Teach For India


The Education Crisis in Delhi

Boasting a population of over 21.8 million, New Delhi is a city that has 4.4 million students enrolled in the and 6,000 schools in the area. A closer look at national educational statistics will reveal that an alarming 75% of students in grade 6 cannot read grade 2 text. With New Delhi being the second largest populated city in India, following only Mumbai, the first steps to eliminating the education crisis begins with leaders within the city taking ownership of addressing the problems that exist.

With a view to build a growing community of leaders that address education inequity, Teach For India’s two-year Fellowship program provides an opportunity to some of Delhi’s brightest and most enterprising young minds to serve as full-time teachers in some of the most under-resourced schools in the city. Currently Teach For India Fellows in Delhi benefit approximately 10,000 students in 66 schools.



What you can accomplish with the Fellowship

Teaching in classrooms allows Fellows to develop a grassroots understanding of the challenges that exist in their students’ communities. During the Fellowship they acquire the knowledge, skills and mindsets needed to take on positions of leadership in the movement for education equity and to identify the role they can play within the education sector in the long-term. Fellows undergo a rigorous five-week training program focusing on leadership development prior to entering their classrooms. Throughout the two years, Fellows receive ongoing support from Program Managers who are assigned to help them track and achieve their growth, development and goals.

Fellows join Teach For India to provide students with the opportunities that can put them on a different life path.  Being a part of this movement in Delhi allows Fellows to tackle a central piece of the vast national puzzle of education inequity that requires addressing in different cultural contexts. 60 percent of Teach For India’s students cleared the 10th grade with a distinction (75% and above). 72 percent of Teach For India classrooms show increasing evidence of building student awareness by exposing them to opportunities through projects and experiences outside the classroom as opposed to 65 percent from last year.

Where Teach For India Delhi Alumni Are Now

With 270 Fellows and more than 500 alumni, Teach For India Delhi fuels leadership at every level of the education ecosystem. After the Fellowship, approximately 70% of our alumni continue to work in the education sector across various capacities. Alumni gain the skills needed to work in roles as teacher trainers, school principals, curriculum designers, policy designers. They also lead change by supporting the education sector as journalists, lawyers, entrepreneurs and corporate leaders.

Anurag Kundu


Education: Bachelor of Technology- NIT Kurukshetra

Current designation and role: Member, Delhi Commission For Protection of Child Rights, Government of Delhi (monitors and implements the Right to Education Act across 6000 schools of Delhi) and Founder and CEO – Election Promises Tracker (an initiative that tracks the performance of the governments against their promises in a data-driven and rigorous manner).


Sahil Babbar



Education: M.Sc Maths, BITS Pilani

Current designation and role: Co-Founder, Samarthya (leads communications, development, fundraising and partnerships)

About Teach for India: Teach For India is a non-profit organization that believes in an excellent education for all children and is striving to end this problem of educational inequity. To address this challenge, the organization runs a highly selective two-year Fellowship program that provides an opportunity for India’s brightest minds to serve as full-time teachers to children from low-income communities in some of the nation’s most under-resourced schools.

To apply to the Fellowship, visit https://apply.teachforindia.org/ and fill out your application by March 24th 2019, 10 PM IST.

This article has been curated and collated by Teach For India. 

Born and brought up in Delhi, 24-year-old Mallika Arya took the fellowship of Teach For India (TFI) with the humble thoughts of bringing a change in the lives of underprivileged children. She did her schooling from Vasant Valley School and graduated in B.A. Psychology Honours from Lady Shri Ram College for Women. She worked with TFI for two years before taking a gap year to travel. She is currently pursuing her masters in sustainability from the University of Sydney.

In conversation with her, she answered these questions:

Q. What made you decide to join the fellowship?
A. I was a volunteer in a TFI classroom when I was in college and also a part of Project Leap (which later became I Foundation) and that’s when I decided that I wanted to do the fellowship once I graduated. I wanted my own class, my own students, and I wanted to create the change that I had seen in so many classrooms with TFI fellows. I worked with the mindset that I would lead the change and create magic for those kids. I came out of the fellowship with a totally different view – I only went in there as an enabler,and in the end I didn’t create the magic. The kids did it on their own, and the journey with them was life-changing not just for them but also for me.

