Schools and colleges have very limited options to yield you the tools and co-learning space to produce a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) attitude. Although Internet and HCI (Human Computer Interaction) mediums are playing their part in disseminating information, not all members of different ages are socializing equally with the internet, and a physical space where anyone from the community could come to discover new skills, could fix their things on their own, work on their ideas, get together with others on social problems, solutions, and mainly catch the fun of creation ranging from daily use technology to art and crafts is one felt need. I am working on the same with Vigyan Ashram's DIY Lab.
Speaking of Vigyan Ashram's philosophy first, It could be summarized by a statement: Make a child read and they will forget, make them do and they will have a learning for a lifetime. Vigyan Ashram is an organization working for the last three decades in the field of "learning by doing" approach and work centric education through various initiatives and has many milestones to their credit. Vigyan Ashram opened a DIY lab in Pune last year to reach to further community members apart from students, however, their reach is very limited as happens with many of the non-profits because of not proper branding of their work and possibilities available. This Lab takes in all the basic essential hardware and software tools which Instead of giving ‘ready made’ solutions to the people, encourages them to solve their problems on own by developing creativity and imagination by providing tools and technical mentor-ship.
I am carrying some interesting experiments in collaboration with Vigyan Ashram to expand their reach to a wider community by projecting this lab as an incubation center for innovators where ideas can convert into reality and a place to learn new skills for everyone with workshops and events for every age person. We have a model of yearly memberships and workshop charges to make it sustainable with a cross-subsidization model for people who can't afford. The primary goal is to manage the branding of this lab to make people cognizant of the DIY ethic, facilities and opportunities available in this space through different mediums like videos, website, publishing material, feature stories in media, promotional events and linkages with relevant colleges and organizations etc., to make it a new cultural phenomena among students, hobbyists and non-experts in Pune.
Help me in my endeavor to spread the reach of Vigyan Ashram's DIY (Do-It-Yourself) lab to the masses and eventually bring these labs to communities in Mumbai city in the future.
About Me: A believer of DIY ethic
Ashwini Kumar is an alumnus of TISS and holds a degree in engineering from NIT Durgapur. He has worked in the past with Tata Consultancy Services.
To get updates on what I'm trying and the onward progress. Kindly follow this page: https://www.facebook.com/DIYCommunityCentre
Your suggestions and input on my ideas will be highly appreciated. You could also get other information about Vigyan Ashram as an organization and our DIY Lab through this FB page.