Prayaas bears fruit, little dreams fulfilled

November 4, 2008 § 1 Comment

TOI Link1
TOI Link2

Kinjal, 8, just cannot stop smiling these days. This class III student has got a benefactor from Pune — Paresh Bhavsar who is an IT professional from Pune.

The little girl is part of an unique endeavour — Prayaas — that is rooted in the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A). Prayaas, initiated by the students of the institute to support the education of slumchildren around the institute had for the first time kept the option open for people outside IIM-A to contribute for the children of Prayaas.

And, girl child is top on the list of all those offers that have flooded Prayaas. Senior citizens, corporate houses and even individuals have joined hands with Prayaas. For instance, Bhavsar learnt of Prayaas through a report in TOI.

Since the beginning of this academic session at IIM-A in June, six children have been adopted by people outside the institute. The people who have adopted these children include senior citizens, businessmen and the employees of an investment firm. And, in most cases education of a girl child was most sought after by interested people.

Prayaas has opened its doors to accept donation or help in any form from people outside the campus because it has chosen to expand its operations.

“A total of 29 children, 12 from June 2007 and 17 from June 2008, have joined a private school — Sahajanad School. Of these, 15 children are fully sponsored, at a cost of Rs 12,000 per head. Of these, one girl child each has been adopted by Baldev Handa and another by a group, Senior Citizens of Shaligram,” said Sameer Gandhi, the co-ordinator of team Prayaas.

Handa lives at the IIM-A campus with his son, Sunil Handa, a professor at the institute. Senior Citizens is another group of compassionate people, residing at Shaligram apartment in Satellite, who have extended their help.

Three boys have been adopted by a group of employees of Future First. Eight children have been adopted by students of the institute itself.

“We are happy with the response that we have got but are hoping to reach out to more people because there are still a lot of children who have to be moved to private schools. The word has spread and people know about us but the response could be better. The response of the alumni is still not encouraging,” said Gandhi.

Journey of Prayaas
Prayaas was one of the many classroom projects that the students of Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, do as a part of their curriculum. But four years down the line, Prayaas has become a regular feature of the institute, which has a special working team dedicated to it. Started only to help students of nearby slums with their school work, Prayaas has grown into something much bigger, where the IIM-A students are helping these children to get better education by funding their education in private schools. The project is under the guidance of Professor Anil Gupta.

Pooja Dhobi Class III Father: Washerman I joined the big school last year. I like it more here because I have more friends, better classrooms, nice teachers and a big playground. Initially, I had thought that I will have to study more in the big school but the studies remain the same. I have made friends and I am very happy. When I come back, I tell my father all about my day at school.

Yash Mali Class III Father: Rickshaw driver I have started liking all the subjects now but my favourite period is PT period. After I came to the big school, I know what I want to be. I want to be a doctor because not many kids from where I stay get to study as well as I do and there are so many people falling ill and in pain. I want to help them

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