Q. What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?
A. The challenges I faced included not being accepted by some stakeholders. I was extremely lucky to have a co-fellow who had similar dreams. Both of us worked hard together to build relationships with the other teachers. We would make conscious efforts to sit with everyone else during break time and share our ideas, lesson plans, and assessment sheets. Another challenge for us had been to get the parents of the students to understand some of our unconventional teaching methods. There were regular community visits and we were often involved in calling the parents and going home for surprise visits or even just inviting the parents to come and sit in some of the classes.

Q. When did you start seeing changes (that you set for yourself) in your students? Could you recall any exact moments?
A. Looking back at the fellowship now, I think the kids taught me more than I taught them. They taught me to be patient and brought out a creative side to me which I didn’t know even existed! I hated math and science in school, maybe because of the way it was taught, but those were my favourite lessons with my kids. We would go outside and study under the trees. We started a little community garden to see how we could make compost with food waste and that really showed the kids that the solutions to a lot of problems can be found in the little things we do everyday. There were difficult days as well, but on those days it was the kids who pushed me through the rough times.

Q. What did you learn from the fellowship and the children? How did the fellowship help you in your next steps?
A. The fellowship was monumental in helping me decide what I want to do for the rest of my life. It was through our science lessons that we really started to dive deep into environmental issues around us today. I started doing extra research and we spent days following the COP21 news and hours learning about waste and pollution. My kids understood it all so well and wanted to do something about it so badly that it made me introspect my role towards saving the environment. I was immensely passionate about it, and here I am now doing my masters in sustainability in Sydney! It all goes back to my experiences in the classroom and if I hadn’t been a teacher to those 25 amazing little beings I don’t know where I would be today!

Inspired by Mallika’s story? Apply to be a fellow. Last date of application is 4th February 2018.


Feature Image Credits: TFI

Equal access to education is a basic right, one that can change the entire economy of a country. Presently, 48% of the 320 million children in India do not make it past Grade 5. They represent a large and unutilised population that could contribute to the growth and development of the country if they are given access to education.

Teach For India brings together the brightest, most driven students from the best universities. Why? Because they all have the same desire — to ensure that one day, all children in India attain an excellent education. For two years, the TFI Fellows work as teachers with 30 students, in under-resourced schools with the aim of inculcating the right skills, knowledge, and mindsets into the next generation of thinkers and changemakers.

Through these two years, Fellows not only impact the children they teach, but become aware of the challenges in the Indian education system. With this awareness comes personal growth that impacts their very core.

Shreya Verma, a current Fellow and alumni of DU, joined the Fellowship in 2016. Troubled with the state of the Indian education system, she decided to start making a change beyond simply staying in the field of education.

Shreya teaches 70 Grade 9 girls at Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya in J-block, Sangam Vihar and loves it. However, starting as a new Fellow wasn’t as easy as she thought it would be.

Being an introvert, interacting with parents of her students and the outside community was a challenge for Shreya. Building a relationship with the girls proved to be an additional challenge. The girls were used to a male Fellow, but in due time Shreya broke down this wall, creating a space safe for communication and vulnerability. According to her, she felt this wall break down when the girls picked up on her low emotions and vulnerabilities. Seeing her distraught, a lot of personal stories started being told, with the girls slowly opening up to her. “Now, when I come in and the girls see that I can only give 50% today, they’ll give me 50% to make it 100%,” says Shreya. She has become their didi— the person they look up to.

Emotions aside, Shreya made it her aim to provide her girls with strength and resources in school. After school hours, the girls would come to the learning centre at the Odyssey project, a project that’s part of the Be the Change Project, a Teach For India initiative. This centre is a place where the girls from her school can come, interact, and learn from Fellows and each other while developing leadership skills for the future. Shreya saw a lot of her girls coming to clarify doubts and helping one another out.

Going into her second year of the Fellowship, Shreya feels as if this school and community have been a part of her for longer than a year. She attributes a lot of this growth to her ever present Programme Manager lending support and advice during their personal sessions. For her, the desire to see her students grow and succeed has taught her the meaning of discipline and hard work on her side. The management and organisation of her classroom, lessons, and children is now reflected in every aspect of her life.

With such growth, Shreya feels ready to take on her second year and the educational sector.


Inspired by Shreya’s story? Applications for the 2018 Fellowship Program are now open, and final year students are eligible to apply. Click here to learn more. The deadline for applications is 29th October 2017.

Explore the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) with international recognition that are committed to bringing about a change in the world one life at a time, where you can contribute or work too.

