Join Us To Build A 'StudyMall' for rural children

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2nd May 2016
Dear Supporters,

I am Ibrahim, a Milaap Open Fellow in Mumbai. I got the opportunity to visit ThinkSharp Foundation’s Studymall in the village of Vangani in Thane district, Maharashtra. I also spoke to Santosh Phad, the co-founder of ThinkSharp about his venture, journey, and vision. He himself  completed his primary education from a ‘Zila Parishad’ school and later moved to the city Beed to get his engineering degree. But, when he went to Mumbai for his MBA, it was then that he realized the huge difference that existed in urban and rural education systems. “ThinkSharp was established with the vision of bridging this infrastructural gap in urban and rural education,” Santosh said. He came up with the concept of a StudyMall, a place where children will have the necessary means and material to study beyond school hours.

The first StudyMall was established in 2013 in Surangali village, Jalna district. They rented out a place and equipped it with almost 1000 books, a desktop, educational games, and a solar lamp. The solar lamp was needed because of the frequent power cuts the village experiences. According to Santosh, “We received a tremendous response from everyone - the parents, the teachers, and the kids.” This StudyMall is open to all kids who want to come in, read, learn, and play. Soon, the team started receiving enquiries and requests from neighbouring villages and schools. Later, they inaugurated the second StudyMall in Varangaon, Jalgaon.
The StudyMall I visited in Vangani was formed in December. They have taken a major step with this one in terms of digitizing the classroom. There’s a projector that has been installed. It has an inbuilt PC with a memory of 500GB. Inbuilt in this projector are all the courses of Maharashtra State Board from class one to class tenth in a video format. “Visual learning has been proved to be far more effective than regular classroom learning, and it is becoming a sort of norm in the urban classrooms,” Santosh said. The response was so amazing that the attendance percentage of the kids went up.

When I went to visit the place, the classes were already over, but still the kids were present in the classroom; a few of them were engrossed in books and others were engaged in fun activities. The books have content that goes beyond the subjects that are being taught. Mrs. Sneha, the teacher present there, told me that some of the kids have read all the books that were there. I requested her to show me the projector. To my amazement, one of the kids started the projector and started navigating the interactive interface. He started a geography lesson all by himself and all children stopped whatever they were doing to view that. “Teaching subjects like Geography through videos has become so much simpler,” Mrs. Sneha admits.

Children have short attention spans. However, they chose themselves to stay and learn in these classrooms without being coerced into it. This is a big testament to the success and efficacy of these StudyMalls. ThinkSharp Foundation is planning to open their fourth StudyMall in the village of Chikatgaon. They are still in the process of fundraising for it. We, at Milaap, wish the team best of luck and hope that their dream of building a StudyMall in every village of India comes true.

Some pictures from the StudyMall in Vangani

About Thinksharp Foundation

Thinksharp Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation started in 2011. At Thinksharp Foundation, we believe that every child has a right for better education and that he/she should have equal opportunity to access it.
Thinksharp Foundation is running three StudyMall which are

1.  At village Surangali, Dist.Jalna, Maharashtra,
2.  At Varangaon village, Dist Jalgaon Maharashtra.
3.  At Village Vangani, Dist.Thane, Maharashtra

At village Chikatgaon there is only one primary school which is Z.P.School from 1 to 7th which we are collaborating for fourth StudyMall project so as to help and provide better education infrastructure for this children. is having very minimal infrastructure like a poor classroom set ups, electricity, desk and chair issues as well. Only one TV seat which children watch rarely if there are any educational programs, very negligible books or sports material. They do not have equal chance of development and growth in terms of reading, learning, computer, hobbies, after school study place.

What these funds will be used for?

We will use this fund in following way to ultimately start and then run our StudyMall effectively to help children of Vangani village have equal chance of learning and growing-
Educational Games
Eprashala projector (This projector will be inbuilt MS operating system, 1st to 10th std syllabus and other education content up to 500 GB, Interactive White board and other accessories)
Room paint

Arts and Crafts
Sports /Games Material



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Supporters (5)

Rachana donated Rs.3,000
Sachin donated Rs.10,000
Milaap Impact Partner
Milaap Impact Partner donated $40

Matching payment towards Anand’s contribution