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Isha Vidhya at Sevathon-2020

Isha Vidhya at Sevathon-2020

Owner: IshaVidhya SFBay

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Isha Vidhya at Sevathon
Isha Vidhya has been participating in Sevathon for the last 8 years. This year Sevathon has been cancelled because of the pandemic. We understand that these may be challenging times for you and your family. However, this is also the time when these kids need your support more than ever. Most of their families have been badly affected by loss of livelihood. This year support from Corporates are also not forthcoming. 

Meanwhile, we are continuing to pay salaries to our staff. The teachers are making home video lessons and worksheets which they share with their class children over WhatsApp every day. Online classes are also conducted

In 2019, your support helped 452 underprivileged kids go to school and the primary goal for 2020 is to help these kids continue their education.

Goals for 2020

Our goal is to continue to make a difference in the lives of underprivileged rural children. With the help of donation from supporters like you, we hope to see more improvements in their lives.

In 2020, our fund raising goals will be to continue providing scholarships for the students in the existing schools. To this end we will concentrate on the following:

  • Renew scholarships for all children supported in 2019

Sevathon 2019 - 113$K raised with 134 runners

Sevathon 2018 - 129$K raised with 158 runners

  • 467 children benefitted through direct scholarships
  • 1500 students benefitted through Government school Adoption program
  • 2018 Funds Utilization Report

Sevathon 2017 - 92$K raised with 154 runners

  • 244 children benefitted through direct scholarships
  • 2010 students benefitted through Government school Adoption program
  • 2017 Funds Utilization Report


Sevathon 2016 - $48K raised with 100 runners

  • Contruction of compound wall in Isha Vidhya Coimbatore School
  • 130 children benefitted from various scholarships

Sevathon 2015 - $48K raised with 100 runners

Sevathon 2014 - $49K raised with 145 runners

   1.JPG 1-Classroom with Benches - Back View.JPG Classroom with Benches - Front View.JPG


Sevathon 2013 - $43K raised with 145 runners

  • 154 Children were sponsored for scholarships  ($240 x 154)
  • Balance $6040 was used for new school in Dharmapuri for classroom furniture and play equipment

Sevathon 2012 - $30K raised with 127 runners

  • 99 Children were sponsored for scholarships ($240 x 99)
  • Balance was used for Math and Science lab materials for 7 schools


Isha Vidhya, a not for profit education initiative, works for the economic and social empowerment of rural children in the villages across southern state of Tamil Nadu, India. Through this effort, the foundation is committed to raising the level of education and literacy in rural India and to helping disadvantaged children realize their full potential.

Objective: To make quality education accessible & affordable to the rural poor

Means: 1. Building & running rural schools, providing scholarships to those who cannot afford to pay 2. Adopting Govt schools to enhance their quality through critical interventions.

Isha Vidhya:

Isha Vidhya has evolved a scalable model for providing quality education within the limitations of underdeveloped, rural India. The model creates a holistic and nurturing environment in which youth can learn in a joyful manner and realize their full potential. Isha Vidhya currently runs 10 schools (nine in Tamil Nadu and one in Andhra Pradesh) benefitting 8,523 children, 60% of whom are on full scholarship.

60% of our children are first generation school goers. The ongoing pandemic has severely affected the families of our children. This year with Corporate Donations nearly nonexistent, we are entirely dependent on individual donors to contribute for the scholarships of the students. This campaign is to seek your support for these deserving children.

Volunteers from around the world make Isha Vidhya possible, supporting directly in the schools as well as remotely. Isha Vidhya’s management is comprised fully of volunteers. Land, infrastructure and student scholarships are all realized through the generosity of donors, including individuals.

Innovation in education during lockdown

  • Isha Vidhya has launched a series of home learning programs, to engage students and teachers. The lockdown has blurred the distinction between homework and classwork for the students. We have overcome the hurdle posed by the pandemic by sending lessons via WhatsApp groups. Our teachers prepare short audio/videos and notes and post them on the groups. They also prepare worksheets on the lessons. Students submit the completed assignments in the same groups.
  • To help slow learners, who need extra attention to catch up with their classmates, the Academic Team sends worksheets on subjects like Tamil, English and Mathematics.
  • For higher classes, Khan Academy videos are also used. Google Hangout classes are conducted from time to time and mock tests too. Children are engaged for about 2 hours in lower classes and for about 2 to 3 hours every day from 9th to 12th.

Unfortunately, only about 50% of our students are able to participate in the digital classes as the rest do not have access to smartphones or internet connectivity. 

