Our Journey Till Today – NGO Working For Rural Education in Chapra, Bihar
Kusum Foundation was started and promoted by Dr. Anand Kumar in the year 2008 but since its inception our Chief Trustee – Shri Ram Raghubir Prasad Sinha and Trustee – Professor Ram Ashray Prasad Sinha have played an important role in maintaining an oversight of the management of the foundation. Dr. Binod Kumar, another integral part of Kusum Foundation, assists, manages, and monitors its operations both virtually and in person. We also offer our sincere thanks and gratitude to Mr. P.K. Singh, who helped us in getting a branch opened of a public sector commercial bank, adjacent to Kusum Foundation in village Katesar, Chapra, in Saran district, Bihar. He also got in principle approval for milk chilling plant.
The first initiative taken by Dr. Anand Kumar in Katesar, Bihar was of spreading health awareness amongst the locals. He played an instrumental role in organizing Heart Camps in Association with Escort Hospitals and has been doing so for over 12 years now.
During this period, the wide gap in computer skills in the rural parts of the country as compared to the bigger cities due to lack of infrastructure and amenities was noticed. However, there was an electrifying keenness to learn new skills that was observed amongst the youth. That is when Dr. Anand Kumar realized that it was time to bridge this gap and make equal opportunities available to all the students and the first step to do the same would be imparting vocational knowledge and skills. This is how the journey of Kusum NGO began in the year 2008.
Work was initiated in a small 600 sq. ft place in a Government school building in the village of Katesar by personal contribution by the founder inspite of it being a Government school. Soon it was noticed that minimum infrastructure was imperative for creating an impact on the minds of students. After consistent and committed efforts of everyone involved, Katesar village was finally connected to electric power supply.
This power connection not only changed the static life of the youth but also the village as a whole. The initiatives for skill development were thus commenced humbly with just 2 computers and 9 manual sewing machines. Not only computer skills but also other skills like sewing, embroidery making, clay moulding, and mobile repairing skills were introduced.
Over 12 years, with continuous efforts and consistently improving the quality of content offered in the courses, we have grown steadily in our humble pursuit. With 30 state of the art computers, 4 embroidery machines, 25 sewing machines with 7 electronic ones, Kusum NGO has expanded into something much larger and has made an impact on over 5000 individuals and associated families, not only in Katesar but also in villages around like Mothan, Gaura, Narharpur and many more.
Our students today have been able to get jobs and placements in various fields as well as be self-employed. What also makes us shine with pride is that many young guns we trained at the foundation have been equipped enough to work as teachers and instructors with us.
With our rigorous efforts, we hope to eventually introduce the art of Madhubani painting and pottery, something the villagers are very interested in learning and grasping. We have also started taking initiatives for activities such as tree plantations and environment preservation with the hope to maintain and preserve the environment.
We do charge a very nominal fee from students. This fee helps us cover the cost of running generators which provide uninterrupted power to computers and motor-run sewing & embroidery machines.
With constant support from well-wishers, we hope to perform similar development and upliftment activities in other rural areas of Bihar and then increase our reach to all of India.