Founder & Chairman
UPAY (उपाय) or Under Privileged Advancement by Youth, is a Non-governmental organization.It works towards the provision of quality education to the underprivileged children in India.It was Founded by Varun Shrivastava, An IIT Kharagpur Graduate with the help of his young Engineer friends on 20 May 2010 to provide the quality education and make it easily available at the remotest village of India. It was registered as a NGO on 19.09.2011. Its success story can be gauged by the mere fact that where children from slums were unable to do basic arithmetic calculations are now, not just producing excellent academic results but also bringing laurels to these underprivileged areas. Children who could barely dream about secondary school education are now pursuing and feeling confident in attaining for higher education. From three members and one center having 20 children in the year 2010, it has blossomed into a Registered NGO of 26 centers having 1700 children, spread across the country (10 centers in Nagpur zone, 9 centers in Mouda zone, 4 center in Gurgaon zone, 1 center in Delhi zone, 2 center in Pune, 1 center in Noida Zone and 1 center in Bangalore). UPAY has developed a pool of trainers within the community or village to make it a sustainable model. Students who study at the UPAY centers, after few years when they pursue graduation courses, they start teaching to the under privileged children of their villages, in this way making it a sustainable model. so "Education for Education" and "Educate & get Educated " is the working model of UPAY.
The beginning :
The foundation of development for every society is the education of its youth. Keeping this in mind, an NGO UPAY (Underprivileged Advancement by Youth), was founded in May 2010 by a group of young engineers from IITs and NITs  in a small village called Kumbhari in outskirts of Nagpur. UPAY has been registered as NGO under Society Registration Act 1860 and Mumbai public Trust act 1950(Reg No-Maharashtra/268/2011/Bhandara). Its main aim is to provide opportunities to underprivileged children and bring smiles on the dejected faces. Since its inception, a large number of educated youth has joined this movement and spreading it across the country which includes teachers, doctors, engineers, lawyers, students, housewives, retired persons and other working professionals.
According to the UNICEF report, India has 440 million children. That's more than the entire population of North America (USA, Mexico and Canada put together). Every fifth child in the world is Indian. So what sort of life do these children have as they grow up? 50% of children do not attend school regularly. Education How well India is able to harness the intellectual capital of its youth is dependent on the access to and quality of education provided to its children. Schooling of children has to deal with the elusive triangle of access, equity, and quality. While approximately 27.4% children in the age group of seven to 18 years reside here, only 17% of schools are located in urban areas. Also, the Census 2011 shows that child population (0 to 18 years) increased by 12.8% in urban areas during the preceding decade, but neither the corresponding enrolment at the school stage nor the number of educational facilities and teachers increased proportionally. Reasons for ‘never attending’ range from being underage (46.5%), financial constraints (36.6%) to parents’ negative perception of education (10%). Migration of children with their families further adds to the problem as language poses a major barrier. Besides, schools only admit children for a brief period each year. These factors ensure that a large number of children remain out of the education system. Hopefully, the introduction of the RTE Act which has earmarked 25% seats for underprivileged children, a clause particularly relevant for slum children, will change things for the better
The Intervention … UPAY, a solution:
Despite hundreds of efforts from the government, they are not able to breach this deadlock. UPAY NGO has come up with a solution FOOTPATHSHALA for the education of street children. Footpathshala is an open school where volunteers and educated people are going and teaching street children on the footpaths of the city in the evening hours. In India where more than 75% population is literate, the idea was to use their time to educate illiterate people through voluntary work. SO NGO has approached Retired Teachers who still have the passion for teaching and looking for time engagement after retirement and young college students who have some leisure time and are now more socially aware. Maximum number of students enrolled in Footpathshaala are either beggars or child labors.
“To overcome disparities in education so that every child gets an opportunity to learn, to grow and to succeed”
Reach & Teach
UPAY was established to provide a SOLUTION to the everlasting problem of rural education. It is working on developing a sustainable process of imparting knowledge to these underprivileged children. We teach as well as imbibe our children with the spirit of UPAY. These children are further carrying this responsibility of upliftment of society. So these children are not just the students of UPAY but they are also the harbingers and volunteers of UPAY who are spreading its cause across the country. Right now, it has 17 centers having 1300 children.
In cities like Nagpur, Pune, Gurgaon and Mumbai people living on the footpath are doing some unskilled labor or literally begging for their bread & butter are some of them. There are people in the society who don’t have any planning for their future, who are struggling against poverty, malnutrition, unhealthiness, family planning. UPAY has taken initiative to replace begging bowls with books for street children in 9 centers with 350 street children enrolled at footpathshala. 20% street children are enrolled in schools. It is an open pathshala, similar to Rabindranath Tagore`s concept of open schools. Classes are being taken by UPAY volunteers at Footpath only.
