Free Education for the Unempowered? Uddeshya Sachan’s Initiative Is Winning Hearts!
The only way to move forward in this ever-changing world is with the weapon of education. A quality education creates and opens avenues for you which you might not experience otherwise. But the learning aspect tends to get compromised when attached to practices like competition, unfair means of determining merit, and unfortunately so, corruption.
The rat race to get the highest rank, the highest rated schools and colleges creates pressure among children at such a young age that education becomes synonymous with stress. The pressure often leads to a student giving up and taking extreme measures to escape from the pressure. On the opposite end of the spectrum come students who have the will to learn and are capable of it, but what they lack is the opportunity and financial support. Quality education, being as expensive as it is, is still a privilege for many who cannot afford it.
Education shouldn't just end with literacy but should continue further and beyond. Government schools and colleges lack the efficiency to provide the required education to students who are deprived of opportunities. It takes courage to dedicate your time and life to others, and very few are capable of these selfless acts. Uddeshya Sachan is one of those people.
Uddeshya Sachan, the founder of Gurukulam - Khushiyon Wala School, which translates to 'the school of happiness', is a young entrepreneur with a view to improve the accessibility of quality education to the unempowered and create a bigger impact on the education system as a whole. Being born into a middle-class family exposed him to the struggles very early on in life, and it also imparted a sense of empathy for the ones who struggle with something that is their fundamental right.
Uddeshya was highly affected by watching his father struggle to collect enough money for his school fees. He realized that the problem existed not just with him but also with many around him. Parents were struggling to provide basic education for their children, so they either did not attend school at all or dropped out before completing their education. These situations inspired him to uplift not just himself but those who needed upliftment the most.
To gain some experience in the domain of social work, Uddeshya started volunteering for different initiatives, one of them being the Feeding India Organization, where he learnt all that he could about social work while also pursuing his graduation in Philosophy. After learning the ins and outs of social initiatives, he finally decided to contribute to society by pursuing something on his own. Education seemed like the perfect fit for it since it is what lays the foundation for the cognitive development of a child and is also a solution for most, if not all, social drawbacks like poverty, corruption, unemployment, etc.
Gurukulam - Khushiyon Wala School
Founded in 2019, when Uddeshya was 21-years-old, Gurukulam is a school that provides quality education to the unempowered sectors of society, all for free, so families aren't forced to choose between survival and education. Parents don't have to spend a single penny on the primary education of their child. It is all taken care of by Uddeshya, his team and the adopters who have associated with Gurukulam over time. The school focuses on the Kanpur region, mainly the slums, and Uddeshya and his team have been actively trying to uplift and provide the best services to the deprived ones in the region.
One of the primary goals of Gurukulam is to bring about amendments in the education system that is currently based on rote learning, exam-oriented learning, and dominates any other types of learning that might exist. Gurukulam aims at practical and skill-based education that prepares a student for the real world. "I was a topper at school, but when the time comes to get a job, every company requires skill-based knowledge and other extra qualities such as critical thinking, quick decision making, leadership etc.", said Uddeshya.
What makes Gurukulam stand out is the unique way of education that is practiced, including outcome-based programmes like robotics, artificial technologies, theatre acting, advanced crafts, farming, gardening etc. The school also addresses important topics such as sexual wellness and care, puberty, life, and the art of living, which stimulate the thought process.
The organisation also welcomes adopters through their campaign 'Each One, Adopt One', where you can adopt one or more children and sponsor their education by paying the minimum amount of INR 300/- per month for a single child. Since the school is a non-profit organization, it requires much more than appreciation. It requires the support of those who can help educate a child. After all, educating even a single child means investing in the future of the country, and it is our responsibility to make sure that the future is in secure hands.
With this initiative, Gurukulam has impacted over 500 students, has boarded over 100 adopters and has been appreciated for their tremendous efforts by platforms like Radio Mirchi 93. Red FM, Kanpur Annual Conference and many more.
The Way Forward
Uddeshya shares, "Our vision is to create the biggest practical learning and skill development campus for the unempowered in the next few years with the best new technologies and infrastructure such as smart classes, robotics laboratories, biology labs, sports courts etc. I am sure that we will be able to improve our education system in the upcoming years."
The students who learn at Gurukulam don't just receive knowledge; they also receive love, care, and motivation from the trainers and most importantly, from Uddeshya, who considers each student as his own child. Gurukulam - Khushiyon Wala School homes the dreams and hopes of hundreds of students, and people like Uddeshya fuel those dreams to fly high in the sky!
Exclusively written for Giving for Good Foundation by Bhairavi Hiremath