The Root Chakra is an energy center located at the base of the spine in human body. It is the center of our base / grounding / foundation.
Sonia Mackwani (Founder-Director), driven by an inner calling, was 21 when she began the work and established Touching Lives in 2003.
Touching Lives was started with the foundational value in her heart that – ‘It is completely our need to serve than saying, we serve the needy.’ And this value stays strong in the ethics of the organization even today.
She wrote two books then, to support Touching Lives financially and to register it under The Bombay Public Trust Act in 2006.
The idea of Touching Lives sprouted as a simple and strong inner need in one person- to contribute by giving seva and love to the world, and this has continued to be the essence of the work of Touching Lives in the last 15 years.
After experimenting to contribute in many different ways through different projects, we finally established the core area of our work in 2007-08, we started our first Community Learning Center near Rustomjee in Dahisar, Mumbai, and thus began our Independent Learners Project, providing activity-based education to children living in slums of Mumbai and working towards their over-all development.
Having sown the seed of education in hundreds of children in the past 10 years and working tirelessly with the parents and the inhabitants of slum communities, we are currently working with over 200 children with focus, clarity, commitment and compassion. Over the years, we have developed our own child-friendly and therapeutic curriculum to suit the needs of children from all the backgrounds. With a strong base in understanding child psychology and spiritual tools to work with children, we have also developed an effective and result-oriented learning pedagogy / teachers training program to train our in-house mentors and teachers of other schools and NGOs on how children learn with ease.
Currently, more than 30 students, who are still part of various programs at our Learning Center, are pursuing education in various colleges in Mumbai and are an inspiration and role model for other children living in their slum communities. To some of the bright and talented young alumni students, we have also provided employment opportunities at our Learning Center and Community Centers.
Roshni, who lives in a slum community in Dahisar, was a part of our After-School program while she attended regular school in a Municipal Hindi medium school. Roshni scored 80% in her 10th standard exam and dreamt of becoming a software engineer. But, due to financial constraint Roshni and her family decided to not take up Science in college.
With a few messages to our supporters, a Facebook post and within a week- we were able to raise funds to support Roshni’s education. With strong emotional support and connection with the team, Roshni and her father decided to pursue Science in junior college. In the last 2 years, Roshni, while chasing her dream and attending full-time college for BCA (Bachelor in Computer Application), worked as a Community Leader at Touching Lives, worked part-time at a Pizza joint, and polished her writing skills in our Creative writing program.
Roshni has now completed her BCA (scoring 71% in her 5th semester), she has co-authored a book about the stories of Touching Lives children (yet to be published), and has now joined our team as a full-time mentor. Roshni’s new dreams are – to establish her own Touching Lives Learning Center, to earn a good living for her family and to become a travel writer.