This is regarding a small initiative that we have started off. It's non profit and for a social cause - It would be great if you can read till the end.
We found a gap
We found that there is a growing gap between poor children and rich children in terms of exposure that they have, by the time they complete schooling. On one hand, we have a bunch of kids from well-to-do families who own iPods, computers, Nintendo Wiis and have used microscopes, telescopes, and study in schools that can show them experiments such as titration and acid-base neutralisation using chemicals, reagents, beakers, test tubes and burettes. On the other hand, we have children from poor backgrounds who only hear and read about these things, but never see them happening and only have to visualise, and have no idea about iPods. Did you know? They don't even know what a beaker looks like! Some government schools have computers, and nobody knows how to operate them!
What we thought
Our idea is essentially to create a platform for them to be more involved - we are thinking about creating a lab, or getting equipment like test tubes, reagents, beakers etc. and showing them experiments and encouraging themhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif to do the same and participate. Another thing that we are thinking about, is to organise some science competitions, where they can create models and present them. We will provide the guidance to them. There are plenty of ways to contribute, and we are totally open to suggestions.
[You can join our group Covalence for brainstorming/discussions. Also, please fill out the form at the end of this post]
This isn't our first time
We have done this several times earlier, and we want to do this again. We have had a really good success earlier, when we went through these initiatives. We had done this under PESIT as part of CDP - Community Development Programme. What we had done then, was organise events such as science competitions, and deliver short presentations by showing videos and live demonstrations. We had given them opportunities to present their models, and gave them lots of prizes and goodies to motivate them. What they are lacking in is exposure, that's all. They are very smart. This time again, we are doing it through PESIT so that we don't have to create an NGO again. PESIT as an institute is going to help out a lot financially as well as other ways by providing space etc. If you are a student or alumnus, here's a great way for you to bond with your institute. If you aren't, don't fret - You don't have to be associated with PESIT in any way to participate. Remember, we chose PESIT, because we have done this through them before, they have been very generous in contributing, willing - and after all, we work for a cause and not for our individual gains.
How can you help?
You can help in any of the following ways.
- You can help by volunteering - organise events, demonstrate simple experiments (high school level, should be a cinch to you :P) We will hold the event on a weekend so that you won't be having issues.
- You can help by donating money - Any amount, including as low as Rs 25 is appreciated. After all, drops and drops, maketh ocean. Like we said, even showing a small test tube is a big deal for them
- If you are not sure if your money will reach the right destination, you can help by giving in kind - You can directly give test tubes, books etc. The requirements of these children is currently being assessed. If you would like to be a part of this, we will let you know when the assessment is complete.
- If you would like to help by teaching computers, great! Remember, they don't know the ABC of it.
We will try to make the entire process as transparent as possible. Also, we will ensure regular checks on the equipment and chemicals that are donated in order to curtail pilferage as well as replace broken equipment and replenish reagents.
We are open to suggestions
We still have not frozen the entire idea - Like I said, we are still in the brain storming mode. So, all suggestions are welcome. This mail is only to know if you would be willing to contribute in any of the ways mentioned above - If yes how. You don't have to provide specific information right now - like how to volunteer or amount you would like to donate. Just tell us how you would like to contribute. Also, it would be great if you could spread the word. It's open to everyone.
You will receive an official invitation from PESIT subsequently if you are interested.
Smt. Geetha Prakash,
- Phone numbers will never be shared with anyone and is only for contacting you in case we need a response within a shorter time.
- Email addresses will not be shared with anyone without your explicit permission.