Purkal Youth Development Society was founded by Mr. Swamy in 2003 in the rural community of Purkal. This initiative has been unique in that it has grown without governmental financial support, has been targeted at the poorest community and is an example of what can be achieved by quiet, determined self-less effort aimed at putting heart into a despondent community.
The organization has been steadily built and is today self-sustaining, depending on the local community for its management.
Purkal village is located 20 Km from the city of Dehradun, a rural area situated in the foothills of the Himalayas suffering backward conditions. Access to water supply and electricity were difficult and the roads poor. More importantly the government and other schools that served the village were badly run unable to provide meaningful education. The backwardness of this area was the reason PYDS decided to reach out to the poor rural children, especially girls.
PYDS provides outstanding education accompanied with complete nutrition, comprehensive health support and transportation. Children gaining entry into professional programs are also supported financially and otherwise. All these inputs are given completely free of cost.
The students are targeting topnotch professions. This calls for excellent learning at school including proficiency in English and computers, ability to think and resolve complex problems and an overall personality development.
PYDS has different programs within its “Society”:
- Early Childhood Learning Centre: A 7 hour care facility for children in the age group of 3 to 5 years-old whose mothers work in PYDS’s sister organization “Stree Shakti”, which strives for women’s empowerment. Along with free education, children receive comprehensive immunization, nutrition and health care.
- On To Life: A program aimed at assisting the students post schooling by providing support through counseling, scholarships, interest free loans etc… to help pursue their university education.
- Community Development: The “PYD Society” actively promotes important social initiatives like anti-plastic drive, blood donation camps, building social awareness through street plays, building toilets and a range of environmental, health and sanitation issues.
- PYDS Learning Academy: PYDS’s school attempts to reach out to the poor needy rural children, especially girls. PYDS is running a CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) affiliated school, up to Class 12 (Terminale), which included 329 children in 2014. These disadvantaged students come from the surrounding 35 villages and the school provides free transport so that children can commute from the remote, hilly areas.
The school has innovative practices such as running 10 hours a day and running 6 days a week, 50 more days than the other schools with only 21–25 students in each class. Apart from academics, students get an exposure to dance, drama, theatre, yoga, field trips, excursions, adventure activities etc.
- Shishu Shakti (ECLC) was established to help the women working with PYDS’ sister organization “Stree Shakti”. These women hail from the surrounding villages. With a free 7-hour long day care facility for their children these women do not have to worry about bathing, feeding and educating their child or taking care of them in any other way and can therefore focus on earning a living.
The direct beneficiaries of PYDS’ project are over 300. PYDS covers a total of 35 villages in and around Purkal with a population of well over 15,000 with around 5,000 people living in precarious conditions. All the students who study at PYDS belong to very poor families living in these villages.
PYDS sustains entirely on donations. They have over 400 individuals supporting them.
55 persons are working in PYDS + 1 volunteer.