Gramiksha – Building India of Our Dreams

gramiksha

The Beginning

Gramiksha was started by a bunch of passionate college students who saw the conditions of public education system and wished to bring a change in it, or rather, be the change themselves. It has been always there in front of us, the way a primary government school kid can’t read or write properly, or how a street kid works in a mechanic shop instead of getting the right education. Gramiksha is an organization that solely believes in building the India of our dreams and we have been working on it each day since last 6 years.

Working of Gramiksha

As the organization started, it has evolved from a caterpillar to a butterfly; it has taken its own beautiful shape in terms of its organizational structure. Our structure is very transparent and easy to understand. We work in six cities, so we have city core committees who guide the ground volunteers and manage PR, Marketing, Operations, and Finance and so on. The same way, we have a National team that leads all the city department heads. The National team, just like the city teams, consists of 8 distinct departments and thus, we have National Department Heads. I have been working as the National Head, who leads both the national team and the city heads of each team. I took up this role, earlier in probation for six months and now, this is my third term as the National Head.

My idea is to give the space to people to think and explore new innovative ideas and to guide them for whichever step they need my help in. Not only myself, but I have seen so many people grow and become responsible individuals in the process of working with Gramiksha. I am very confident in saying that a lot of people have built their identities, and partly because of that, they associate themselves with Gramiksha like a family, said Stuti Ashok Gupta (National Head at Gramiksha). 

As we are all in different cities, we have fixed weekly meetings with the entire team, which includes all six city heads and all 8 national department heads, national head, and the president, Shubham Singh. We brainstorm ideas and solve problems, take decisions as a team and help one another through the various skills we attain. The good thing about Gramiksha is that all of us are from various educational backgrounds, and our discussions are rich and our efforts are an amalgamation of diverse perspectives.

When we work, we work really hard and when we have our little leisure times, we are all in it together. I have met some of the greatest minds of this generation through this organization and I will be forever grateful for that.

Working Culture

We have HRs assigned to formulate and revise the organizational policies from time to time, to keep a track of recruitment, orientation, and training. Our HR heads are very efficient in managing the database, keeping a record of meeting minutes, storing information, keeping a track of attendance and leave application, termination/resignation and even an exit interview. We take reviews at various intervals to get a feedback and constantly improve, said Stuti Ashok Gupta (National Head at Gramiksha). 

Compliance record over the last 3/5 years

Gramiksha started 5 years ago with few enthusiastic people, and now it has grown into a big fat family of over 500 volunteers, most of the volunteers are students, from different fields such as entrepreneurs, engineers, doctors, scientists, educationists, lawyers, psychologists and so on.

Currently, Gramiksha is active in 6 cities of India, they are; Gwalior, Bhopal, Indore, Jaipur, Delhi, and Lakshmangarh. With four major projects, we have benefited over 5000 students and approximately 100 families.

One of Gramiksha’s  projects, Udaan is a concept developed from the guidelines given by Madhya Pradesh Education Board focuses on to uplift to greater heights, on promoting extra-curricular activities in school and to develop personal and social qualities in students on a basic level has been successful in changing lives of 500 students every year.

Through the Project Street Meet, we managed to enroll around 50 students in schools. Project Swaasthya helped to make around 1000 families aware about Health and Hygiene, and also get their regular checkup done.

Apart from these major projects, Gramiksha also have a Resource Center in Gwalior. We also conduct Clothes and stationary donation drives, regularly all throughout the year.

Development over past 3 years

Being an NGO with the vision to bring a change in the society, one step at a time, we’ve tried to implement few approaches to make the learning more interactive for students of government school, we developed a learning space for them where they can learn with no boundaries, where they can have more things to learn from. We believe a healthy, clean and interactive environment is necessary for a child to grow.

To name a few,

a.Resource Center, a dream classroom project:
To make this dream come into reality, We developed  a Resource Center in Gwalior’s one of the government school near Railway Colony, which not only help students but also the teachers. This resource center includes computers, books, and interactive toys for junior Classes and Teacher’s learning material. Over 200 students and 30 teachers have been benefited from the resource center till now.

b.Gramiksha Jaipur

In collaboration with India@75, an initiative by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) made through a successful and eventful day. India@75 was organized to realize a vision of a successful and prosperous India when it completes 75 years in 2022. We aimed to help the street vendors by promoting their stalls and boosting their one-day income. Special thanks to Radiocity Jaipur 91.1 for covering the event.

c.Paint for a change:
We also conducted a project called Paint for a Change, in collaboration with CII – India@75, in which we painted the walls of government schools, around 60 artists from different colleges came together to help us for the cause. This project was conducted in three cities, Indore, Gwalior and Lakshmangarh.

