The Program

With a population of about 8 million in a greater metropolitan area that covers about 300 sq miles, Hyderabad is the 5th largest city in India. In recent years, it has emerged as one of the fastest growing Indian cities due to global investment in technology and infrastructure by MNCs in industries such as software, banking, pharmaceutical, and printing. Consequently, class contradictions in Hyderabad’s population are become glaring: Middle and upper class professionals (many diasporic Americans) are the white collar workforce of these companies, while migrant laborers work at the expanding construction projects and provide domestic services. 

The two segments remain deeply interdependent but starkly disparate particularly in their access to basic resources and rights, such as education. Local NGOs and independent volunteer organizations worry that the dazzle of development is blinding the public to the continued lack of basic amenities to large sectors of the population. Additionally, despite free education at government schools, the rapidly changing government education policy is completely at odds with available educational infrastructure and mentorship. School children at younger ages are most disadvantaged by these economic conditions and educational policies, and yet, these children are the ones that remain the most motivated group. 

Working in economically underprivileged communities in collaboration with the Association for India’s Development, our DukeEngage team will focus on making education exciting, meaningful—and most importantly, transformative for everybody involved in this process.

Specifically, we will :

·  help elementary school children in underprivileged schools develop communicative English and storytelling skills

·  help these children gain in self-confidence and self-expression

·  demonstrate basic science experiments in schools

·  work with the school children on visual-arts projects

·  collaborate with students on producing skits, and,

·  develop illustrative materials for subjects like geography and history.

We will jointly work with the Hyderabad chapter of the Association for India’s Development (AID also has a Duke Chapter, for which Dr. Leela Prasad is the faculty advisor) at the Government Primary Schools in the Vajpayee Nagar, the Sri Sai Nagar, and the Marredpally areas of Hyderabad. 

© Leela Prasad