My PPES experience


My time in India has made me realise that I can turn my dreams into a reality. I knew what I wanted to do after university but I had not seen it live, nor did I really believe that it existed, until I got this life-changing experience to work at Pardada Pardadi Educational Society (PPES) and for that I am forever grateful. They work for a cause that is so dear to my heart: the empowerment of women and girls. What PPES does is prepare future female leaders by nurturing them from a young age and this is so important because this is missing worldwide, and realistically, as women we are still not treated the same way as our male counterparts.

Not only did I get to see the ‘brain’ of the society which is their head office in New Delhi, I got the opportunity on more than one occasion to see the ‘heart’ of their cause which is their school in Anupshahr. Meeting the girls and being around them showed me the impact that PPES has on these girls. The drive that these young ladies have for learning is immense and what PPES does is encourage that and support it in any way that they can and not only through education. What stood out to me most was their personality development programme. I had the chance to sit in on one of the classes for two days, I got to interact with the students and the teachers and talk to them about how the school has helped them as individuals but also how it has helped the neighbouring villages.

The best lesson I have learnt in India is that a smile goes a long way. I have had the chance to travel around New Delhi, Anupshahr, Jaipur and Agra. I have seen and met plenty of people that I would like to help but sadly, the world does not work like that. I am not able to help everyone I meet, from the auto drivers to the men that work at the restaurant that I go to for lunch every weekend. However, when you smile at someone, though it may seem like a minute gesture, it means a lot and it goes a long way. A smile is recognisable worldwide and even though the auto driver might not be interested in what you have to say, just smile. They may not smile back but what I have found is that they mostly smile back – it’s the simplest gesture of kindness without having to say anything at all.

Personally, it is too soon for me to point out how India has changed, or even to be honest if it has changed me at all. But I have learnt a wealth of knowledge at PPES and my heart has grown bigger.

Thank you PPES and thank you India.


PPES Blog Post

By:- Maya Bedge

I have always been passionate about promoting girls’ education, and in July of 2017, I decided to channel that passion by making a trip to (Pardada Pardadi Educational Society) PPES. For the past four years, in my hometown of Portland, OR, I have volunteered with REAL: Youth To Youth, a non-profit organization that provides grants to rural schools in order to promote literacy among underprivileged students. Our organization has been supporting PPES with substantial grants for the past few years and this trip was also an opportunity to see the work PPES does for the girls of Anupshahr, and identify resource gaps at the school that REAL can help address.

Speaking with Mr. Sam, Mr. Jose, and the other staff at the school was compelling because they have a real passion for serving these students. When I first arrived at the school, the excitement of the girls to see us was contagious! The respect the students give the volunteers is humbling and their sincere interest in learning is inspiring.

During my trip, I spent time in the math lab, English lab and art classroom. In the math lab, I helped some of the students solve homework problems and clarified concepts by answering their questions. At the English lab, I taught geography of the world—the major continents and their major geographical features, as well as the oceans of the world—with some blank maps brought from the US. That class was the first time both the 6th and 11th graders had ever heard about the concept of a ‘continent’. Lastly, in the art room, I conducted an art project—also with materials brought from the US—in which the girls designed and decorated their own poster detailing their vocational goals for the future. Over 40 posters were completed and will be hung up in the school for everyone to see!

On days the higher grade students were testing during their classes, I and some other volunteers would walk to the primary school and substitute in for teachers that needed to take a break. With the youngest kids, we would teach them songs in English (“head, shoulders, knees and toes”), practice simple math skills, help them expand their English vocabulary, or teach them simple dances (Macarena, Cupid Shuffle). Though sometimes tiring, being in the classroom leading activities for the students was incredibly rewarding when I saw the smiles of pure joy on their faces when they learned something new or understood a concept.

Other times, when I was done conducting lessons, I would speak with teachers about what they need most in their classrooms, or learn about the curriculum they prepare for the students. I plan to take these requests from teachers back to the US and determine how our non-profit can help fulfill these needs.


As an American student, it can be easy to take for granted the education we are provided with and fall into the chasm of indifference for the institution that gives us so much. The girls at PPES reminded me that the opportunity to attend school is one that should be closely cherished, not despised. During my eight dayvisit to the school, not once did I ever see a student that looked unhappy. When I was leaving the school, many of the girls said that I became their role model, but looking back on it, the students at the school are truly my role models, because of their persistence in obtaining a valuable education, especially in an environment where girls’ education is not a priority.

My visit to PPES was extraordinary and I will return to the school very soon. I can’t wait to see the girls again one day and the progress they’ve made in their education.


Lisa Senty (France)

By:- Lisa Senty (France)

Out of my 6 weeks in India, working for Pardada Pardadi Educational Society is my most valuable memory. I grew professionally but also personally. The work done within the NGO is truly life changing, both for the people it benefit to and the ones making the project a reality. After graduating from my bachelor and about to specialize in International Relations, I wanted to get a field experience in the world of humanitarian action. During my time working in the Delhi office in the Communications & Fundraising Department, I got to experience the feeling of doing something meaningful: my tasks had an impact beyond my mere desk. Within the first week, I had already been taken to the school in the countryside of Uttar Pradesh to see by myself the school and the girls studying there. This visit was highly important as it gives another perspective to work done in the Delhi office. It hits you : Pardada Pardadi changes their lives forever. The projects you only get to read about are incarnated in the faces of all these hard-working women. All the girls are so lively, they are not scared of talking to you in English. Despite not speaking it daily in their home, they speak with a confidence that impressed us all. They get access to an education but they also develop their personalities, turning them into focused young women only wishing to get more and more opportunities in life. Working in India is not easy but the entire team made me feel accepted as soon as I arrived, being always caring and conscious of the cultural differences separating us. The atmosphere is very friendly: being uncertain and making mistakes is not something you feel bad about; on the contrary, thanks to the advice given, you only want to do your best and this shows into your work. The tasks given to me were challenging; getting bored is not possible in PPES ! The variety of work I was able to do in quite a short amount of time was a plus, working from designing future posters, making the 2017 calendar, creating different communication material, taking charge of the social media platforms (Linkedin, Pinterest, Google Business, …) brought me a lot of valuable experiences. I also got the chance to work for fundraising and marketing. Despite not having worked in this fields before, I was trusted and this showed in my work.



Kimberly Townsend

By:- Kimberly Townsend

My time volunteering with Pardada Pardadi was brief but incredibly meaningful. Working through iVolunteer, I was assigned to the Delhi office to assist with PPES advertising and fundraising efforts. During my two-week assignment, I traveled to Anupshahr to visit the school. The experience was very special. I visited the kindergarten, 1st-5th, and 6th-12th schools and sat in on several of the wide variety of classes offered to the girls, including Hindi, history, math, computer lab, art, chemistry, and English. I also got to see the vocational training and Rags-to-Pads centers — it was so encouraging to see the women working so confidently in their tasks, and the embroidery and block printing rooms were very impressive. After visiting the school, I was taken to a nearby village that had received community toilets and solar lanterns, two other initiatives of Pardada Pardadi. Out of everything, my favorite part of the trip was getting to simply talk to the girls and see the smiles on their faces.This organization is truly changing lives as well as entire communities. I’m very honored to have played a role in this organization, however small, and I hope I am able to come back and volunteer with Pardada Pardadi again.


Kerrigan Fitzpatrick

By:- Kerrigan Fitzpatrick

I am truly grateful for my experience at Pardada Pardadi Educational Society. As my second internship ever and first in an office setting, I learned a great amount. Grants and other ways of fundraising were never familiar to me before joining this project. But, during my time here, I was introduced to many different concepts (registering for accreditation, updating social media, fundraising and revising documents) that are used in maintaining an NGO. My acquired knowledge and skills from my experience will be carried with me throughout my lifetime.


Like skills and knowledge, relationships were also developed. I know that the relations I built with others in the office will last well beyond my physical time here. Because of social media, I will be able to keep in contact with the amazing people whom I work alongside, and have been lucky enough to get to know. Each one of us brought something very unique to our office and contributed in our own special ways, volunteers and employees alike. From diverse viewpoints and backgrounds shared with me, my own horizons were broadened.


Pardada Pardadi Educational Society challenged me and changed me in so many positive ways. Although I confronted situations in which my work was unfamiliar and I had no experience, I felt that I was guided and supported in ways that allowed me to complete my projects successfully. Also, I worked with people from various places which contributed to some of my understanding of the world. From here, I plan to have more similar internships and eventually professional jobs. I strongly believe that Pardada Pardadi has aided in developing many great qualities within me that will prepare me to both pursue these plans and succeed in them.