As human beings whose various needs are fulfilled through societal resources, responsibility lies on our shoulders to give back to that very society. It can be done in the form of repaying the underprivileged strata which cannot avail the resources that we easily can. A few weeks or months of our lives can bring about a paradigm shift in a person’s life for which they will be grateful forever. Plus, acknowledging and contributing to a noble cause looks good on one’s Resume/CV. Here are some NGOs that are committed to improving the lives of destitute children, women, and elderly.

Smile Foundation:

Founded by young corporate professionals in 2002, Smile Foundation works at the grassroots level with numerous initiatives in child education, healthcare, and livelihood programmes benefitting 400000 underprivileged children and families each year. For providing free healthcare facilities to rural people, Smile on Wheels was started in 2006 with urban doctors, paramedics, and surgeons contributing in each round of project. A small amount of money donated each month can ensure a child’s proper education.


Goonj is an NGO that started out as a clothes distribution organisation 18 years ago but has won several awards and accolades nationally as well as internationally. It deals in 3000 tons of cloth material and initiates 1500 developmental activities under its ‘Cloth for Work(CFW)’ flagship annually. It has succeeded in producing 4 tons of sanitary napkins out of waste cloth which has reached rural women and girls. Their Green by Goonj project of upcycling waste cloth material and promotion of entrepreneurship by small communities has garnered much appreciation. It has various ways for individuals as well organisations to contribute money to the NGO and volunteering activities youngsters.

HelpAge India:

Established in 1978 by the HelpAge International, it aims to provide an active, healthy and dignified life to the 3 million elderly citizens of the country right now. Their main programs include mobile healthcare, physio care, cataract surgeries, cancer care, health camps, disaster management, old age homes, livelihood support and elder helplines amongst others. The organisation has won many Excellence and Social Impact awards over the years.

Robin Hood Army:

“The challenge is not the lack of food – it is making food consistently available to everyone who needs it.” Reads the first line on the official website of RHA. The Robin Hood Army is a volunteer organisation of students and young professionals that go about taking the leftover food from restaurants around Delhi and distributing it amongst the poor people who usually go to the sleep without a full stomach. The organisation doesn’t require any donations, only a few hours of your day. Thinking of helping in the fight against hunger.

Teach for India:

Teach for India is part of the Teach for All Network, an expanding group of independent organisations working in the field of educational opportunities spread across 40 countries. The organisation selects the brightest and the most promising individuals for their fellowship programs. Applications for this year’s fellowship program are open for those aspiring to bring a change in the society via their teaching.

Feeling motivated? A meager amount of monthly donation won’t hurt your pocket and would help save someone’s life or future.


Feature Image Credits: DU Beat 


Prachi Mehra

[email protected]


Aarzoo has reached into Delhi’s communities and ignited the untapped potential of many women and children. Nidhi Lamba and Deeganta Datta (Fellows) were shocked by what they found in their classrooms. The children were never encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities. Yet plenty of students were inclined towards the arts. Many kids were interested in dance, theatre and performing arts, but their mothers seemed wary of allowing participation. The pair were taken aback, but realized that many of the mothers stayed home alone and were restricted to the meagre income earned by their husbands (if anything). The community also suffered from rampant domestic violence and substance abuse. For a group that didn’t have the chance to complete school, learning dance or theatre provided a welcome creative, productive outlet. “Most of them felt they were dependent on their husbands and also wanted to learn skills that could be used to get a job or earn money,” says Nidhi. “They were so intrigued, they said: ‘even we want to do it!” So, Project Aarzoo began as a performance showcase of 40 kids in Shahdara (and their mothers), which grew to a production featuring 350 students and aims to reach 6500 kids in the future!


Applications for the 2017-2019 Teach For India Fellowship program are now open. Please visit apply.teachforindia.org to submit your application by March 21st, 2017.

Teach For India (TFI) is widely recognised as an organisation that works on ground level with underprivileged children and people who want to change the nation through education. Its ‘Be the Change Project’ encourages TFI fellows to design a project which they then execute with a particular aim in mind. One such project is ‘Carpe Diem’, which was started in 2014 with the intention of creating educational residential camps for students of TFI. DU Beat spoke to Asif Rahman, currently a TFI fellow involved with ‘Carpe Diem’, to gain a better understanding of its journey and accomplishments.

‘Carpe Diem’ was started by a group of fellows in Delhi wanting to provide concrete learning to extraordinarily talented TFI students. Students from TFI classrooms around the city take aptitude tests, of which the highest scoring students qualify for the ‘Carpe Diem’. This year, over fifty students are part of the project. Five fellows are leading the team and volunteers work throughout the duration of the camps. The camps are organised in collaboration with other organisations and schools, and vary from short ones over the weekend to ones that last a week.

