Shaheed Virender Smarak Samiti (SVSS)

Partner From
- On Going

About the organization

Shaheed Virender Smarak Samiti (SVSS) was established during the adult literacy movement in the 1990s to continue the dreams and work of our literacy activist Shaheed Virender in block Samalkha in the Panipat district of state Haryana. Activism has been our principal means of bringing social change in the face of various contemporary challenges for more than 30 years. 

SVSS has been active in the field of education and women empowerment. We have designed and successfully run multiple interventions and programs for the empowerment of the community including children, women, and youth. These interventions had elements including cultural play, theatre, dialogue, seminars, and games to advance scientific temper, democratic values, and rational thinking among the community. Efforts have been made to empower women through Self Help Groups (SHGs)  and awareness programs. The voluntary core groups of teachers developed by our organization work for quality and innovative education. For this purpose, dialogues and workshops are organized with the government school teachers.

Most of these activities are organized with the help of the community. Whether it be in the form of financial assistance or support of locals in the work, we have received continuous support from the community and different institutions. The organization has been financially supported by donations from the local community; members of SVSS; Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti (BGVS), Haryana; Wipro Foundation; and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). 

The long-term aims and objectives of SVSS are to help in the development of a democratic society through the means of education by evolving ourselves as an educational institution. The organization has run Jeevan-Shalas, or centers for training in life skills, in 16 villages with a residential Jeevan-Shala from 1997 to 2001 with the financial assistance of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD). Teaching was organized in the residential Jeevan-Shala from classes four to eight. After 2001, we ran this Jeevan-Shala with the help of the community as a model of alternate education for fellow citizens from the less privileged parts of our community. Our learnings from these experiences helped us focus our resources and energies on starting a Language Learning Program in the government schools of block Samalkha in the Panipat district of Haryana state with the financial assistance of Wipro. 


Location of work

We plan to cover all 43 government primary schools of Samalkha in a phased manner. We had covered a total of 24 schools till the end of 2021 (financial year) and now we have covered a total of 37 schools till date. 


Key approaches 


School environment: For children to learn better, it is necessary that they keep affection towards their teacher and thus enjoy coming to school. A possible start may be through morning assembly, where every child participates in the activities so that it could make children expressive. Teachers need to treat the children in a way that assures them it is okay to raise questions and express their thoughts. We are working to change the existing classroom space by building on the various capacities of teachers in the targeted schools.

Change in language teaching methods: We started the use of innovative language teaching methods by replacing the traditional language teaching methods. Teachers are supported through Model Teaching, lesson plans, and TLM. 

Teacher Training: We are organizing teacher training at the school level on the pedagogical approach of language teaching, especially on the coding-decoding process, and inculcating some basic skills like storytelling and singing with appropriate gestures. We train them in alphabet recognition using our TLM. We also trained them for the use of story books such as read-aloud, book talk, etc. We also trained them to establish and run the library corner in the classroom. We focus on the teachers’ capacity enhancement through a capacity-building plan. 

Volunteer group of language teachers: We have put in place a group of active teachers, during this process. This group is presenting and sharing the best practices of primary school teaching in the schools. They are also creating a space for sharing the challenges of classroom practices among school teachers. We plan to develop these teachers as a team of resource persons to work as “go-to” persons for language teaching in primary classrooms.  

Sharing with Education authorities: We have shared our plan and experience with block and district-level authorities. We used various methods for experience sharing like meetings, workshops, seminars, etc. We are spending about 3 hours in a school through weekly outreach visits. This visit may be in the morning time or in the afternoon time. We are five core team members and six preraks (catalysts). In this way, we have made 4 groups with pairs of one core team member and one volunteer. So, one team covers 8 schools in a week. We have engaged two unpaid volunteers. They are covering three to four schools every week with our core team members.

We enhance children’s learning through learning centers. We started the centers during Lockdown though we have been running community libraries for more than 20 years. We will increase the number of learning centers every year. 


Key highlights

This led to a reconfiguration of our earlier program called the Hindi Language Teaching Program (HLTP). This has evolved into a new program called Meaning Making through Children Literature (MMCL). We were engaged in 9 schools in the HLTP program till 2019. 

In MMCL, the following work has been done during the year 2022-23:


  1. Capacity-building workshops for teachers were organized at the SVSS office on 21 April 2022. Fourteen teachers participated in the same. In this workshop, we trained teachers about the role of libraries and books in teaching language.
  2. During the summer vacation in May and June 2022, we worked on a plan to try and open at least four libraries in the different villages of Samalkha block. Our team members visited the community to establish these libraries. We organized meetings in the community with youth, women, Panchayat, and SMC for this purpose. Finally, 5 libraries were started in 5 different villages in the block.  
  3. During summer vacation in June 2022 we organized an eight-day workshop on the English language in two phases. We will also discuss the plan of action for further capacity-building workshops at the end of the session.
  4. We continue to work on the documentation work happening in the  MMCL project. We were supported by students of Azim Premji University (APU) in this work. We have prepared the report of the MMCL project.  
  5. We have continued to approach our teachers to present their learning with their fellow teachers in the school. This way, we are planning to engage more teachers in teacher development activities in their classrooms and ensure their participation in other activities like dialogue, seminars, workshops, and exposure visits.
  6. We continue to plan and organize events on the eve of ‘Hindi Bhasha Divas’ for teachers, parents, and like-minded people at our office. This year, we have organized a participatory discussion around “National Education Policy and Role of Hindi Language and importance of mother tongue in language teaching.”
  7. We continue to utilize digital communication platforms like WhatsApp to share children’s stories and other language-teaching resources with teachers.
  8. To continue our belief in promoting books among children, parents, teachers, and others, This year we have also celebrated “Book Reading Promotion Week” for five days in November 2022. Our team spent this whole week organizing various book reading sessions with teachers and meanwhile distributing children’s literature books and other educational series. 
  9. We conducted a four-day “Bal Mela” at Government Primary School, Simbalgarhm during the winter break from 7 to 10 January 2023. Our team organized various activities with children on themes around science activities, children’s songs, stories, and paper folding techniques to understand basic geometric shapes. On the last day of mela, children volunteered to present their learnings to their fellows, friends, and villagers.   


During the winter break 9 students of Azim Premji University volunteer with SVSS in various activities like learning centers, SHG, and Bal Mela. They also volunteer in documentation.