It all started two years back when Keval Purohit and his friends, students of Vishwakarma Government Engineering College (VGEC), Ahmedabad, happened to see the movie Swades and got so inspired by it that they decided to do something to bring about a positive change in our society. Soon, they visited a village, Bhadaj, near their college. They interacted with villagers, roamed the streets throughout the day but couldn’t zero in on a problem they wanted to tackle. Tired, they sat under a tree, deliberating on what next and transferring the day’s pics on their laptop. Just then, a group of kids with glittering eyes came over and asked them, “भैया,आपके हाथों में ये क्या है? (What is that in your hands?)” It was the defining moment for them. They never expected someone would not know what is a laptop! They had found their mission. They asked the kids to gather all their friends the next morning to learn something interesting.
The next morning, the team went to the village and taught the kids some basic features of laptop and mobile, drawing and typing till noon. The kids enjoyed it very much and asked the team to come again. The next time, the team planned full-fledged weekend sessions for the kids that were also attended by few women and teachers of the village. The teachers were shocked to see students, who were considered not so good in studies, learning the skills very fast and some young ones learnt A-Z just in a day using laptops. The team also helped the villagers to make their panchayat and school digitized with some computer maintenance, data-entry jobs and thus successfully completed their first Digital Literacy Camp!
The success of their first camp instilled a fire in the team to start a campaign on Digital Literacy for the underprivileged. They worked on a solid plan with the help of few social entrepreneurs to lay a firm foundation for their efforts. They formed a core team comprising of Sanket Vekariya, Pranav Goti, Keval Purohit, Urjit Dave, Yash Modi, Keyur Chotalia, Parth Kakadia, Dharmik Panchal, Md. Shaifan and Radha Govani. The team started covering schools that gave them space and permissions. Many volunteers joined the team in the noble cause. Meanwhile, camps were expanding into the home towns of volunteers as well like Jamnagar, Amreli, Junagadh, Vadodara, etc. The campaign gained strength week after week and soon spread across all of Gujarat. Within a year, this team was able to reach out to over 5000 people.
We would like to thank the faculty and staff of VGEC for their support and guidance in making this initiative successful.
We feel India can only move forward if each and every person of India starts innovative thinking and understands Mathematics, Science And Innovation. Thus we want science and innovation to reach to even the last members of our society.
They have collaborated with some urban schools to start a program, Saathi Science Badhana in which each student from these schools will make a real solution based science project along with students of schools of rural areas. Also these urban schools have promised the team to help them organize monthly Experencia in which the students will teach fascinating, easy to perform, science experiments to the rural or underprivileged students. The team with the help of GCERT are also making video lectures to be streamed on special television channels for rural area students of class 6 to 8. They plan to appoint one representative from each village who will impart practical session of the telecasted episode to each villager. The team has now grown big and has over 110 volunteers. Keval sums up their goals aptly when he says, “Our Destination is way high, searching for Infinity…“