Times of India article (Ahmedabad Edition)

August 14, 2008 § 2 Comments

A Prayas that has borne fruit: IIM-A students touch lives

AHMEDABAD: It was a simple class project that could easily have ended right there. But, in the last four years, Prayas has not only grown to become a passionate activity for students of Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A), but has also touched many lives along the way. The group was set up to help students of a municipal school near IIM-A campus with their studies, extra learning, homework and, even nutrition.

The endeavour moved to another level last year when 17 students from Vastrapur municipal school were shifted to Sahajanand Vidyamandir near Panjrapole.

This year, another 14 kids are studying in that private school. Of 55 students under the Prayas umbrella, 26 are enjoying benefits of better education.

Schooling for them is completely free. The group pays tuition fees, funds purchase of books and uniforms, transport to and fro, extra lessons and even snacks and milk for children at the end of a tiring day.

“Of the 17 children shifted last year, five left because their parents moved out of the city. This was a learning experience for us. While picking this year’s batch we kept stability factor in mind,” says Ashutosh Agarwal, IIM-A student and active member of the group. Shifting kids to a private school started as an experiment.

The group spoke to teachers of Sahajanand Vidyamandir , its own teachers and parents. Students who were shifted last year have shown considerable improvement, says Sameer Gandhi, another student member. “Both their grades and behaviour have improved.

This time, we interviewed parents too, because their willingness and appreciation of the opportunity their child is getting is important. We are charging a token fee of Rs 100 from parents now, so that efforts of Prayas are not taken for granted,” he adds.

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