A Ray of Hope

By:- Shivani Bajpai

I have heard so much about Pardada Pardadi and I have always wanted to come visit. This trip to India, I was able to see the school with my father and Dadi, and it honestly was the most incredible opportunity.

My ideas about rural villages in India have always been predicated on what I have heard of them from the news, books and general conversations, but I have never had a clear picture in my mind of what they are all about. This time in India I was able to confirm some preconceptions, that they are dirty, dusty and basic; but I was also able to confirm one thought I had, that the school is a source of hope for the community.

I first arrived at the village to meet with the founder, Mr Sam Singh, the most admirable man I have met with regard to social work. His passion and commitment to the school, and his love for the girls were extremely evident from the minute I met him, and our conversations really excited me about my visit ahead to the school. In one chat I learnt that there was a time when he was being sent death threats because of the set-up of the school for girls. This made me suddenly recognize the difficulties and hardships that this school has faced in this community, but it also demonstrated why he is so committed to the cause. I want to take this opportunity to thank Mr Singh for letting me stay with him and having the most humbling experience of my life.

My visit started with a quick trip to the Ganga River, where we went through one of the villages. The images that you have in your mind, thinking you know what to expect have no comparison with the vivid picture of reality that looks you right in the eye. I now sincerely believe that it is only by coming to these villages that a real sense of the deprivation and destitution can be understood. As we walked to the River, I suddenly felt so distant from the people around me with whom I share a country. An intangible border between myself and these people was poignantly felt; I use ‘border’ instead of ‘barrier’ as I believe the former more accurately represents this distance, encompassing how difficult it is for either party to cross into the other’s ‘world’.

The following day I visited Pardada Pardadi, and I can honestly say that I’ve never seen a place with more happiness and feelings of hope. The moment I stepped out of the car I felt fully immersed within the spirit of optimism that engenders this community, and as I was greeted with a ‘welcoming ceremony’ I saw the girls’ glowing faces, full of smiles and cheerfulness. Throughout my time here, through all the warm faces that welcomed me, I had to keep a reality check of where these girls come from. School is not a guarantee for these girls, planning for their future is an unimaginable prospect for these girls; when they return home, their immediate priority is their next meal. Though I met these girls and felt a connection, our lives differ from a foundational level. I can think of what my future will hold, I have the luxury to debate and decide where my university education will take me, I can think of much more than the basic necessities; but these girls face the question of their livelihood everyday.

After arriving, I first spoke with the Principal, Administrator and Teaching coordinator about how the school is run. There was such dedication amidst these top staff members and I got the real sense of progress of the school and how much success this school has achieved so far. I learnt about different areas of PPES, such as the textile industry, where the mothers of girls can gain employment. PPES enables the women of these families to avoid child marriages, it teaches them about financial independence and its importance, allowing them to not depend solely on the men in their household. By educating the daughter, you give her mother the chance to work; a truly communitarian society where everyone benefits.

Though I spent most of my time teaching in the English lab where the girls have lessons in English communication, I also took a sports lesson for an 8th grade class. Despite the burning sun beating down on us and the high levels of humidity, we played various games, ending in a game of ‘It’. By the end, we were all exhausted, but not once did a smile leave their faces.

In the English lab I met two girls Rehka and Kalash, who are 19, the same age as me. We spoke at length about one another, and I learnt how Kalash is a PPES graduate and Rehka is from their sister school, Jattari Aligarh, but both are preparing for the CCIP scholarship (Committee Cause Initiative Programme which sends students to the USA) at PPES. Our conversations were fascinating; and it was so easy to chat to them both, I also helped Rehka with some interview preparation for the scholarship. I was highly impressed at how proficient she is at English and her answers to my questions were filled with true passion, a desire to learn, both academically but also about American culture, I really understood how much she wants to be awarded the scholarship. One answer particularly stood out for me, her response to my question of: ‘What would you say/what advice would you give to your younger self?’. Her response was to have started studying English sooner, even before coming to school, and to work hard at English. This reply showcased the self-motivation and dedication that these girls have, despite their circumstances they emphasise the importance of individual hard work. Rehka’s perseverance can be seen as a microcosm of the school’s ethos as a whole and it was such an honour meeting her and Kalash and speaking with them. I wish both of them all the best with their applications and I hope we can all meet again.

