IIM-A effort a noble ‘Prayaas’

December 13, 2008 § 1 Comment

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They would soon storm boardrooms and hold top posts in the corporate world. But, come evening, these students of India’s top B-school,
IIM-Ahmedabad, are with children from slums near their campus, teaching them, telling stories and putting a smile on these stained faces.

There are no bells, fixed periods or attendance registers here. But, there are children and there is learning. After hours of tough management lessons, the sprawling new campus of IIM-A comes alive with the cackle of children as students don the hat of teachers. They are a part of Prayas, an endeavour to make a difference by educating underprivileged children who are studying in a nearby municipal school.

What started as a classroom project — ‘Indian society and political environment’ by a group of students in 2004 — is now a big initiative.

Prayas is taken care of by a team of students and has become a fixture on campus. The kids are students of Vastrapur Municipal School and the group helps children with studies after school hours and gives them textbooks and notebooks. “It began as an education support system for underprivileged children living around the campus. Today, we are funding the education of 27 children in private schools. Funds required per child are Rs 12,000 a year including tuition fees, uniform, transport and cost of books,” says Samir Gandhi, student co-ordinator of Prayas from the batch of 2009.

Vaibhav Bhamoriya, a student of the fellow programme at IIM-A, was among the first few volunteers of Prayas in 2004. “It’s great to see what shape Prayas has taken today. IIM-A students used to teach students armed with slates on the temple premises near Blind People’s Association. Now, we have donors from outside campus as well.” Earlier, Prayas was funded by donations raised from the campus.

Now, there are eight students who have even adopted children.

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