Gwalior: ‘Paint for a change’ is accomplished successfully and has been a wonderful experience to all. It was an initiative of Gramiksha in collaboration with Confederation of Indian Industry’s project India@75, based on the theme ‘India after 75 years of Independence’. Around 70 people joined us in the cause including our volunteers, outsiders, and professional artists. Gramiksha celebrated the spirit of volunteerism and Independence. We pay our deep gratitude to Hon’ble Collector Mr. Sanjay Goyal Sir for his constant support, CEO Zila Panchayat Mr. Neeraj Singh Sir, APC S.B. Ojha Sir for their presence, support, guidance and faith in us. We further extend our gratitude to Mr. Ritesh Goel Arya (Yantriki Classes), Red Cross Society, Painters Association Gwalior, Raja Mansingh School of fine arts, Little Angels High School, our Musicians for the amazing jamming session and all the helping hands who contributed to the cause and helped Gramiksha paint for a change.

d.Summer Camp: Organizing a summer camp in collaboration with government in the schools – Old Brewery, Hazira and Shaskiya Uchh Madhyamik vidhyalaya, Morar.

Future of Gramiksha

Gramiksha has been entirely volunteer based organization. We have about 500 people spread across six cities working without a salary as of now. One of our major objectives of this year is to get full-time team members, once we have gotten CSR funding. Our long-term objective is to seed the passion for learning and education among as many children as we can.

Gramiksha aims to get people on board to work for full-time and pay them salaries, to keep the smooth functioning of the organization going. Apart from that, our R&D team has been working really hard to design new projects, something with huge impact potential that we will be executing in the near future.

Type of support does this position receive in terms of people, finances

Gramiksha is a youth-run organization and has not gone for any sort of government aid or major funding as of now, as nobody gets paid in the organization, from the top to bottom hierarchy. Although, we organize fund-raiser events like photo-booths, street plays, flash mobs, freeze mobs and so on, in order to raise funds in each city. Every penny that we receive is spent for the welfare of the children and other underserved sections of the society.

Through our projects, we have also been constantly supported by respected government officials and have made long term relations with the stakeholders of public education system. We have always been supported by Collector Sir Mr. P Narhari, Indore and Collector Sir Mr. Sanjay Goyal, Gwalior. BRC has been very helpful and accommodating as well.

Unique About Gramiksha

We work to work. We work selflessly. There’s no monetary support we are gaining from the organization and that’s one major proof of it.

Although, all the organizations that are working to uplift the society in the true sense, we are all drops of the ocean, while the ocean is also a multitude of drops. Little efforts can also create a big impact.

Gramiksha on New Hires

Commencing work in a new organization can be an overwhelming experience at first, especially when you are expected to work with the same enthusiasm and passion once shown during the recruitment.

  • Know your organization: It is very important to know the answer to the following three questions. Why what and how (in the sequence). An answer to the above three questions will help you connect with the organizations and its values.
  • Be inquisitive towards your surroundings: Learning ability is the key to adapt in this new world. The sooner you develop it the easier it will be for you to travel this journey. Learn to listen but don’t hesitate to keep your own opinion.
  • Asking for help: Initially, a lot of time you will come across impediments but shying away from them and working out on your own can sometimes lead to drastic effects. Asking for help from your seniors and colleague will not question your intelligence but will portray your commitment to learn and bring results.

Words of Wisdom

One piece of advice to anyone who is going to take their first step in something new, or has begun something new lately – Take risks. Step out of your comfort zone.

Opportunities knock on your doors all the time, you need to be unafraid and let them in. Not only will you learn in the process but also it is one step closer in the direction of your dreams. Things begin to fall into place once you start your journey.

About Stuti Gupta, National Head at Gramiksha

I have been working with Gramiksha for over 5 years now, and it is all because of Shubham Singh, who started the organization at the first place. All that I have been able to do is because he’s been a constant push for me to try out new things and he challenges me to go for more. He is an inspiration and one of the smartest people I have come across. I am so glad that Gramiksha happened to me, not only has it become a part of my dreams to make it achieve great heights, Gramiksha has in a way become a part of me. I am defined by it in certain standards; my personality has metamorphosed through this journey.

Apart from working as the National Head of Gramiksha, I am also a co-founder of The Lost Tribe Hostels, a chain of backpacker hostels in Manali and Goa. I finished my Masters in Clinical Psychology from TISS, Calicut in 2016, and after one year of traveling and working, I have finally moved to Gwalior to handle Gramiksha and support my dad’s business. You can call me a writer, an entrepreneur, a social worker, but at the end of the day, they are all just labels. And I read somewhere that labels are for jars, not people.

I encourage people to try out diverse things and not restrict oneself into one thing alone. Giving and sharing with others teaches you that, in receiving, there is only greed for more.

 

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Gramiksha - Building India of Our Dreams
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Gramiksha - Building India of Our Dreams
Aditya Gupta
Startupwine
Startupwine
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