Towards the end of my visit, I spoke with Mr Prashant, the main English lab teacher. He poignantly stated the truth of the situation and how much more needs to be done for these girls. From little things such as spare pieces of paper to write/draw on, to much larger needs such as more scholarship programmes and opportunities, Prashant explained at length the school’s current condition. He showed me, and I could see, how far there is to go, but I could not help but think of the positivity and vision of hope that the girls showed me.

I had the most eye-opening and inspiring visit to Pardada Pardadi and it has motivated me to become more involved in some way. While there, I saw a beauty within the school, its determination to change the lives of many of the world’s poorest girls; but behind all the laughter and happiness, there exists a deeper reality- that these girls face potential threats to their lives for simply attending school.

But, through PPES and its commitment to the girls, I can see the scale of change it has achieved and continues to achieve for the girls and the community: It is truly a ray of hope


PPES: Tapping the Largest Untapped Reservoir of Talent in the World


I have been working at the Delhi office of Pardada Pardadi Educational Society (PPES) for about three weeks now. PPES is a Non-Governmental Organization that focuses on female well-being in Anupshahr, Uttar Pradesh, a state in northern India. They work to improve the lives of girls/women in many ways, most prominently through education, health & hygiene awareness, community development, and economic empowerment.


PPES runs four separate schools for girls aged Kindergarten to Grade 12; nearly 1,400 girls attend these schools. They learn everything from Math to English to Human Rights to Computer Literacy. This is very important in an area like Anupshahr where illiteracy is especially prevalent, especially for girls. Unfortunately, girls are not always valued enough by their families to be sent to school. PPES is working to change that paradigm by providing these schools to girls from poor families in Anupshahr. A school like PPES allows these girls to begin to reach their full intellectual potential and their education enables them to provide for themselves personally and professionally. Many girls who attend PPES go on to college or start to work immediately upon graduation — something that would not be possible without the support of their classmates, teachers, and administrators.


In addition to educational support, PPES provides information to the girls about Health & Hygiene. They have the girls shower and brush their teeth daily at school, while providing daily support for health with their full-time nurse and connections to doctors around the area. This is extremely important, as bad health is a severely limiting factor to learning. Beyond these things, PPES also supports community development by helping to organize Self Help Groups (SHGs) for women in the villages of Anupshahr. In these self-organized SHGs women are able to pool their resources to help everyone in the group. This is very important, because without this support women are often left to find loans at banks with exorbitant interest rates. Within their SHGs they can loan to each other at low interest and add the collected interest to the pooled resources of the entire group. PPES also provides information and training to community members about best practices for their cattle. Beyond these initiatives, PPES strives for economic empowerment of girls through optional vocational training after Grade 10, which allows the girls to enter the labor force immediately upon graduation.


I’m predominantly working on administrative tasks at the Delhi office, which is about three hours west of Anupshahr. I’ve done things such as helping to write annual/monthly reports, creating documents, researching grant opportunities, writing drafts for grant applications, and posting to social media. I love this work because it allows me to help the Delhi office with their work, which is integral to the success of PPES. I also had the opportunity to visit the schools last week. It was nice to see the facilities, but it was incredible to see the girls that are benefiting from the work of PPES. They were all smiles throughout the entire time I was there and were happy to be at school. It was amazing how similar they are to girls in the U.S. — they laugh, smile, gossip, and play sports in exactly the same way as girls in the U.S. My main job was to take photographs while at the school, but I took a break to play football (soccer) with the girls during their break time. It was honestly some of the most fun I’ve had in a very long time.


In the next five weeks at PPES I hope to continue to work on many different things in the Delhi office, and I am looking forward to visiting the girls in Anupshahr and playing more football.



Ashley Burch

By:- Ashley Burch

Mera naam Ashley Burch hai. I have volunteered at the Pardada Pardadi Delhi office for the past 2 months, and it has been an incredible experience. I was placed in the Communications department. I work alongside the wonderful women in this department and help them create marketing materials and complete other tasks. They have taken great care of me! They all welcomed me in and helped teach me how the organization works. One of the women even helps me order lunch everyday, which is hard for a foreigner like me. This act of kindness showed me how genuinely kind the people are within this organization.


Although I was based in Delhi, I would occasionally go visit the school that Pardada Pardadi runs in Anupshahr. I would go to hold meetings with teachers and other staff members, take pictures for our marketing materials, and attend important events. School visits were always the highlight of my week. Despite the 3-hour car ride there, going to the school was great. I loved being able to meet and spend time with the girls there. The girls at the school range from Kindergarten to 12th grade, but they are all wonderful. One of the things that I immediately noticed was their positive attitude. All the girls were always smiling and happy to see you.


