Tigri School, Delhi


Started in : 2004   |   Lives touched : 958  

Twenty years ago the Tigri area in South Delhi was a rubbish dump for the three surrounding villagesKhanpur, SangamVihar, and Madangir. This rubbish started to attract people who would spend their days sifting through it in search of anything they could salvage for a few rupees. Eventually these people started to stay and a slum developed. It began to grow rapidly as immigrants from neighboring states would flock to the capital in the hope of finding better job opportunities. As a result, the population of the slum grew to hundreds of thousands (some estimate the total to be as high as 2 million) and as there were very few opportunities, it became a breeding ground for anti-social activities.

In addition, there were only two government primary schools in the area, and even though there were private schools nearby, they were beyond the means of the families. Without a sufficient number of schools, the children would invariably become entwined in these dubious activities simply because they had no other options. Besides, children were made to work in the houses or shops as servants so that they could support their families. Even if they were not working, the children really did not have anything to do. Therefore, only a few kids were getting an education.

The HOPE worldwide school started in Tigri in May 2004 in a small room with 21 students initially. As the need was huge, we looked for a bigger place so that we could accommodate more children. We found a place and after putting a temporary shed, we officially started the school in July 2004.

Over the last 8 years the HOPE worldwide school has been able to make a difference in the lives of underprivileged children. We ensure basic education for 958 primary school age children. We also provide a nutritious midday meal, which in most cases is the only meal the children eat in a day.

The training HOPE worldwide provides goes beyond academic teaching. We instruct and train the children on basic life skills, such as hygiene, health, social manners. We also conduct training sessions for the parents once a month. Here again we teach about life issues. We make sure that the parents understand the importance of education. It is the way out of poverty.

This means 958 children off the streets, safe, and enjoying the prospect of a brighter future.


Mahak is an 8 year old girl in 2nd standard. She comes from a fairly poor household. She lives with her parents and four siblings in one room, without even a kitchen. Though it is rare, both parents work because money is so scarce. Mahak's father, Mahandi, is a tailor, and Mahak's mother, Mehrunisha, sews teddy bears for a living. This leaves little time to pay attention to their children's education.

In a way, Mahak is the luckiest of the children in her family, as the rest attend government schools, which are notoriously poor. The poor education, in combination with a lack of attention from the parents, would mean an almost certain obstruction in the development of Mahak's siblings. This was seen in Mahak's eldest sister, who has already failed out of government school. This means that Mahak is very lucky among her siblings to attend the Tigri School, as it provides a better education and more support than children are afforded in government schools.

Mahak has passions and interests like any other child. Her favorite subject is English. Her favorite pastimes are skipping and badminton. And when she grows up, she wants to be a doctor. Please help Mahak continue to pursue her passions and dreams through your donation. Without an education at a school like Tigri, Mahak will likely suffer the same outcome as her eldest sister and lose any opportunity to grow.

Donor Speak - Therese Groen

"My name is Therese Groen. I am an Australian speech pathologist with many years' experience and currently living in New Delhi. I first visited the Tigri School with my daughter who was doing research for her grade 8 Population Project at the American Embassy School, New Delhi. I was immediately impressed by the dedication and expertise of the teachers and support staff, the professionalism of their program manager and most importantly the happiness and hope that abounds in all of the students' faces. It is after all an initiative of HOPEworldwide and never was a word more apt in describing a school.

I have visited the school regularly over the past six months. The teachers have been enthusiastic to learn about a phonetic approach to learning English and becoming English literate. The children at the Tigri School have a wonderful grounding in English thanks to their English teacher, and other dedicated staff. However by not fully understanding the differences and links between pronunciation, sounds and letters, the children had difficulty with, for example, the difference between words like 'hopping' and 'hoping'. With India predicted to be the fastest growing economy by 2050, excellent English, both spoken and written, will be an advantage to breaking the cycle of poverty for these disadvantaged children.

I have also been working one to one with 3 children at the school who have speech disorders. It is so rewarding to see their progress at each visit. Amit in third class is a delight to work with. In the space of 2 weeks he has gone from not being able to say the 's' sound at all to now saying it at the start of single words. He even surprised the program manager today by referring to him with a very clear 'Sir'. He constantly surprises himself as you can see his face light up when he realises he can now say a word that has previously alluded him such as 'seven' or in Hindi 'sat'.

My experience as a volunteer at the Tigri School has not been all one sided. My work has given me a purpose while living as an expat in Delhi. I have learnt so much from the staff and students, not to mention improving my Hindi! Mostly it is such a joy to walk through the doors of the Tigri School and truly understand the meaning of the word 'HOPE' (definitely not 'hop'!) In India there are endless worthy NGOs vying for funds. I have been fortunate to work with the Tigri School and observe first-hand how transparent and accountable the management is with the funds received. If you have ever thought about supporting a disadvantaged child's education take a closer look at the HOPE Foundation and the Tigri School.



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