Published: 11th May 2020
Looking for the right competitions for your kid? Avasarshala is what you need
Avasarshala, a start-up incubated at AIC Raise, Coimbatore helps parents find the right competition for their child
Let's say you're a Class VII student. You get the chance to visit the Embassy of Latvia in New Delhi and act as the Indian Ambassador for the day. How cool does that sound? Well, parents can now help their children find such opportunities thanks to Avasarshala, a start-up incubated at AIC Raise — an incubation centre in Coimbatore supported by NITI Aayog's Atal Innovation Mission.
Rooted in Kochi, the start-up was co-founded by Ashwathy Venugopal and Sandeep S. Discussing their modus operandi, Ashwathy says, "Our target audience is parents whose kids are in Class I to XII. Most parents are unaware of international and national competitions, scholarships, olympiads and so on that are available at the drop of a hat today. Participating in these competitions helps in empowering the students. And that is our goal."
Avasarshala has impacted about 1,000 kids
All you need to do is to become a subscriber of Avasarshala and the process is quite simple. "The parent has to register on our website, paying only a nominal yearly service charge. All we need is the child's name, their location, interests and the parent's WhatsApp number, and we are good to go. Once registered, we send a weekly list of competitions and events that would interest their ward as the list is personalised according to the child's interest," she shares. In just six months, the team has impacted about 1,000 kids and most of their subscribers are from South India.
We suggest competitions based on the student's interest, ones that would actually expose their talents. We inform everyone about Olympiads and scholarships as it can be of use to anyone. We avoid suggesting ones that have a huge registration fee or ones that choose the winner by the number of likes on social media platforms
Ashwathy Venugopal, Co-founder, Avasarshala
Talking about the trigger that sparked the idea for this start-up, Ashwathy says, "I was one of the 27 young leaders chosen from around the world for the Kectil Youth Leadership Conference, representing India at Atlanta, USA on 2019. I had the opportunity to interact with Martin Luther King III. When I returned, many parents approached me on how to find such opportunities for their kids. This was when we realised the void. Immediately, Sandeep and I got to work."
And what did they do exactly? "With our available network, we put together a list of events and competitions for the upcoming one month. When we showed it to a few parents, they were over the moon. They said, 'this was the thing we were looking for'. And that's how Avasarshala was initiated," she says. All the competitions and scholarships they suggest are verified thoroughly by the team. "Currently, our education system is based on marks. But most of our students are talented in several other things as well. Hence, they should be made aware of it at an early stage. We are just facilitating such opportunities based on their interests," she concludes.
The monthly subscription fee is just ₹100
The COVID impact
On April 2020, Avasarshala launched WhizKids Club, a community for parents where daily challenges are given to children to keep them entertained and engaged. They had participants from around the world
- They are the only Indian start-up to be selected by Bridge for Billions' The Leap - Solution for Humanity (COVID - 19) edition
- Ashwathy received the Eastern Bhoomika Iconic Women Awards 2020 for her work with Avasarshala
The team was over the moon to share their success stories
- Eshaa from Coimbatore won the Star of TN Music Award
- Rubika from Coimbatore and Padma from Chennai have been selected for the International Leadership Program - Kectil
- Mydhili, a Class II student from Ernakulam and a multi-talented prodigy, won prizes in music, literary, oratory and dance competitions
- Kris and Hanoch from Ernakulam have been selected for a fully funded football training programme called Kochi Kids League
If you wish to subscribe, then visit www.avasarshala.com