One time I went and visited a 10th grade class and was so surprised with how eager they were to talk to me. The majority of them spoke a good amount of English. It was so fun to meet them and get to know them better. They even began teaching me how to say things in Hindi, and were kind enough to not make fun of my terrible pronunciation. This is something that I will always remember. Working to break the language barrier and actually getting to know the girls was one of the greatest things about my trips to the school. By meeting the girls and seeing the school, I was motivated to work harder. I could see how my work was benefitting the lives of hundreds of girls. I am proud to say that I worked for Pardada Pardadi and hope to see this organization grow in the future.


What A Chance Reading About Pardada Pardadi let to

By:- Gina Menon, October 2019

I am a primary teacher/teacher trainer from the UK who works half the year in India as a teacher trainer. I came across Pardada Pardadi quite by chance, when reading a book in which the writer mentioned the school.

After looking it up on the internet, I felt a definite interest in seeing and volunteering at PPES. My entire 46-year teaching career has been spent working with deprived children in London, and Pardada Pardadi seemed to be founded on that commitment to do the best for poor children to which I subscribe.

I arrived in Delhi from Bangalore, where my work is based, and spent that evening at the home of Sam Singh, founder of PPES. The following day, we embarked on the long drive to Anupshahr, somewhat hindered by lively Dussehra festivities in progress along the way.


My first morning at the school, I had the full tour of the primary and secondary sections, the medical centre and the I-village where local women (and a few gents) are engaged in textile work of very good quality. I was struck by the positive atmosphere which pervades the school, and the open friendliness of all I met: this included not just teachers, children and admin staff, but also the ayahs and gardeners whose hard work ensures that the campus is fresh, clean and noticeably free of mosquitoes and flies.

The girls’ commitment to making the very best of the wonderful opportunities they have at PPES is consistently in evidence. PPES offers a holistic approach, so not only are pupils taught by teachers who treat them with fairness and respect, and expect them to do well, but their physical, medical and emotional needs are also catered for through the provision of adequate and healthy meals, vaccination programmes, pastoral and health education, as well as free uniforms and books. The children are outgoing, confident, determined girls with high expectations of themselves, who are keen to talk to visitors, have many questions and are a joy to be with.

After discussions with senior administrator Mr. Jose and headteacher K K (Krishana Kumar), I then went off to observe classes. These observations were followed by lively discussions, conducted in a mixture of English and Hindi, in which teachers on free periods often joined. There is a keen desire by PPES teachers to try out new strategies and they are at ease talking about their practice in a group and asking questions about how best to implement ideas.

My afternoons were spent in delivering training in the interactive teaching of English to a group of teachers spanning classes 3 – 10. We covered a range of topics including the practical delivery of the process known as Talk for Writing (T4W), focusing particularly on the development of children’s oral English; aspects of grammar; reading skills; and the delivery of poetry lessons, drawing on texts from Indian textbooks.

Following on from the observations and the training sessions, I also conducted demonstration classes with classes 4 and 10, observed by the teacher and later discussed during the afternoon training sessions.

At present, though I am unable to commit to a long period of volunteering (I was only a bare fortnight at PPES), owing to my previous work commitments, I intend seeing whether I can combine my long-term work with possible regular short slots at PPES. If there’s a teacher of English reading this, who is at a stage where they could commit to a period of volunteering, or even of regular slots, then do consider offering your help. You’ll certainly not regret it, and the children and teachers would be delighted to work with you.


Mr Deendayalan

By:- Friend of Pardada Pardadi Educational Society Date: 11.02.19


Here we are staying in Bichola village in Anupshahr, district Bulandshahr, UP with Virender Singh (Sam). We were invited to experience and observe the unique work he has done during the past 20 years towards the educational, economic and social empowerment of girls and women in Anupshahr. He is a young man of 80 who was well settled in US and now runs a senior secondary school with 1500 students, known by the name Pardada Pardadi and teaches only poorest remote village girls. He provides them free meals, uniforms, cash incentive, bus transport, cycles, advance studies facility, vocational training and jobs. He says by teaching a girl a future family is completely transformed and made self-sufficient.


We also visited one of the remotest villages and interacted with women to get feeling about the women upliftment programmes run by him. It was a great experience for us to get exposure of such unique programmes run by some individual at the age of 80 who is still full of many more dreams.