Discipleship Centre (DC) was established in the year 1974. Since then the organization is working towards sustainable development of marginalized communities at a national level.
Over the past DC has responded to most of the disasters / calamities that have occurred in the country through the provision of immediate relief thus providing prompt help to the afflicted. The response has always been one of building hope, standing with the afflicted and the marginalized in their hour of acute grief and pain. Based on the long standing needs of a community affected by a disaster the blurred line of relief is broken down and together with the people DC facilitates in rebuilding the lost world of the poor through need based interventions. DC’s target has always been the most underprivileged and needy with special focus on the needs of women, children and the disabled. Water sanitation is core area where DC intervenes.
DC’s integrated community programs strive for sustainable development to empower the poor and the vulnerable through community participation and resource mobilization. At present development programs are being carried out in the state of Delhi.
DC has constructed hundreds of houses and provided boats, engines and fishing nets to around 1000 tsunami-affected families in South India apart from training the young people in computers, driving, tailoring, cell-phone repair etc. whereby they became self-employed.
In every program the primary emphasis is on the capacity building of community leaders who in turn undertake to disseminate knowledge to others in the village along with the project workers. The community-based committees are nurtured and empowered such that after the project pulls out of the area they become the future propagators of development. Through this process communities are able to stand for their rights, seek out government interventions for their respective villages and are capable of expressing their needs to concerned government officials.
The Disaster Risk Reduction programs of DC tackle the problems of flood prone villages in Bihar and Orissa through the dual process of capacity building and physical interventions.
In the drought-prone areas of Rajasthan, DC has revived the traditional methods of water harvesting like ponds, check dams and underground cisterns. Move land is now cultivated with considerable increase in agricultural yields. This is having a positive impact on poverty reduction. Planting of drought resistant fruit trees, fodder banks, improved agricultural methods are leading towards the goal of poverty alleviation. There is a marked reduction in stress migration from many of DC’s target villages.
Effective advocacy / networking with government agencies, institutions and other NGOs provides the necessary expertise and know-how for DC’s programs and training sessions.
Child Education is a vital component of all DC’s development programs without which development would forever remain a distant dream. Besides studies the non-formal literacy centres are committed to the holistic development of children, awakening the unique self-worth and latent potential in every child. Girl children destined to a life of ignorance and illiteracy are now breaking social norms and are active participants in the literacy programs with several of them having gained access to formal schools.
DC has taken women’s empowerment to lofty heights such that even the heavily veiled women living in the far-flung villages of Rajasthan are actively spreading health messages especially taboo subjects such as STD infections and the spread of HIV/AIDS. They are members of Village Development Committees and together with the men work towards the welfare of their respective villages. Economic independence has been attained through the formation of Self-Help Groups. Tie-ups with banks have enabled a large number of women to start their own village-based enterprises.
DC is also working among the urban poor, living in the slums of Delhi. Our Mahila Mandal (Women’s group) and Mahila Panchayat (the grass root legal wing for women) own the programs thus ensuring future sustainability. We also have a vast array of skill training programs enabling the trained girls to be successfully employed outside their homes thus weaning them away from being employed as unskilled workers in the private sectors.
Presently we are working in the midst of slum children for their education and health at Delhi slums.