The formal launch of the initiative will be held at Bharathi Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Coimbatore, on October 17

When Phase I of ‘Poverty Solutions’ of Shanti Ashram began in October 2012, it was aimed at involving a few schoolchildren to find solutions to eradicate child poverty.

Child marriages

Now, only after a year, the initiative is going pan-India as ‘India Poverty Solutions’ that aims at finding effective solutions for preventing child marriages too.

When Phase I got off on Gandhi Jayanthi and culminated on January 30, 2013, it saw 4,355 students across 40 schools in Coimbatore contributing Rs. 1.50 lakh in hundis (piggy banks). The amount was used in implementing a few solutions to eradicate child poverty - educational scholarships for vulnerable children, critical child health interventions, reverse anaemia among school going girls, and setting up food bank for some institutions.

The success of the three-month module initiative made the organisers begin Phase II in August 2013, this time including college students.

“The project took off on Gandhi Jayanthi on October 2, 2013, with distribution of as many as 3,000 piggy banks to interested students in colleges. They have also been asked to submit abstract of viable solutions for poverty issues impacting the places near their colleges along with the expenses involved,” G. Vijayaragavan, Head, Youth Leadership Programme of the Ashram says.

After Phase II, the Ashram is now taking ‘Poverty Solutions’ across States. The initiative is being taken to New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and a few places in Kerala in a phased manner. This will be carried out by Shanti Ashram’s partner organisations in these places. A formal launch of ‘India Poverty Solutions 2013’ will be held at Bharathi Matriculation Higher Secondary School on October 17, where more than 3,500 children are expected to reflect and act on solutions for eradicating child poverty.

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