Prayas – Enable and Inspire

Let’s weave a dream where every child can read

IIT Kanpur has always strived towards benefiting the society at large. Besides being engaged in churning out innovations and nurturing brilliant minds, it makes every possible effort to reach out to the surrounding community. PRAYAS is one such initiative aimed at providing education to the underprivileged and marginalized children living in and around the campus. Started in 2001 by a few passionate students, the organization conducts regular evening classes for around 120 children from classes 1 to 12 where the emphasis is to teach through various fun-filled activities. Besides, it also works towards:

  • Inculcating values and provide moral education to the students.
  • Promoting all round development through various co-curricular activities like music, sports, painting, debates, dance, poetry, etc.
  • Creating awareness about health and social issues.

While doing so, the student volunteers try to work on teaching methodologies that would attract children towards education thus reducing the drop-out rates. One of the volunteers with the organization said, “We believe what Gail Godwin said that good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths theater. That is our approach towards teaching.”


     

HISTORY

It all started with a bunch of altruists visiting a nearby school in Lodhar on the Republic Day. Their interactions with the teachers and students of Vivekananda Vidyalaya and the villagers not only motivated them further but also laid foundations of an ever-lasting bond of friendship and humanity between them. They initially started a project One Wing One Child where one child would be supported by one wing of students in their hostels. Though the idea didn’t work, they continued to conduct the activities for the kids. Later, they formalized the group and named it Prayas following which the Student’s Gymkhana adopted it formally and made it a student club that continues to run successfully.


ACTIVITIES

Prayas endeavors to make their life better by creating possibilities for them to discover themselves and cope up with the existing challenges of the society and become self-dependent in future. It has a small library with 400 books to assist children in their studies and enhance their reading skills. In the present era of technology, volunteers try to provide some basic computer education as well through the newly set up Computer lab. Children are encouraged to participate in the extra co-curricular activities like music, dance, poetry, debate, sports etc. for their holistic development. As a result, few students have won prizes in painting and calligraphy competitions, organized among 42 nearby schools. Some of the students are class toppers in their respective schools. Apart from providing basic education, volunteers also strive to inculcate some moral and social values in the children enabling them to evolve as a responsible citizen in future bringing a remarkable difference in the lives of others. Prayas also provides monetary aid to a few genuinely needy children.

The organization tries to reach out to other children as well who are employed and fail to attend classes. The volunteers visit children’s homes to have a proper understanding of their problems and inspire their families to support their children’s efforts and dreams. To ensure that education is accessible to a large section, they have created separate teams to support a mobile library, education of employed children, adult education and health awareness.


 

Friendship Bands by Prayas students.

 

It has been rightly said that success is the sum of small efforts - repeated day in and day out. The success of Prayas is the outcome of the relentless and sincere efforts of the students of IIT Kanpur towards the development of a better society where no child should be deprived of education. Today, a large number of students come to study at Prayas from nearby villages and rural areas. The team receives huge support from students, faculty and well-wishers who are equally contributing towards its development and sustainability. As Prayas continues to pursue its mission and vision with unflinching determination and compassion, it looks forward to your support which no matter how small would be a catalyst in the process.

 

 

 

 

IIT Kanpur

 

 

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