Students Turn Teachers to Fight Illiteracy in India

Undergraduates from Uttar Pradesh’s Indian Institute of Information Technology-Allahabad (IIIT-A) decided to become teachers in the evenings to make street urchins and underprivileged children literate. While the scale is still very small, I believe that this model has potential to be leveraged to other struggling areas as well. Over 100 children of poor families of street vendors, rickshaw-pullers, labourers and those involved in garbage collection are currently being taught by the IIIT-A students. The program has already been running for more than three years and teaches kids aged 6-14 Hindi and English alphabets as well as mathematical calculations. The IIIT-A students offer the courses for free and even provide their students with text books, exercise books and other stationary items.

Feedback from the local community is great. Bhagwati Prasad Khare, a retired school teacher said that “They are doing a remarkable job. They have given us a lesson how you can serve the country with a limited resource,” and Said Prem Kumar Banarwal who owns an eating joint said “If everyone of us start shouldering our social responsibility like the IIIT-A students, I feel we would make our nation quite progressive.”

I believe that this is a beautiful, simple example of social entrepreneurship where socially minded people come together and have social impact in their community even though they lack access to resources.

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Filed under Social Enterprises, Social Entrepreneurship

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