PRAYAS is an endeavour at IIT Kanpur focused on providing complementary education to the marginalised children in and around the IITK campus. Presently, it is one of the wings of Community Welfare Cell. With a pool of more than 50 volunteers spread across the community, it aims to help mitigate and handle some issues, including but not limited to education, of the children.
With the motto Enable and Inspire, PRAYAS aims:
- To help make quality education accessible to those deprived of it
- To inculcate values and provide moral education to the students.
- To promote personality development through regular assemble and periodic extra-curricular activities
- To sensitize children about the various social and health issues
- To innovate and adopt new teaching methodologies to prevent Drop-outs
Prayas had a humble beginning as an Evening School at the home of Mrs. Vijaya Ramachandran, or Vijaya did, as she is affectionately called. It was an effort towards providing education to those sections of the community which had been deprived of the opportunity. The Evening School was revived in 2001 after her return to Kanpur from her 10 year stay in Chennai. Some students of Vivekananda Samiti, after talking to her, went to Lodhar School and were inspired to contribute to the cause. They took up the responsibility of reviving the Evening School which later became a club of the Students' Gymkhana . Currently, it is a part of the Community Welfare Cell of IIT Kanpur.
What do they do?
- They are primarily involved in teaching and overall development
- They also provide some financial help to really needy students through way of scholarships.
- They have established and maintain a library to cater to the interest of the students.
- They attempt to instill an awareness of their surroundings in the children
- The volunteers also make trips to the villages, visiting the kids' homes to understand their problems in a better way.
With focus on overall development of students, Prayas organises various competitions and celebrations scheduled through the year. Some of them are:
Prayas Premier League: Each year, Prayas organises Prayas Premier League(PPL) for students. It is an annual cricket tournament modeled along the lines of IPL in which both students and volunteers participate pro actively.
Summer English Classes:Special English classes are conducted during the summer break to develop English reading, speaking, writing and comprehension. The focus is on adopting non-conventional methods of learning English.
Annual Function:An annual display of cultural performances takes place each year during the last week of September of the first week of October. The performances range from dance, dramatics, singing, fine arts and poetry. A prize distribution ceremony is also organised for students showing remarkable preformance and/or improvement.
Udaan:Modeled as a 4 pool competition with volunteers as mentors of each pool, it has competitions ranging from debating, literary, creatives and other such fun activities that help in overall development.
Festivals:Festivals like Rakshabandhan, Diwali, Eid, Christmas and national festivals are celebrated with enthusiasm promoting harmony among the students and volunteers.
Prayas is very active on facebook and has a website dedicated to it. Following are the links to it: