In 2010, a few students of IISER started an Abhyasika for the children of a colony near the campus. Ten years later this small venture grew to become DISHA - an ever expanding platform for an IISERite to set and work towards goals of socioeconomic equity. At DISHA we do not undermine the potential of a student volunteer’s will in shaping social reform for the nation. Education is the most crucial tool for empowerment and DISHA tries to do its bit in making this available to the marginalised. With this in mind we run several programmes.
Abhyasika is DISHA’s original initiative and still remains one of our most challenging programmes. Every day Abhyasika volunteers try to bridge the gap between the children of Lamanvasti and the world outside. On the floor of a battered community centre, the students huddle around our volunteers and we teach them math, sciences and anything they want to learn about under the sun. We are striving to get a permanent place in the Vasti for future, to be able to work more effectively. Since the pandemic began, we are conducting classes either online or via phone calls for some of the older students in the vasti.
5:45 pm to 7:45 pm, Monday to Friday
Samaj Mandir, Lamanvasti
Pradnya is the newest programme of DISHA, started in the year 2018. The idea of the programme is to create a platform to impart classroom-based structured education to children who were previously in Abhyasika. Our objective is to make the children confident about their communication and numerical skills, which are the basics that they need to go into the world out there. The volunteers focus more on personal interaction for overall development of the child rather than just academics. Since the pandemic began, we are conducting classes online for some of the older students.
6:30 to 7:30 pm, Wednesday and Friday
LHC, IISER Pune
Not every child gets a fair shot at tackling the hurdles presented by exams. Mindspark tries to inculcate logical reasoning and mental ability skills in students from Pune Municipal Corporation schools. Efforts are also taken to improve their communication skills as a part of overall personality development. Mindspark volunteers help 8th standard students grasp concepts and later solve worksheets on the same. Since the pandemic began, we are conducting classes online for a few students from a neighbouring school for the 8th Standard Maharashtra Scholarship exam.
12:30 pm to 4:00 pm on Saturday; 11:00 am to 2:00 pm on Sunday
LHC, IISER Pune