This is the time when the Isha Vidhya school campuses would have overflown with innocence and cuteness as new pupils got enrolled in UKG and LKG. But, now with the new normal in force due to the pandemic, the youngest of our students are studying from home, waiting for their chance to liven up classrooms with their exuberance and energy.

Our academic innovations have helped us press on even during the lockdown. In this period of online classrooms, our teachers have used engaging new teaching techniques to keep our students joyful and abreast with their studies.


I’m studying in Cuddalore school. I made a balloon powered car as guided by my teacher, using pet bottle, caps & balloon. The balloon inserted in the pet bottle supported with caps as wheels. I was on cloud nine seeing the moving car when I let it on the ground after blowing. It was an amazing experience.

-Sadhana, Isha Vidhya Cuddalore School

We were unsure if the lockdown would continue for a long period of time and had no clue how to manage the kids as they were getting bored frequently. The guided videos shared by the teachers were encouraging. Their careful articulations and regular follow up helped my daughter do the assignments regularly.

–Sharing by a parent, Isha Vidhya Coimbatore School


How are we coping financially?

The pandemic has caused serious disruption in our finances. With Corporate donations non-existent and a steep fall in donations from individuals due to layoffs and pay cuts, the donations required are not keeping pace with the requirements. 

Over 90% of our parents have had their jobs disrupted and most of them are yet to get back to full employment.  As a result, even the 40% of our students who normally pay a nominal fee are unable to do so. We have so far barely managed to collect a negligible fraction of the fee dues.

Despite schools being closed due to the pandemic, we have not stopped incurring any of the costs associated with running the schools. We expect schools to reopen by November ’20 at least. The largest salary heads which are salary, books, notebooks & learning materials and school infra maintenance (buildings, equipment, etc.) which account for over 90% of operating costs are being incurred as usual.

  • All salaries are being paid since the teachers are all fully engaged working from home, creating home videos on daily lessons and preparing / correcting worksheets to gauge the students understanding. Salary bills are in fact higher than last year due to the increase in pay implemented midway last year and an increase in statutory minimum wages this year.
  • The maintenance budget for the year anyway was trimmed to barest minimum required to ensure that repairs to building, plumbing, electrical equipment and such crucial infra are carried out. No other expense forms part of the budget anyway.
  • All books, notebooks, learning materials, stationery are procured and now being distributed to students, so that they can participate better in the on-going online / WhatsApp classes.
  • Even in case of Electricity and Internet / Phone bills, the savings are minimal as minimum charges are anyway payable.
  • Some savings are expected in marginal expenses such as:  

a)      Travel of Central team to schools,      

b)     Electricity bills,

c)      Phone & Internet bills,

d)     Newspaper & Periodicals.

  • We also have a situation where the kitchen and transport fixed costs (salaries, insurance, and fitness certificates) have also got to be absorbed for the months of lockdown, without any income from food or transport fees.

So overall, we have a situation where we need to manage higher costs (not lower ones), despite making steep cuts to keep them at a bare minimum. On the other hand, due to the pandemic, parents have not been able to come to school even for admissions. The uncertainty of schools opening and the health risks thereafter are making many parents rethink about enrolling their children in school for the current academic year.

We are facing a situation where the outgo of students who have completed Class 12 and the usual outgo after Class 10 (to vocational programs) are confirmed attritions, whereas new admissions are not even enough to compensate for these. We are struggling to achieve even a zero 'net attrition' situation. The higher costs and lower student strength are leading to a higher cost per child compared to what we were hoping to achieve. We hope this will be reversed or at least halted from next academic year when things return to normal.

Funding Requirements – 2020-21 (for 9 Isha Vidhya rural schools)






Equiv. US$

Equiv. BPS

Equiv. EUR


School Bus (Qty: 3)






Computers for Comp. Lab (Qty: 41)






Projectors for Digital Classroom (Qty: 26)






Tablets for Peer Learning (Qty: 27)






Special workbooks






KG Materials













No. of Students

Cost per child/year

Scholarship (covering tuition fees, notebooks & books)


INR 18,000/US$ 260/

BPS 210/EUR 230


Request to Donors:

We do appreciate that these are difficult times for most people. However, as our children need your support more than ever, we seek your support to fund our requirements as much as possible.


“Unless we educate rural India, unless we create a competent population, there is no future for the nation.” – Sadhguru

Brief description:

Walk or Run 5K/10K /Half Marathon or Yoga 27/54/108 Sun Salutations in spirit of Seva.

Campaign end date: 2020-11-15

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Isha Vidhya at Sevathon-2020

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