OUR JOURNEY – EDUCATION & REINFORCING HOLISTIC DEVELOPMENT
Kusum Foundation was started in the year 2008 though since its inception our Managing Trustee – Shri Ram Raghubir Prasad Sinha and Trustee – Professor Ram Ashray Prasad Sinha have played an important role in administering 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 offer our sincere thanks and gratitude to Mr. P.K. Singh, who helped us in getting a public sector commercial bank branch in the same premises adjacent to Kusum Foundation in village Katesar, Chapra, in Saran district, Bihar, India. He also got in-principle approval for establishing milk chilling plant in Katesar.
The other maiden initiative taken by Anand in Chapra & Katesar, Bihar was of spreading health awareness amongst the locals. He played an instrumental role in organizing Heart Camps in Association with Escort Hospitals for over 12 years under the aegis of Dr. C.P. Rai and his Team. Many heart patients who would not have been able to make a trip to Delhi had been immensely benefitted by these well-organised camps with modern facilities like x-ray, echo, that too free of any charge.
It was observed that there was a “fervent pent up” intent for skill learning amongst the youth from rural areas particularly for computer led skills, sewing, embroidery, painting. That is when Anand realized that it was time to bridge the gap and make equal opportunities available to all the students, the first step to do the same would be setting up a legally structured vocational knowledge and skill centre. This is how the humble journey of Kusum began in the year 2008.
Prior to setting up the foundation and at the suggestion by the Managing Trustee Sri Ram Raghubir Prasad Sinha, another initiative of constructing an annexe of 600 sq. ft to a Government school building in the village Katesar was completed with the personal contribution by the founder despite it being a Government school. It was thoughtfully considered as there was no room in the then existing school building for a growing number of students.
Soon it was noticed that minimum infrastructure was imperative for creating an impact on the minds of students and others as well. After consistent and committed efforts of everyone in the village, Katesar village was finally connected to an electric power supply with the sole initiative & strategic effort undertaken by Anand Kumar in 2004.
This power connection not only changed the static life of the youth but also the village as a whole, despite the sporadic operational challenges during execution at the ground level. It finally could see the burning of light with the help of all the villagers. Everyone in the village and the foundation places on record the help, guidance and permission provided by Mr Choudhry, General Manager of the Bihar State Electricity Board for the electrification of the village – life-changing event.
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 mission of training & development. 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 humility 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 taken initiatives for activities such as tree plantations and environment preservation to maintain preserve and aid the environment. Foundation is endeavouring to work around ESG approach-Environment, Social & Governance in its overall approach in deliverance of skills.
We do charge a very nominal fee from students. This fee helps us partly cover the cost of running generators which provide uninterrupted power to computers and motor-run sewing & embroidery machines. Foundation waives even the minimal charges if the student, based on the earnings of the family, may not afford even the minimum charges.
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.