i-Saksham Education and Learning Foundation

Partner From
10/01/2018 - On Going
iSaksham logo


Supported by: Wipro

About i-Saksham

iSaksham Education and Learning Foundation, is working toward its mission of Building community edu-leaders to enrich education experiences of underserved children for continued success. The idea of i-Saksham has its origin in the experience of its founders as Prime Minister Rural Development Fellows working in two left-wing extremism-affected districts of Bihar, Jamui & Munger for 3 years. 


We witnessed that while the discourse is around existing educational inequity more so at the school education level, not much discourse was around what it leads to in terms of inequity in life chances for the youth of these areas. Our experience also taught us that such resource-constrained areas have one common resource in abundance and that is the power of youth to positively affect the existing systemic challenges. 



i-Saksham runs a two-year fellowship program which is a mix of a B.Ed program and a youth leadership program focused on aspects such as philosophy of education, pedagogy, youth leadership, community engagement, use of technology, and an understanding of self. During the fellowship, fellows teach primary grade students for 5 days/week (2 hours every day) in local government schools and attend one day weekly sessions of 3 hrs. on weekends.



i-Saksham is currently working in 10 blocks of five districts of Bihar i.e. Jamui, Munger, Gaya, Begusarai, and Muzaffarpur. Among these 3 are aspirational districts. 



FY 2022-23 saw us taking many strides, some in areas we already had our presence and some very new. We took these strides with the intent to effectively move forward in realizing our purpose of ‘Voice and choice for every woman. These new initiatives could be grouped into these seven themes. 


  1. Five of our youths passed the APU entrance examination. As an organization, we have always invested in opportunities that can improve life opportunities for the youths we work with. One of the testaments to this has been that 10 of our youths have earlier passed out from APU and TISS. This year 5 youths passed the entrance examination again. This we believe will create a long-term leadership pool for the state.
  1. Forming of women edu-leaders collective: “What will happen after the two-year i-Saksham fellowship?” was one of the key questions in the mind of young women edu-leaders. One of the key progress last year has been the focus on building an edu-leaders collective at the panchayat level, which we believe will answer this question. i-Saksham has partnered with two industry experts who have facilitated such sessions with Pradan and Basix for many years to build such collective. Mr. Soumen Biswas who is one of the facilitators has also worked as ED of Pradan. Two such sessions were conducted in the last three months with the i-Saksham women edu-leader core group (a selected group of 13 women edu-leaders of the last 6 batches). Through this facilitation, the edu-leaders could form the objective of their collective as समाज के वंचित बच्चे और महिलाओं की शिक्षा में भागीदारी बढाने के साथ-साथ एक आत्मनिर्भर और सम्मान जनक जीवन जीने के लिए एडू-लीडर की क्षमता को विकसित करना
  1. Change in the process to support the collective: Earlier every week we used to have one session of fellowship, but a conscious choice was taken that every 4th week of the month we will start the practice of cluster meetings. These meetings will be held at the cluster level and all the leaders who are part of the cluster will come together to participate. Some of the important features of these cluster meetings are: It happens in an open space in any of the villages that are part of the cluster; Focus is to build community-level team building; Edu-leaders select an action project that they feel is relevant to the context they come from. 
  1. Partnering with other organizations to create opportunities for young women edu-leaders: As part of our effort to create opportunities for edu-leaders to continue contributing to their communities, we were able to place 62 edu-leaders in the month of Oct-Nov. These edu-leaders were from our earlier batches and will not be going outside their district for the work, along with a salary ranging from 7,500-10,000/month. 
  1. Focus on creating digital content: Building on our effort to improve access to quality content, we have started building YouTube content on leadership sessions. This is in addition to the pedagogy sessions we have digitized. The complete depository can be accessed from (https://www.youtube.com/@i-Saksham/videos) which has more than 30 videos on different themes.
  1. Build our own MIS system in partnership with JP Morgan: We partnered with the JP Morgan Force for a good program and built our own MIS system, which has now given us the power to access data related to classrooms, children, edu-leaders, and processes on a real-time basis.
  1. Expansion of our operation: Started operation in Begusarai district in partnership with Pradan: In a multi-year partnership that engages many organizations led by Pradan, we have started our work in two blocks of Begusarai i.e. Begusarai and Teghra. This initiative is supported by Indus Ind Bank.


Key learnings

  • As we expand, culture becomes the core. We must invest heavily in culture which we all have defined and agreed upon. 
  • Much of what we have achieved has been because of the support we have received from our mentors. Being part of Ujjawal Impact Advisors has been one such opportunity that helped. Most of the mentors were from different spaces and their perspectives added new layers to the issues we dealt with.
  • Tech is critical for an organization that wants to expand. It democratizes information and unleashes decision-making at speed.
  • Investing in the ecosystem is something that leads to greater rewards for all. One such investment has been our role in strengthening the Bihar Development Collective, which has helped us learn from many other organizations working in Bihar. Some of these organizations such as Prayog are our collaborators also. This has also helped us create opportunities for more than 60 edu-leaders to get placed in fellowship.


What we could have done better

  • Strengthening our relations with school Principals and teachers. This is mostly done by edu-leaders but has a huge scope for improvement.
  • Community engagement beyond PTMs. We have put a very high focus on PTMs throughout the year and it has helped us connect the community with schools in many areas we work with. However, PTM is one of the means, we need to explore other such opportunities which can help us connect with parents.