Shiksha Sopan is a registered Non-governmental organization (NGO) whose purpose is to impart value- based education to economically weaker section of the society. Its various activities are spreaded in and around the lush-green campus of IIT Kanpur. It is run by IIT Kanpur students, faculty members, employees and local young enthusiastic people for the upliftment of underdeveloped sections of the society through meaningful education.
It was started by Dr. HC Verma and a group of IIT Kanpur students together with some socially active persons from the locality in 2001-02 with a primary aim to establish an educational institution in underdeveloped localities close to IIT Kanpur that will build knowledgeable, self-dependent, confident, socially conscious beings who would be responsible and sensitive to society.
Present education system lacks the basic elements of practical knowledge, ethical and virtuous value system. This kind of educational system is not of much use in the life of a common villager nor does it help making him self-sustained or self-dependent. Inspired by such rational thoughts, a group of IIT Kanpur students together with some socially active persons from the locality decided to overcome this bottleneck by setting up an educational system that would go beyond the narrow bookish education and link the education to requirements of everyday life of students. These concepts led to the establishment of Shiksha Sopan, literally meaning a ladder to education.
The school has a Nutrition programme under which some nutritious breakfast is given to all students. The management for preparing and distributing the items is largely done by the students themselves. They also participate in other management activities.
The school is running in a small rental house. Though the school timing is generally for 5 hr in the morning, teachers and students are seen in the school almost every hour of the day. Informal activities such as games, music, story telling etc. keep on going. During vacations, special classes are held to develop the professional skills as well as personality development.
It has conducted classes for tailoring, embroidery, candle making, register binding, painting etc.
It runs various activities in and around IITK campus. The daily activities include evening learning centers and an informal education center. Currently, there are two evening learning centers. One center runs at old SAC in IITK campus, and another one in a nearby village, Barasirohi. The informal education center, which is called Sopan Anaupchaarik Shikshan Kendra (SASK), also runs in Barasirohi village in the normal school hours in morning. The details of each activity are give below.
- Sopan Anaupcharik Shikshan Kendra
- Evening Learning Centers
- Sopan Science Cell
- Pratibha Poshan Yojana (PPY)
- Dr. V. N. Kulkarni Merit Scholarship Examination
The Executive Committe looks upon all the matters of the Organisation. It has a very well balanced hierarchy which has got people involved from all sections i.e. faculty, local residents and students of IITK.
Modes of Financial Contribution
The money needed to run Shiksha Sopan activities comes only through individual donations from its members and well wishers. So far, the organisation has not accepted any grants from any funding agencies.
Apart from the above schemes, any open donation of any amount is gratefully accepted. These are used for cultural functions, special training classes, audit fee etc. Office maintenance expense is almost zero.