Apart from educating the children, UPAY is also working on how to make these underprivileged areas economically independent. UPAY is targeting to tap the local skills and plans to develop small scale industries. Besides seasonal agricultural income, villagers should have perineal source of income and development. For this, a small development is introduction of an online portal,”apnasaamaan.com”.On this the local products developed by the villagers are available for sale. So that apart from the weekly village markets and limited customer base now their produce are getting exposure to a wide network.
Granth on Rath
We believe that if children can't reach to school, school must reach to them. with that concept UPAY has started an initiative" Footpathshala" for street children of Nagpur city by starting an open school at footpath . our volunteers go to footpaths of city where street children beg and live. we have started teaching them there only. This initiative has been very successful and at present we are operating at 5 locations with more than 100 street children coming to our open school. but developing a school infra structure at footpath was very much challenging so we have started a mobile school with mobile library, which is having all the necessary thing for running the Footpathshala . as there is no power supply at footpaths, we keep a battery run lights, projectors, TV for showing videos etc.
GRANTH ON RATH is a mobile library for recycling the old books to the Under-privileged students from affluent students and bridge the rural urban divide.
Books are provided to the under privileged students at a very nominal rent. We work as a medium providing the flow of books from rich students to needy & poor student .
Every student has some set of books that are no more useful for them, those books can be used by some other student depending on the requirement. We will collect all those useless books from students and in return we will give books of their use on nominal rent of 20% of actual cost. At the same time we can Improve Incomes of villagers by providing employment opportunities to rural women for recycling and maintenance of books because to handle such quantum of books we need few workers who can collect, segregate and distribute the books.
A small maintenance of the books will increase their life and same book can be useful for 2-3 students. Along with the books we will also collect the used notebooks; in the end of every note book we can find some unused pages which can be used for making a new notebook which could be sold on nominal price to generate some revenue. Waste and unused papers/books can be used for making paper.
Awards and Recognition
1. Vidarbha CSR Award of Best NGO in the Field of Education.
2. LOKMATA SAMAJIK SANSTHA PURASKAR by LOKMATA SUMATITAI SMRUTI PRATISHTHAN, November 2017
3. Certificate of Merit by World CSR day & world Sustainability Award.
4. Jiyo dil Se award season IV by 94.3 my FM.
5.Quest For excellence Award 2013 by Power HR forum.
6. Maitri Gaurav Award 2016.
7.Central India Achiever Award by GPS Global PANORAMA Showcase.
8. Manviyata Puruskar by NTPC Mouda
9. Certificate of Merit for the Top 100 NGOs In India by World CSR Day and Dr. RL Bhatia Foundation, February 2018.
10. Swacchta ambassador: awarded for raising awareness through rallies, flash mobs, skits about cleanliness in villages of Mauda by Mauda Nagar panchayat, October 2017.
11. World CSR day: Pride of India, NGO Leadership award, by World CSR Day and Dr. RL Bhatia Foundation, August 2018.
12. Award for Rural development and Upliftment by Mouda Nagar Panchayat, August 2018.
13. "Nagpur Icon" by Rotary Club of Nagpur Vision, November 2018.
14. Finalists of Times of India's Nagpur Heroes Award, January 2019.
15. Certificate of Merit for the Top 100 NGOs In India by World CSR Day and Dr. RL Bhatia Foundation, February 2019.
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- "Success-Story of UPAY: Educare of Underpriviledged". www.nagpurtoday.in. Retrieved 2016-08-24.
- "The Story Of Varun Shrivastava, From IIT To Teaching Slum Children - The Logical Indian". The Logical Indian. 2016-01-13. Retrieved 2017-01-10.
- "Ek UPAY, a solution". 2013-07-21. Retrieved 2016-08-24.
- "10 Inspiring Ordinary Indians Who Are Doing Something Extraordinary". Retrieved 2017-01-10.
- "The Story Of Varun Shrivastava, From IIT To Teaching Slum Children - Fresh Tale". Fresh Tale. 2016-01-14. Retrieved 2017-01-10.
- "UPAY aiming to replace begging bowls with books through footpath shala - Times of India". Retrieved 2016-08-24.
- "Not the story you want to read on Independence Day - Times of India". Retrieved 2016-08-24.
- "A Curious Palm - Social Connect". Social Connect. 2016-12-10. Retrieved 2017-01-10.
- "Each person should work as a 'trustee' in life: Purohit". thehitavada.com. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
- "आखिर क्या है वो ‘उपाय’ जो बदल रहा है गरीब बच्चों की जिंदगियां", IndiaMantra.com, 2016-10-12
- UPAY in media: http://www.upay.org.in/z/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=28&Itemid=865