Online crowdfunding is changing classrooms of ignored govt schools
MEERUT: Every time Priyanka Singh, a teacher at Upper Primary School, Barabanki, had to explain to her students complex scientific concepts that required color coding to differentiate between ideas, she would wish for a whiteboard instead of the existing blackboard. She had tried getting donations for her school from locals but in vain. Then someone told her about an online fundraising platform for educators in India.
She started a campaign for a whiteboard and to her surprise, the crowdfunding for it got completed in just a week. “I now have a whiteboard. I even got a projector for them later,” Singh told TOI.
Hundreds of teachers in rural India have adopted Mydilse.org for crowdfunding, assisted in their ardent pleas for help by a dedicated bunch of students from IIMs. There are other such platforms helping out schools.
The steps are simple: a teacher seeking something for her school has to register on the website — which is free — and start a campaign citing reasons for its need with some pictures and description.
Started last year, Edudharma — which is said to be the first crowdfunding website for education — identifies a candidate and makes their profile on their website so that others can fund their education. In a distinct feature, the website even gives the donors the academic background of the students so that they can choose who they want to fund and are also satisfied that their money is reaching the right candidate.
Founder of Mydilse.org Naveen Pallayil said, “I was admitted to a government school near my village in Kerala because my parents couldn’t afford a private school. I understand the importance of government schools in our country. Therefore, I strive to improve the system through this platform. I had started off with adopting schools, reconstructing them and giving them the facilities they need, but then I realized that it took a lot of my time and also benefited only limited number of children.”
Pallayil is the director of an American software MNC in Hyderabad and has gotten in touch with the placement cells of IIM Indore and IIM Kashipur to get interns for Mydilse.or g. So far, many teachers have got items ranging from rugs to furniture, shelves and CCTV cameras.