Published: 18th November 2020
Need help getting into a central university? The NGO Incubation might be able to help
Incubation is a Kozhikode-based NGO that trains students who want to study in central universities. Here's how they aim to support students in their adacemic journeys
After earning his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Jamia Millia Islamia University in 2013, Sayyid Shaheer wanted to bring home opportunities for students like himself in Kozhikode and elsewhere in Kerala. With a few friends who also graduated from central universities, like University of Hyderabad and Jawaharlal Nehru University, he set up the NGO Incubation in 2014 to make higher education in such institutions more than just a distant dream.
In 2015, their first long-term work began in an orphanage in Wayanad where they helped train some of the older children for their entrance exams. “We wanted to make our own contribution to a society that had helped us,” says Shaheer. “Initially, our idea was simple. We wanted to provide orientation on various levels and subjects for children preparing to study in central universities. In addition to this, we would offer them training in different skill development programmes and career-related training.”
SOCIAL STEPS: Incubation has organised a number of major social campaigns
A year into it, the organisation branched out into various multi-pronged programmes. They set up their office in other parts of Kerala and began specifically catering to the needs of students who were academically behind or had learning disabilities. Through a project titled NEST, the idea is to offer a path of learning and skilling for students who are often overlooked in the selection processes of India’s major universities.
Incubation has been responsible for a number of major social campaigns that have benefitted the student community. Following the 2018 floods, they organised a notebook donation drive for students who had lost their handwritten notebooks during the calamity. They have also worked with a number of other organisations to set up audio libraries for blind students. One of their largest programmes, Premiere Entrance Preparation Programme (PEPP) has reached its fifth year. It specifically focuses on training students for entrance exams in central universities. This year, more than 300 students have found their way into the institutions of their choice thanks to this programme. The subjects taught include Commerce, Psychology and, most recently, English.
HOME BASE: Shaheer wanted to offer more opportunities for students
This year, Incubation decided to join the virtual bandwagon with their own student magazine titled Idam. Shaheer explains, “This is a space for students to explore their own ideas and opinions. Think about all the ideas we are teeming with at such a young age. Not all of us have the good fortune of getting our names printed on a major publication. So with Idam, we are trying to establish a space where students can express themselves freely and learn from each other.” Shaheer believes that his students are extremely excited to take that crucial next step in their academic journeys and hopes to offer the same hope to more students in the coming years.
Incubation was born out of the quote ‘Nourishing your dreams’ and in the past few years, they have tried to stay true to their word, one student’s dream at a time.