Fellows in the team tackle different tasks with which come several challenges. For example, Asif Rahman, who handles logistics and manages external venue partners, has to create contacts and raise funds for the execution of the camps. There is never a moment when the fellows can be lax; they must stay on their toes to ensure that the project is completed successfully. As Asif said, “The fellowship is one of the most challenging but at the same time fulfilling experiences that many people have in their entire lives.” With its vision and purpose, TFI aims transform the nation, and ‘Carpe Diem’ is one of its many projects that turn this dream into a reality.

Feature Image Credits- Teach For India

Vineeta Rana
[email protected]

1st July, 2016 was the day when I stepped through the mirror into the ‘Looking Glass House’, just like Alice did in ‘Through the Looking Glass’. And yes, just like Alice I also felt that I had stepped into a world which was similar to mine but, with several strange differences. I cannot describe my Teach for India (TFI) experience without lending images from this wonderful text by Lewis Caroll. Alice becomes a different person after her journey through the Looking Glass and so did I, after this internship.

The world I had stepped into was unlike anything that I had ever seen. All my life I thought I knew everything about the impoverished and marginal community of our society, the people living in slums. I thought I was aware about the challenges they face. I thought I knew about the educational inequity and loopholes in our education system. But little did I know that ‘I thought’ too much and hence, assumed ‘I knew’. Everything that ‘I thought I knew’ just came crumbling down the moment I stepped into 4th grade classroom of MCD School in Saraipipal Thala.

I expected the worst; the unruly kids, lazy government school teachers and yes, dirt everywhere! Alas! I was wrong about a lot of things. Here’s how my one month went as TFI intern.

1st and 2nd July were Friday and Saturday. The attendance was low, with only 5 and 6 kids present each day. The class teacher told me that the kids will definitely come from Monday and, they did. The moment I in stepped in class, I was wished by a chorus, “Good Morning, Didiiiii”. I was taken aback by their enthusiastic, happy response.

This first week was the hardest week; I was stripped off all my pre-conceptions. Every time I saw something which was not what I had believed, it confused me even more and felt as if everything I knew was a lie. Each day of this week I heard a new child’s story which made me feel a little more grateful of my life and childhood.

Now with all the kids present, the teaching began. As my TFI fellow had pointed out, “If you don’t have a plan for the kids, they’ll have a plan for you.” The kids in my class had unlimited energy, constructive as well as destructive. I was assigned to teach English and Science. My first foray into teaching began with a poem. This poem gave me an insight of the level of the kids. There were kids in the class who were unaware of the basic sound and letter recognition and hence, were unable to read. Thus, I made it my goal to teach them sounds and basic reading before my one month gets over.

My days flew thinking, planning, talking about just my kids. I didn’t know when I started referring to them as ‘my kids’ but, I did. All the things in my life faded into insignificance. With my BOY assessment, my days were spent assessing each child on a motley range of criteria’s and my nights were spent filling the tracker.

This assessment further helped me in recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of my kids. As my assessment came to end, so did my internship. I could not teach all my kids to read. All of them had different learning capacities; some could only learn letter sounds, some 3 letter words and some to read sentences. But, with each little milestone that my kids achieved, I smiled little more and felt a little more alive.

I may not have done much, but I did what I could in one month. Change is a slow process. One could not expect to move mountains but, it’s the baby steps that count and the will to continue. It’s all about ‘one child at a time’. Being with these kids for one month taught me to smile in the face of adversity. Their happiness and zeal was infectious. And yes, their lack of resources showed me what today’s privileged kids are losing, with their lives heavily dependent on technology.

I learnt that my biggest flaw was that my opinions about the education system were based and influenced by what I had read in newspapers, heard from others and seen on television. We often go through life forming opinions, passing judgements over our flimsy assumptions, but it’s the first experience and in-depth insight that really matter and help. I realised that most of the policies fail because the real situation is misconstrued by the policy makers. Though this TFI internship was short, I stepped into an alternate reality. However, I wish that there was no disparity between, my kids and my reality. In the kids company, I learnt to unlearn. Before I met them, I thought they needed me, but it was I, who needed them!

One should definitely work with TFI as an intern if, planning to join the fellowship. An intern does most of the things that a fellow is expected to do and gets a peek inside TFI culture as well!

