Published: 03rd August 2020
Youth-run Literacy Helping Hands believes in levelling the playing field for all students. This is how
Hyderabad-based Literacy Helping Hand has seven full-time members and about 300 active volunteers in their network. This is how they ensure that their work is carried out in the manner intended to
As a student, one either needs a nudge or a big push to get them to see that a world actually exists outside the classroom. Literacy Helping Hands offers both. The nudges are in the social innovation and entrepreneurship sessions they conduct in various colleges and the push comes when they select 40 to 50 students for their annual fellowship programme Agents of Change. These students are taught social leadership skills and how they can change the world by finding solutions to real-life problems. Further, they are connected to entrepreneurs and innovators who serve as mentors. But when did the thought that there is a need for something like this in the student community even occur to Akshay Kumar Ch? "When I looked at the disparity in our educational institutions," answers the 21-year-old, "It always seemed like those who come from a rural background are forever playing catch-up and there is no one working for them." They have conducted over 80 such sessions in schools and have supported the education of 17 girl students.
Volunteers at work | (Pic: Literacy Helping Hands)
In December 2016, he registered Literacy Helping Hands and since then, he and his team have resolved to be there for the student community. In the last year alone, they have signed MoUs with four colleges - CMR College of Engineering and Technology, Malla Reddy Engineering College, Matrusri Engineering College and his alma mater, Aurora's Engineering College. With this, they are solidifying their plans of providing every student a level playing field. Currently, Team Literacy Helping Hands is occupied with Mission Tarana. "This initiative is directed towards street vendors alone and we are supplying them with hygiene kits and educating them about health and hygiene practices to stay safe during this pandemic," says the Bhongir-born youngster. This crowdfunded campaign has a target of `1 lakh and they are already past the halfway mark. About 80 students from their team are involved in carrying out their operations on the ground.
With IT Principal Secretary Jayesh Ranjan | (Pic: Literacy Helping Hands)
Since its inception, one of Literacy Helping Hands' most notable contributions has been the Innovators' Challenge. Started last year, the first edition saw 2,400 participants at Sri Sathya Sai Nigamagamam, Banjara Hills showcase the best of their innovations in the presence of IT Principal Secretary Jayesh Ranjan. "The second edition will come up very soon," says the youngster. And what the team is working on next is big as well - Teach For Telangana's Future (TFTF). Design thinking ability, Math and Science skills, soft skills development and technology and innovation — they are developing video content on these for subjects that will be aligned to the state syllabus. Big plans coming up for this ambitious and youth-run organisation.
Process of becoming an Agent of Change fellow -
- Screening and selection
- School allotment
- Teaching and assessment of the modules
- Review and result
For more on them, check out literacyhelpinghands.in