Institute of Social Studies Trust (ISST)

Partner From
01/31/2014 - On Going
Institute of Social Studies Trust (ISST) logo

Supported by: Wipro Cares

About the organization

ISST center stages and addresses gendered dimensions of labor through a critical public-spirited inquiry and a gender transformative approach necessary to build a just and equitable society. 

A spirit of inquiry is considered critical. We also value collaboration with collectives, networks, organizations, and movements working directly with women using research frameworks and methodologies that emerge from gender analysis.

Our understanding of inquiry is one that is public-spirited and consciously geared to build a body of knowledge from ISST’s prior work, which also is made publicly available in a format that key decision-makers in institutions of state, market, and communities can engage with. 

A gender transformative approach requires an engagement with the differential power relations and the structures that maintain these imbalances. 

In terms of strategy, the Saathi centre’s work is part of the community outreach work of ISST which has been undertaken over the past 20 years. The idea is to build values to constitution-based citizenship among young children and adolescents of marginalized communities.

Location of work

Our studies are located in different parts of the country. the Community Outreach work is located in east Delhi – Kalyanpuri, Trilokpuri and Khichripur

As stated earlier, the area of Kalyanpuri is a place where ISST has been working as part of the community outreach. Most of the adults here work as informal workers in the form of street vending, domestic work, casual labor, and the like. As an area, it is known to be a crime prone. One of the demands of the women that ISST has engaged with over the years has been to provide a safe space for their children to support their education and to offer them a fair chance away from the very real distractions of drug abuse, violence and gambling. 

Thus, the Saathi Centre came into being. It is housed in the Kalyanpuri police station and offers a neutral space for children from different blocks to come and explore activity-based learning, exposure to ideas of democracy, collective work, gender equality, and respect for diversity.

Learning and challenges

  • There is a need to document the methods developed by the team to assist the learning, and methods of assessment. 
  • There is a limited team, and the demand is much greater. So, the challenge is how to best use the limited resources to achieve learning outcomes for a wide range of children’s groups.

Project updates

Over the next 3 years, we would like to first complete the documentation of existing practices, identify areas of capacity building; streamline tracking of children’s learning both formally and in areas of socio-emotional learning.  Build a strong gender lens in the approaches of teaching, and admissions.

Future plans

  • Build a team of 2-3 persons will be formed to ensure a gender-inclusive approach in various aspects of tracking, learning diversity, teams, and methodology. 
  • We will also map the age of children at the center to grades and regularly monitor the shifts through periodic assessments and documentation basis a structured central framework. 
  • Shift from physical registers to Digital Entry and Dashboard to enable clearer long-term tracking and efficiency of operations. 
  • Enable 250 children across grades to shift to age-appropriate learning levels for Maths and Language 
  • Inculcate reading habits among 20-25 children in the community through various activities including the library. 
  • Participate in 2-3 capacity-building programs.

The team has developed a plan with Eklavya, MP, to build their documentation and tracking systems. and by July 2023 a document will be ready. The whole team will be involved and in all, they will be spending about 10 days each to develop this output.