Featured Image Credits: Zeba, TFI

Nidhi Panchal
[email protected]

Teach For India, a project of Teach To Lead, is a nationwide movement of outstanding college graduates and young professionals who will commit two-years to teach full-time in under resourced schools and who will become lifelong leaders working from within various sectors towards the pursuit of equity in education.

DU Beat talked to Raisha Galib, LSR Alumni and  Fellow, Teach for India currently teaching at Deepalaya School, Kalkaji Extension, Delhi.


Q. Tell us about yourself!

Ans. I am originally from Assam and graduated from Lady Shri Ram College with a degree in History in 2014. I heard about Teach For India from the campaign lead of the movement in my college. In my second year of college I wanted to volunteer in a TFI Classroom but missed the application deadline. I had never thought that one year down the line, I would be taking up the fellowship journey.

Raisha with her students


Q. What do you think is the best part of teaching and what are the not-so-good parts?

Ans. The best part about teaching is noticing how my students started taking ownership and being productive and how they took the values taught by us outside the classroom.

The not so good parts are how failures are often more than successes, and how as a teacher you need to be constantly motivated to push more efforts.



Q. How different are the TFI teaching methods than the conventional teaching methods?

Ans. At Teach For India, the focus is towards a more experiential way of learning where even though the need for marks in the system we are in is recognised, but the clear purpose behind an education is not defeated. Kids are encouraged to find their own styles of learning and delve into concept clarity. The education is also deep rooted on teaching through values and providing access and exposure to the students through various cultural platforms. Children are at the core of the work that we do and love to see them take ownership of their own growth and battle problems in their own communities.

Raisha at Deepalaya School, Kalkaji Extension.

Q. How does the Teach For India experience change a person?

Ans. The TFI experience both within and outside the classroom takes a fellow on a journey of personal transformation. It not only imbibes a person with patience, relentless hard work, vision setting, relationship building, but also makes one realise the importance and value of grit. The professional and emotional investment never seems to be enough as one tries to be the best of oneself for their students. It made me value each personal struggle, each helping hand, small joys of life and to find light in the darkest of places. It made me value people and their stories much more.



Interview taken by Kartikeya Bhatotia

[email protected]

These are the gorgeous kids I taught in the Teach For India Fellowship. I came in thinking that I was going to teach them so many things, instead I left having learnt so much more. A day doesn’t pass when I don’t think about these munchkins.
This was a wondrous journey, a journey where I learnt so much more than I taught, a journey where I received so much more than I gave and a journey that pushed for transformation both outside and most importantly, within.

You could settle or you could fight. I chose to fight.

– Nikita Sehgal, graduated from Lady Shri Ram College for Women and became a 2013 Fellow with Teach For India.

You can too. Apply now : http://apply.teachforindia.org/user/register

Deadline to finish your Application – 8th December, 2015.

?#?TeachForIndia? ?#?jointhefellowship? ?#?oneday?

Teach For India, a project of Teach To Lead, is a nationwide movement of outstanding college graduates and young professionals, who will commit two-years to teach full-time in under resourced schools and train to become lifelong leaders.

Today, Teach For India is in 5 cities – Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Hyderabad and Chennai. They have a total of 550 Fellows and 196 Alumni working towards eliminating educational inequity.

TFI is now organizing an event called “Redraw India”, holding several contests including street plays, essay writing and photography. The topics range from Right to Education, Education for sustainable development, Policy and Planning of Education System, to the three things you would like to change in the current education system.

10 best cartoons, best 5 stories and best 5 essays will be short listed. 50 percent of the decision will be based on public popularity. Entries will be published on the Redraw India Page on Facebook, and participants will have to ask people to either vote or like their entries. The rest will be assessed by the votes of the TFI team.

For the photography competition, only one entry is allowed per individual. The dimension of the photo should be 8.3*11.27 inches (A-4 size), and the size of the photo should not exceed 20MB. Do not add effects to the photos, as these will not be considered for the competition. Each entry must have a caption along with a short interpretation of the theme, as per the personal understanding of the participants.

For the case study, people will participate in a group of two. The teams can be formed with students from different colleges. The judges for the case study will establish a point system for the purpose of comparative judgment. Two cases will be uploaded to have a better evaluation of a team and a cumulative scoring will be done, based on the points allotted. The first case will ask for general evaluation while the second case will require the teams to answer specific questions.

Entries open on 15th January and close on the 22nd. All entries are to be mailed to [email protected]. There are several cash prizes to be won for the two best entries.