Students from economically backward communities have cracked competitive exams like NEET, JEE and JEE Mains thanks to an effort by a group of friends in Mumbai. Hailing from different educational backgrounds, these friends started an organization to make quality education accessible to every child. And they have an apt name for it too – Path Pradarshak, which means “the guide of the way”.
The organization was founded two years ago by a group of friends who worked with the Super 30. Sumit Sharma, Dr Avinash, Robin Mandal and Saurabh Santosh hail from different premium institutes. They had every chance at a lucrative career but opted to use their expertise and knowledge for the kids who wish to study but cannot.
While working at his previous institute, Sumit came across two types of crowds. One, which included students who had an idea of all the topics that were being taught. The second included those students who had the zeal to learn but were not financially strong. This brought a lot of questions to the founders as to how they can help these students. “Children at puncture shops and students who clean restaurants and other places were asked whether they would want to be taught and continue their education. We wanted all these students to crack competitive exams and end up in top positions of reputed institutions,” added Sumit.
How do these free classes work?
For starters, financial help was given to these students who required money. Those students who were devoid of basic data packages were also provided with the same. After this, a YouTube channel was started by the organization called ‘Grow Bharat’ where several video lectures and audio-visual content were uploaded for students to kick start their journey. The students who faced internet issues found it easier to download them from YouTube once they were provided with the required data pack. Currently, the channel has close to 46,000 subscribers and the foundation is also preparing recorded videos for the students. There is no formal enrollment process. The students join the open WhatsApp or Telegram groups to get a better understanding of the subjects.
The teachers put their heart and soul into explaining the content to the students. “The kids never sleep! They are hungry for knowledge and there are times when we become exhausted even though they never do,” said Dr Avinash.
The daily routine
The teachers work on a shift-based system. Every day, a single teacher gets a particular batch of students who they teach for a particular number of hours. The batches are designed in such a way that neither the teachers nor the students feel pressured. The teachers work on a volunteering basis.
Apart from the live YouTube sessions, doubt-clearing classes are also conducted by the faculty members on platforms like Google Meet or Zoom in which a maximum of 126 students can attend a single session. This is done in a batch-wise format. Every faculty member teaches for close to 10-12 hours per day. Students are then assessed on the portions that are taught via the live lectures or the YouTube sessions.
Since the founding members are IITians and PhD graduates, they design the course material on their own. The founders also provide free counselling sessions to students from grade 9 and 10 such that it becomes easier for them to choose the right stream in grade 11. They have also made studios at their houses to record content and edit easily. An application has also been developed so that students could take daily tests and assess their performance.
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Open for All, Now Online
Students and faculties from around the world could become a part of this group and help those in need. “If you are well-educated, please come forward and help the individuals who are in need. You can make self-recorded videos and share your content. If someone can deliver quality content, all you need to do is share! If given a chance, the underprivileged can do wonders. They just need a spark and then it’s all a rainbow for them,” said Sumit.
A Telegram link has been launched by them wherein students from every part of the country could join.