It all started 3 years ago when Srishti came across a young boy trying to read an English newspaper on the road. His mother worked as a sweeper at a house and the children of that house watched English cartoons. He wanted to learn English so that he could understand the cartoons.
“I was so touched that I immediately parked my car and went with him to his ‘home’. He lived with 12 other children under the metro station. They all expressed a desire to study, so the same day, I took them to a local school. But the school said no as they were worried that it would ruin their reputation. I was determined to help these children because the right to education is a right of every Indian citizen.”
Srishti went to the school every day for a week and finally convinced them. In a week, all 13 children were admitted. But a few days later, when she visited the school to check up on them, she saw that 8 of them had dropped out. She was upset.
“When I asked them why they stopped going, the children said that they didn’t understand anything that was being taught. I knew then that the problem was much more deep-rooted– they had to be taught everything from scratch. So, I spent the next few weeks gathering a team of 5 friends and together, we started ‘Kilkari’– an initiative to educate underprivileged children.”
Srishti reached out to an NGO for help. They found study spaces and got 20 volunteer teachers in the first 6 months. Over time, they got more volunteers to help and started admitting more children. Now, they are a family of 1100 children and 300 volunteers across 18 study spaces.
“My sweetest memory with Kilkari so far was when I visited a young girl who joined when she was 5, and 2 years later she was speaking fluent English and singing Taylor Swift songs!”
To Srishti, nothing matters more than helping people and making India the place it’s meant to be. She believes that these children deserve every opportunity and considers it her duty to help them as much as she can.
#Mahindra salutes the challenger spirit of people like Srishti who are doing their bit to make Bharat #Aatmanirbhar. #PeopleWhoRise #HappyIndependenceDay!