Social Activities at IIT Kanpur
Apart from academics, there are many things in which IIT Kanpur students indulge themselves during their free time. These activities include sports, dance, music, arts, drama etc.However, very few people know about the social groups of IIT Kanpur whose members try to better the conditions of the underprivileged sections of the society.
Prayas comes under the Presidential Council in the Students' Gymkhana of IIT Kanpur. Through this club, IITK students try to provide education to the underprivileged students of classes 1 to 12 around IIT Kanpur.
Prayas started in 2001 when a few students of IITK visited a school in an adjoining village, Lodhar. This interaction with the villagers made them realize how different their conditions were from each other. Some enthusiastic students joined hands to do something goos for the villagers and Prayas was formally adopted as a club by Students' Gymkhana.
At present, there are about 120 kids enrolled in Prayas. Apart from education, various co-curricular activities are also orgnaised for the students like music, sports, painting, dance etc. Recently, Prayas has acquired three computers and computer classes are held every Sunday. Sometimes, children are also taken to small picnics.
Any student of IITK can come and teach these small kids. All one needs is to provide the details of his/her preferred time and topics.
Shiksha Sopan is a registered NGO which is run by IITK students and faculty members to provide eduaction to the underdeveloped sections of the society. Currently there are two learning centers - one at Old Sac, IIT Kanpur and the other in a nearby village, Barasirohi.
The aim of Shiksha Sopan is to achieve three main objectives - Shiksha (education), Sanskar (character building) and Swavlamban (creating employment for oneself).
Usually, students join Shiksha Sopan in NSS(National Service Scheme) as a part of CPA (Compulsary Physical Activity) in their first year of undergraduate program. They have to complete 24 hours in NSS in one semester giving four hours per week. The work involves teaching kids of classes 1 to 12. Some of the students also prepare a short play regarding the importance of education during the semester and present it in the end.
Different quiz sessions and playing time sessions are organized for the kids from time to time. Children of small classes are made to stand in a line and pray before leaving. These small things help in inculcating discipline and leadership qualities in them.
Through Avanti, selected students are provided free classroom training to prepare for engineering entrance examinations. They are also provided one-to-one mentoring by current students of IITK.
The centers have no conventional lecturing. The focus is on teaching students how to learn from books and their peers - resources that are more abundant and accessible. Each topic is covered in four phases - pre reading, peer learning, self study and teaching test-specific problem solving.
The mentoring process involves weekly meetings, counselling, doubt solving and extensive academic monitoring.
Enactus is yet another organization started to reach out to people in need using the power of entrepreneurship.
The team is currently involved in two projects:
'Project Agaaz' employs women of economically backward communitites to prepare decorative items using reused paper.
'Project Pakvaan' employs people of economically backward areas to prepare and sell traditional dishes throughout the campus.