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About the project

DSH’s approach to education has been described as “YouTube meets Netflix in a schoolhouse with a dirt floor.” Headquartered in Lucknow, DSH seeks to improve the quality of education for disadvantaged children in rural and slum schools using appropriate “lite tech” and innovative approaches.

Digital Study Hall also works in the forefront of women and girls empowerment programs by including gender education into the core of their academic curricula and community education campaigns.

How we help

Teachers in DSH-supported classrooms report that they see a lot of changes in the girls. They progress in academics, have a greater knowledge of gender rights and begin to have a vision and aspirations for themselves that allow them to act on their own behalf.

Sahida, 13, comes from Siswa village Uttar Pradesh. She was discriminated against in her own family. While her brother enjoyed special privileges and was the center of her parents' attention, Sahida had to struggle for even the smallest needs, including sufficient food.

She’s a brave girl and participated actively in the DSH Girls’ Empowerment Program. Discussions on gender discrimination in domestic settings had a deep impact on her and she decided to take up the matter of her unfair treatment with her parents. 


She approached her mother first and shared how she felt about the way she is treated at home in comparison to her brother. The talks continued for days before her mother finally empathized with her situation and assured her that she will change her behavior. 

Sahida's mother is doing her best to make her daughter feel equal but Shida’s battle continues as her father has yet to realize that she deserves better from her family. With the support of her teachers, and now knowing her fundamental rights for fair and equal treatment that she learned from DSH training, she continues to work for what she wants.


Creating Quality Classrooms with Video Content

The best grassroots teachers are filmed as they teach in their local languages. Community video processing stations pool these contributions into a networked database. The DVDs are shared with poor schools which are given TVs and players to play the discs. Teachers at the recipient schools do not rely on passive TV watching. They are trained to actively "mediate" the video lessons by imitating and embellishing the activities contained in the videos. Studies have shown dramatic improvement of student performance and local teachers demonstrated significant improvement in their grasp of subject matter as well as pedagogical skills.

Girls’ Empowerment Program - Aarohini

The Aarohini program started in 2012 with 36 residential girls’ schools and will expand to nearly 1000 schools in the next two years. Aarohini is a girls’ empowerment program that focuses on eliminating discrimination faced by girls in schools, families and the community. It addresses these issues through a “Critical Dialogues” curriculum in the classroom, community education using the arts and drama to heighten awareness of the issues and close mentoring and monitoring. It aims to help girls build life aspirations and perceive themselves as equal persons worthy of respect.

Non-Formal Education Centers

Non-Formal Education Centers reach out to kids who are of the poorest segment of the society and out-of-school. This program helps kids catch up and transition back to regular school.

Story of Aarti - Now I am not afraid.  Now I dream.

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“I could never open my mouth at home. I was a frightened weak girl. Now I speak up. Now I am not afraid. My father has stopped beating us because we speak up. I know my rights and am not afraid to demand them.  

Now I dream and I want to be a teacher.  I wasn’t sure I would even finish high school. But now I have a BA and I want to do a B.Ed. I want to learn dancing and computers and everything, anything. There are many challenges but I know that we can find solutions, I am not afraid now.  At home my mother asks my advice and I am confident now that I can give her good advice.”   - Aarti Singh, Student, Digital Study Hall, Lucknow.   Mona Foundation invests $10/month to educate Aarti.  

Achievements in

  • 349 teachers trained in the Critical Feminist Pedagogy.
  • Refresher training on community engagement, 305 teachers participated
  • Collaborated with Girl Rising to use its Gender Sensitization Multimedia Module
  • Trained 82 government elementary teachers in Jaipur. 

The Aarohini Initiative trained a total of 1031 teachers and 67 trainers.

Over 210 schools participate in DSH 4th India’s Daughters Campaign against child marriage.

100% of 460 girls recipient of Mona Scholarships stayed in school and transitioned to next level.

1000% rise DSH video viewing. 65% of the videos were accessed through mobile phones, 29% through computers, and 4.5% through tablets  

Provide Mona Foundation scholarships to 400 girls so they can go on to high school

Outreach to over 100 schools which will collaborate to create new content.

Change four lives!

Give $50 a month, or $500, to fund the education of four girls for one school year.

Reaching for the Sky

Poonam Gautam is a young woman living, learning and leaving her mark on the world. ...

Netflix Meets Youtube on a Dirt Floor

Wonder and awe filled the eyes of children crammed into his apartment neighboring an urban slum in...