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About Us

CITI SQUARE India Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation with an overarching goal to contribute to a just, equitable, humane and sustainable society in India. We strive to facilitate deep, large scale and long-term impact on the quality and equity of education in India, along with related development areas such as child health, nutrition, governance and ecology.

CITI SQUARE India Foundation seeks to address these inter-related domains while keeping Education as a core area of focus. The Foundation does this through an integrated approach that synergistically contributes to a dynamic response. The four key strands of our work include:

Talent Creation : Developing a critical mass of people with vision, competence and deep motivation to engage in social action. This includes developing fresh talent and building capacity in the existing talent of teachers, teacher educators, education functionaries and leaders and development professionals.

Knowledge Creation : Creating knowledge and evidence to provide deeper insights into the solutions to challenges in education and development in the Indian context and culture. This Create a culture of evidence based decisions in policy & program.

Network of Institutions : Developing a network of institutions spread across the country that actively develop talent, build knowledge, and work for reform in education and allied developmental areas on a sustained basis.

Social Pressure : Through strong institutional networks, continuing education, field impact and awareness building, changing in the way that communities and functionaries think about issues in education and development and thus facilitate social pressure for improvement in quality and equity.

Network of Institutions

Large scale impact in education and development requires significant and sustained effort over many decades and can only be achieved through dynamic, permanent institutions that work towards improvements in education and allied developmental areas at multiple levels. Leveraging its rich experience of working at the grass-roots level for over a decade, several institutions established by Foundation have been working together in an integrated manner to facilitate such improvements.

Our Vision
The Indian India, after sixty years as a Republic, continues to demonstrate the strength of its political institutions. Economic growth has brought significant improvements in material conditions and opportunities in most parts of the country. Yet, it is still home to too large a number of citizens who are unable to live lives of dignity, free from the fear of poverty, preventable disease or social and political oppression and violence. In spite of constitutional directives the possibility of basic liberties and a more equitable society does not seem any closer for many.

Rapid economic growth has also led to increasing disparities and often diminished quality of life in urban and rural areas. This is potentially a source of future conflicts and a matter of concern in the face of rapid environmental degradation that affects all but especially threatens the poor. Education and institutions of learning are crucial both to creation of individual capabilities and also strong social responses that might help us meet these challenges. Education and learning contribute not just to livelihood and marketable skill but also nurture the sensibilities needed for human well-being and flourishing. Equally importantly, education helps build the capabilities that promote just and equitable social and political arrangements.

Historical Perspective

CITI SQUARE India Foundation was established in 2013 with a vision to contribute to education that facilitates a just, equitable, humane and sustainable society. Our approach has been to focus all our resources and efforts on systemic change and improvement in quality of education in the government schools. Consequently, our approach has been to work in partnership with state governments in various states in identified districts over a period of time. The Foundation has been focused on the following key areas while working with the Government:

Teacher Education : Our teacher education programs have sought to build capacity in the existing education functionaries in terms of their perspectives, subject matter knowledge, competencies and motivation levels. Since inception, we have worked with over 50,000 government school teachers across 8 states.

Education Leadership and Management : Educational leadership has a critical role in the transformation of education and the quality of leadership makes a significant difference to school and learning outcomes. We have developed about 3500 education functionaries in the state of Karnataka, including principals of schools in a unique effort involving training of master development facilitators for extended periods of time through classroom training and field projects.

Examination Reforms : It is widely accepted that the current mode of public examination determines the way teaching learning takes place. As a first step, examination reform can address one major criticism of the existing pattern, namely, that it tests rote learning to the neglect of basic competencies or conceptual understanding and application that are supposed to be the objectives of the curriculum. Following our work in this area, about 8 districts in 5 states have changed the way they conduct examinations for students up to 5th standard and the state of Karnataka has introduced external competency based evaluation.

Technology in Education : There is a consistent international trend to explore and utilize computer aided learning to augment the teaching -learning processes in the classroom. The Foundation initiated the Computer Aided Learning Programme in the year 2002 to harness the potential of computer technology for education. The objectives of the Programme were to make learning enjoyable and assessment fun, for all students. To this end, the Foundation created syllabus-based bi/trilingual multimedia content. It is probably the largest developer of Digital Learning Resources that address curricular issues of children from classes 3 to 8 in 18 languages (including four tribal languages). 2.5 million children in 20,000 schools have used these resources across 16 states.

