snack – in the form of cookies, fruit, buns, ladoo – are provided to both the children and women after classes. During Diwali, sweets are distributed to all children and during winter time, sweaters are given to all who study at the centre. At any point in time, there are roughly 60 children (equal number of boys and girls) and 20 young women who attend the Centre on a regular basis. The rooms are equipped with study desks, blackboards, fans, sewing machines and others.
Activities In Action
600+ Children attend our Centre on a daily Basis
500+ women have been trained at our Centre
200+ children Have been admitted to Delhi Public School
Dental and Health Awareness Camps are routinely organized in collaboration with Department of Public Health, Delhi.
Our Recent Activity
Founder's Day Celebration
January 27, the birthday of late Mr. Jiya Lal Jain, founder Secretary General of USO, was celebrated as Founder’s Day. The teachers and students from Chitra Vihar visited USO House where they performed cultural programs. Students also received gifts and prizes. We are very appreciative that PVR NEST supported USO efforts by arranging for screening of ‘Tanhaji: The Unsung Hero’ at PVR Cinema, EDM, Ghaziabad.
How It All Began
Visualized by Late Mr. Jiya Lal Jain, Founder Secretary General of USO, the first Centre was established to prevent young children begging at the traffic lights near Institutional Area. Around the same time, UNESCO also started a program ‘EDUCATION FOR ALL BY 2000’. In response to the same, USO decided to set up an education centres in and around Delhi in slum areas.
- The first Centre was set up in February 1981, in the densely populated area of Trans Yamuna colony, called Janta Mazdoor Camp, Jafrabad, Seelampur, on the outskirts of New Delhi.
- The second Centre was opened in November 1991 in Prayog Vihar, West Delhi.
Since these two centres have completed their mission, they were closed in February 1992.
The Centre at Chitra Vihar was initially setup at USO House for a brief period of time. A teacher was appointed to teach children living in the neighbourhood ‘jhuggis’. These children would come every day to study (reading, writing, math), and as a reward would be given juice and snacks before leaving.