My experience with DSS began when I visited my grandparents in Pune in June 2018. The center at a construction site was a shelter held together by five metal sheets; four as walls, and one as a ceiling. I started teaching two kids, and as I didn’t know what to expect, I taught them addition and subtraction. I failed to notice them looking at each other while smiling and only realized they knew these concepts after I asked them, which (embarrassingly) took a while. I found that they were far more intelligent than I had originally taught, learning factorials, negative exponents and so much more. In contrast to the groans that come from the students when the word “homework” crosses their ears, the students here, with the meagre resources they have, went and asked me for homework after the day’s lesson was over. The will to learn was incomparable to the kids in the United States, who take free education, shoes on their feet, electricity, fresh running water, and the ability to buy notebooks for granted. DSS has helped educate the kids without these resources, and have driven them to aspire for more. This experience has changed me for a lifetime, exposing me to kids with a hunger to learn, without the resources that I, with so many other people, took for granted.

~Parth Shirolkar, 8th grade student of Davis Drive Middle School,North Carolina, USA. Volunteer (DSS Pune)


I came to Doorstep School (DSS) in the winter of 2009/10 as a tourist with the intention of working as a volunteer English teacher for two months. I study education in Australia and wanted to broaden my studies, and also experience a foreign culture, by embarking on this adventure in India. I found myself extremely well received by the organization, with very friendly and accommodating staff. The work was very challenging and rewarding, which tested my abilities as an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher. The task was made especially difficult as I didn’t know the local language, Marathi. However, the children were always eager to listen, learn and participate in English based activities and follow instruction to the best of their ability.

I found DSS to be a very worthy humanitarian cause. The dedication of the staff was an inspiration, as I witnessed their commitment to provide more opportunities to children who would otherwise have very little options in a city booming with economic prosperity for the rich and financial hardship for the poor. Indeed, the program found flexible solutions to the barriers facing the education of children of labouring families. DSS continues to be THE reason that many children succeed in school and continue to higher education, enabling them a life which would not have been possible otherwise.

My time at DSS far exceeded my expectations and is an experience that I value highly. As a man who aspires to be an international ESL teacher, DSS has given me skills and knowledge that could not have been acquired in a western environment. It has complemented the education that I receive in Australia and has made me more desirable both as an ESL teacher and as a teacher of the humanities disciplines. I highly recommend the program for anyone studying to be a teacher who is interested in foreign cultures. For me, it was one of the most memorable travel experiences of my life.

~Tim Ackers, Student of Education, QUT, Brisbane, Australia. Volunteer (DSS Pune)


I started volunteering for DSS in July 2007 at the Shivaji Housing Society study center. I joined with the aim of helping the children with their school work. Very soon, I realized that I was learning a whole lot more than what I taught every day!

Door Step School has unknowingly nudged me… and many others like me… on a journey of self-discovery. A journey full of adventure- full of highs and lows – but, at the end of the day, very satisfying. It has made me aware of my skills and abilities as I stepped out of my protective but restricting cocoon and walked along with the DSS staff. I have interacted with various members of staff holding different responsibilities. But one thing they all have in common is their total commitment to the cause. The enthusiasm and determination of the entire staff is so infectious that nothing seems impossible!  Working with DSS has actually shown what determination, perseverance and sincere hard work can achieve. Not just teaching and learning…..but creating opportunities for learning for each and every child.

DSS has also taught me the joy of giving. We all want to give but do not know how to go about it. After having worked with DSS, I can say without a moment’s hesitation, give DSS whatever you can….money, educational material, time, skills, smiles, empathy…. with an open heart and see what a difference it makes not only to a deserving child but also to you! I am sure you will want to give again and again. 

~Archana Vyavaharkar, Volunteer (DSS Pune)


I strongly believe that education is the way to change one’s life for the better. Door Step School (DSS) shares the same idea. I was introduced to DSS in 2007, since then it has been a pleasure working for them as a volunteer. I loved the fact that DSS is very focused in its mission, transparent in its working and has strong ethics. I feel that this is the reason why everyday in office is still enjoyable. I have always been given a lot of respect and love by the staff.

~Smita Joshi, Volunteer, Reading Class Program (DSS Pune)


Recently I  volunteered to teach maths and Physics to 11th standard students at DSS office in Sadashiv Peth. I started the classes some time in January 2013 for a period of about 2 months. The DSS staff at Sadashiv Peth office were very cooperative and helped me in getting the 11th standard text books and created a very good conducive teaching environment. They contacted the students and got their commitment to attend classes as much as possible. The staff would contact the students a day or two before each class as a reminder.

The students on their part were mostly very keen to learn and solve assigned problems. At the end of each session they would request a topic for the next class. At times the topic was beyond their proposed syllabus. It was a wonderful experience teaching the students and their enthusiasm was evident. I will most willingly take up this assignment any time in the future.

~Satish Joglekar, Volunteer (DSS Pune)