Mr.Santosh Phad founded a Not For profit in 2011 “ThinkSharp Foundation” with a vision “To bridge the Rural-Urban education divide”.which is running a project “StudyMall” across Maharashtra. India. He is from rural area (and so does lot of their team members), from a village Mandwa, Dist Beed, Maharashtra, and have completed his education until graduation in rural parts. He experienced the rural-urban education divide first time, when he went to Mumbai to complete PGDBM from Rizvi Academy of Management. After finishing his PGDM, he started working in Financial and sales sector for SME loans. During this period he struggled and faced challenges due to lack of English speaking skills, soft skills, computer skills. This skills were never taught in his rural educational institutes neither they were available to be learned in villages outside schools or colleges.
This drove him to change such a scenario, where rural children were facing same issues even after 10 years, thus indicating that the situation did not change. All of their team members have had first-hand experience of challenges in rural villages and wanted a change for the rural children. They were determined that no rural child should suffer due to any lack.
What they are trying to solve is the problem of “Poor educational facilities in rural schools, specially in Govt.run and aided schools. To overcome this problem, they launched project called “StudyMall”.
StudyMall – Like shopping mall, everything under one roof. Our project StudyMall Read and Learn project which provides better educational infrastructure in rural schools (free of cost). Includes neat and clean classrooms, library, computer learning, digital/ multimedia learning in schools and conducts workshops, trainings on various topics. It also has volunteer/teacher to engage with children for various activities like drawing, writing and various other learning and developing activities.
Their target audience is rural Children from age group of 5 year to 20year. Their model of working is simple as we have kept StudyMall free of cost for rural children. StudyMall is set up in collaboration with Govt.schools, Depending on the best solution that will benefit maximum children they decided the collaboration method.
Their revenue model is such that they are completely dependent on donation /CSR funds from individuals, corporate, organization, NGOs as of now. They are collaborating to implement a self-sustainable revenue model soon that will take care of operational costs of existing projects.
Who are they helping and what is the help?
Currently they are working with 51 rural Schools in 49 villages, 10,000+Children, 250+ Teachers across Maharashtra. Their project benefits rural children and teachers as it helps them by providing below:
Digital content due to its interactive nature makes learning concepts easy to grasp. It also helps teachers to teach in more demonstrative and effective manner.
Library with engaging and colorful books instils a love of reading and improves reading skills.
Classrooms that are with positive and progressive environment improves education interest. Workshops and trainings connects with the current world.
Computer education to enable children with computer skills to progress in digital skills learning and life.
In overall sense, improves learning outcomes of children.
Their future goal
Their long term vision is one village, one StudyMall. Their goal in next 3 years is 300 StudyMall and succeful upgrade of existing StudyMall’s to implement computer program, English learning program, Trainings etc.
Individual donors, corporates including ONGC, Endurance India, System Plus.
How to join them or help in their cause?
They are not for profit and they depend on financial and skill donation. They do have lot of volunteers and donors but as they keep growing they will appreciate and look forward to any help that they can get. Those who want to help them can donate for their cause via online or offline donation or become their monthly donor by contributing a fixed amount as per their liking. For those who like to get more involved they also need volunteers in terms of different set of skills such as, program managers, finance, legal, social media manager, marketing, fund raisers etc.
They can connect with them on any of their social media page (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin) or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and log on to their website www.thinksharpfoundation.org