In a career spanning seven years, Priya Nadkarni has worn many hats.
After finishing her BA, she worked as an enterprise journalist for a year. Her hobby in finance and advertising led her to pursue an MBA diploma from ISB, following which she became an investment banking analyst with Unitus Capital in Bengaluru.
Field visits were an essential part of her paintings with Unitus, and as she got here across diverse social issues, she realized that she wanted to work closer to addressing them.
So, in 2012, she determined to end banking and joined Pradhan, (Professional Assistance for Development Action) an enterprise that works in coordination with the authorities to introduce diverse programs to teach girls and children in Madhya Pradesh.
For years, she worked to design programs for the employability of tribal teens in Mandla. Even though Prada changed into helping the youngsters comfy properly-paying activity in towns, Priya noticed that a majority of those children had been returning to their villages after some months.
“The schooling was very efficient for individuals who desired to live in the towns, but for the rest, it wasn’t very sustainable,” she tells The Better India.
“It was like setting a band-resource on a deep wound and employability schooling, I determined, turned into inadequate. Digvijay (Singh), who turned into my colleague at Pradan at the time, also reflected my thoughts and so, we concept of starting an undertaking of our personnel. We wanted to address the more fundamental issues via this assignment.”
Digvijay, who has an MBA in Rural Development from XIM, Bhubaneswar, started his career working within the fields of agriculture, women empowerment, and children employability, and had joined Pradan with the vision of assisting uplift tribal groups in some of the maximum faraway areas of Central India.
In 2014, Digvijay and Priya give up their jobs and visited colleges like Vikas in Bangalore and additionally performed summer camps in Mandla before finally deciding on starting the Riverside Natural School.
Mandla, one of the most backward districts in India, has a 68 in line with cent literacy rate. A part of the dense Kanha National Park, the district has seen a few Naxal chances over the past few years.
“However, we do now not paintings within the Naxal-affected part of the district. For us, it’s been extraordinarily safe, and we had been welcomed in humans’ houses within the ultimate ten years,” says Priya.
Although most of the tribal populace of the district believes in the electricity of education, their belief stays unrealized thanks to the less-than-sufficient number one and secondary schooling centers.
And so, Priya and Digvijay decided to start a school that would gain the young children of tribal communities. With 90 youngsters and 6 teachers, they began in a rented building inside the first yr. Today, they hire about 17 teachers—half of whom are from Mandla.
Over a time frame, they realised that the children might do properly in the areas of fingers-on science, carried out technologies, which includes robotics, due to the fact they have got a super feel of utility, and can build basic agricultural and fishing tools and solve easy problems that they come across on an everyday foundation.
These capabilities can be honed to educate youngsters to apply era to resolve the most important problems within the region and as a result, create entrepreneurs and jobs.
Similarly, sports activities become every other place that these tribal youngsters are not first-generation freshmen for, as they’re for academics. In a short time frame, the kids did properly, even representing Madhya Pradesh inside the beneath-14 category. You can study the exact story about it here.
They hired Chandra Shekhar, an electronics and verbal exchange engineer and Kailash Raj Bhatia, who had performed basketball and football at a couple of stages in Nepal, to persuade these applications. In destiny, they’ll explore other areas like agriculture, healthcare or the arts.