Does the State of India Help MK?
We do not receive any kind of help from the State of India. Our sponsors are two French nongovernmental organizations, Le Fond des Hirondelles and Main Tendue, one Indian nonprofit, Samarpan Foundation, and the individual support of people through the PauPal donation system, and purchases of our shelter-made products.
Can I visit Motia Khan School?
Yes! We love having visitors, and the children greatly enjoy the cultural exchange that occurs when they meet people from different countries who come to the school. The only thing we ask is respect: that you don’t arrive camera in hand, but spend time with us, and later take photos, and that you follow through on your commitment: if you tell us you’ll be visiting, please come on that day, and don’t cancel or make avoidable changes to your plans.
How can I make arrangements to visit Motia Khan?
If you have plans to be in New Delhi, you can contact us and tell us what day you want to visit our school, and if you prefer the morning schedule (9am) or afternoon (1pm). We’ll communicate with you and arrange to pick you up at your hotel (if you are in the Paharganj area) or by the Rama Krishna Ashram Marg subway station. When the visit ends, we’ll drop you back off at the subway station or your hotel.
Can I volunteer at Motia Khan?
You can. We love having volunteers, but we’re a small operation and are unable to provide accommodation for those looking to visit. However, we can accept volunteers who are already in Delhi and are planning to stay at least a week. If you fulfill these requirements and want to have a volunteer experience at our school, write us, leave us your contact information, and we will get back to you as soon as we’re able.
How old are the children?
We have students between the ages of 5 and 15 years-old, and separate the children into two groups: Noshana and Shazlee work with the smallest kids, and Bala and Neeti with the 10-15 year-olds.
What is the future for the kids of Motia Khan?
This is a question we hear a lot: what is going to happen to the kids when they finish studying at the MK school? While we don’t have a crystal ball, what we can say is that they are going to have learned how to read, how to write in two languages (and perhaps even three, as now we also offer classes in Spanish!); they are going to have knowledge of mathematics, geography, and social sciences; and in addition, they will also have spent years learning to love and value themselves and others. Our intention is to accompany our students as they enter early adulthood, to guide them as they seek advanced studies, search for jobs, and in whatever form they need our assistance as they transition into adult life.
Do the children also go to a formal school?
Yes. In fact, Motia Khan School was born to function as an intermediary between the street and formal schooling. Most of the children who attend our school do not have anyone in their family who can read or write. They are the first generation to attend school. That is why, when we started this project four years ago, these children could not even imagine studying in public school and nor did the public schools let them register: because they were on the streets all day, they weren’t comfortable with the confinement of a classroom, and so the Indian government did not accept their registration. That's where we step in: we guide the child through this new stage, accompanying them, and providing them whatever time they need until they feel comfortable in the role of student. When they are ready, they begin to attend public school as well, until they no longer need to attend our school at all.
Can I sponsor a boy or girl?
Nosotros no estamos de acuerdo con el padrinazgo. Si bien lo aceptamos en casos especiales como el de Sultana (que necesita una cirugía), no nos parece justo que el padrino elija un niño y que otros se queden sin padrino. Incluso si consiguiéramos padrinazgo para todos, preferimos que los "tíos de Motia Khan" sepan que con su ayuda están apoyando a todos por igual, a ninguno en particular. Si querés saber cómo podes ayudar a Motia Khan, hacé click acá.
Can I send school supplies or clothing from abroad?
We’d love to receive packages from abroad, but find that postage can make it prohibitively expensive. For this reason, we recommend that you either send what you want with someone who is planning to travel to Delhi in person, or make an order through Amazon.in. Here we tell you how.
Is the class system still enforced in India?
While the caste system was formally abolished in the Indian Constitution of 1950, it’s influence can still be felt in the streets of Delhi, the Indian Capital.
The term Dalit or Untouchable applies to those people who were born outside the four main castes and therefore have no caste. Such people perform the hardest jobs and are considered impure by those who belong to the four other castes: for example, they collect dead animals, clean the sewers, build wells, and so on. Dalits are marginalized by society and in antiquity (though there are still situations where this occurs today) touching a member of this group left a person “contaminated.” This is why Dalit communities often lack access to the most basic services, like wells, hospitals, or schools.
The children of Motia Khan suffer discrimination because they belong to a tribe, and thus do not have a place within the caste system. Little by little, however, they are gaining confidence in themselves and are beginning to feel more empowered to defend their rights and not allow the mistreatment of them and their families by society at large.