Role of CITI SQUARE India Foundation

NGOs play an important role in the expansion of the Mid-Day Meal Scheme. The State Governments partners with NGOs like the CITI SQUARE India Foundation to implement the Mid-Day Meal Programme in order to increase the number of children they reach out to. This Private-Public Partnership (PPP) has proved instrumental in improving the quality and reach of the programme. There are many facets which the Government considers when selecting a non-profit to partner with. Such organisations must be transparent and 'of proven integrity'. The NP-NSPE 2006 lays out some criteria for choosing an NGO.

The CITI SQUARE India Foundation is a NGO that works in partnership with the Central and various State Governments of India to provide mid-day meal to 1.3 million children studying in Government schools and Government-aided schools. Founded in June 2013, in Hyderabad,CITI SQUARE India Foundation is currently operating in 2 locations across Andhra Pradesh state of India.CITI SQUARE India Foundation has been conferred as the World’s Largest NGO-run Mid-Day Meal Programme. The role of CITI SQUARE India Foundation in implementing Mid-Day Meal Programme is much more than just providing school lunch. Through this Programme the Foundation aims at achieving the two most critical Millennium Development Goals: elimination of hunger and universalization of primary education.

CITI SQUARE India Foundation primarily focuses on providing mid-day meal to the children in India and also strives towards their education. For this reason, one can also call CITI SQUARE India Foundation as NGO for children, even though it is not solely a child specific NGO. It works towards its vision of “No child in India should be deprived of education because of hunger”. To achieve this vision CITI SQUARE India Foundation believes in providing “unlimited food for education”. The Mid-Day Meal programme gives direct access to food to many Indian children studying in Government and aided schools. This wholesome meal is often their only source of nutrition for the whole day. So to ensure that every child is benefited through this one meal, CITI SQUARE India Foundation makes its menu according to the local palate. While doing so it is kept in mind that the nutritional value of each meal remains intact and that it meets the requirements of a growing child.

The Foundation runs its operations through two kitchen models-Centralised Kitchens and De-centralised Kitchens. Most of the locations have the Centralised Kitchen facility. This facility is suitable of urban and semi-urban locations. These kitchens are mostly mechanized and apply some of the most innovative technology. Centralised kitchens have the capacity to cook meals for thousands of children within just few hours. The technology and process used in Centralised Kitchens have been a topic of research and study in the course curriculum of many renowned universities like Harvard. On the other hand, the De-centralised Kitchen set-up is used in areas that are not easily accessible. This kitchen facility employs women of that particular area for the cooking process. Ample training and guidance is provided to the employees so that the same hygiene and cleanliness is maintained as in the Centralised kitchen facility.

Surveys indicate that nearly 8.1 million children in India are out of school. Economic and social circumstances force these children to forgo education and engage in doing menial jobs in order to earn a single meal a day. Research shows that universal education has lagged because of the prevailing hunger and malnutrition state. These two factors reduce school enrolments, hamper performance levels and increase school drop-out rates, especially among girls. Hunger especially classroom hunger impairs a child’s performance even if they do attend school. At this juncture, apart from the role of NGOs in child education, the Mid-Day Meal Scheme acts as a huge incentive in bringing these children to school. It prevents them from working and instead encourages them to study and get educated. In this way the programme also helps in the universalization of primary education.

The Mid-Day Meal Programme has seen various positive impacts across India. AC Nielsen Org Marg Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai did a study to measure the impact and role of CITI SQUARE India Foundation work in the year 2006. It came to fore that there has been:


Thus, it becomes evident that the role of CITI SQUARE India Foundation in providing ‘Unlimited food for education’ is designed to address the link between education and hunger. It provides children with a meal rich in nutrients that improves their health and increases their overall well being. It gives each child the opportunity to learn, grow and above all, aim for a brighter future. CITI SQUARE India Foundation works tirelessly everyday to provide wholesome meals to the children in India so that they can grow up in a hunger free world that gives them the opportunity to make their dreams come true.

Purpose

Set up in 2013, CITI SQUARE India Foundation is a non-profit partner of CITI SQUARE GROUP. Driven by its belief in the inherent motivation and capacity of the human being for progress – given the appropriate and adequate environment – DRF innovates and tries out novel concepts that are continuously refined and scaled up to cover larger groups of disadvantaged populations.
Seeing the possibilities rather than the problems created by change, DRF plays the role of a change agent in the social sector, by recognizing and pursuing new opportunities to serve that mission, and by engaging in a process of continuous innovation, adaptation and learning.

Livelihoods

Through a wide array of Education development programs, DRF addresses the issues of employability, income generation and consequent improvement in quality of life.

Education

DRF strives to provide various opportunities for learning to those who have never been to school, or have dropped out of it; it also works to improve the quality of education in schools