“As a student, my journey was not so easy. I had to do various jobs to earn my college fees, be it selling newspapers, food stuff or doing some recruitment work. But paying engineering fees with this little wage was difficult. When I approached a gentleman named Prakash Gandhi, he paid my college fees for four years, without even knowing my complete details. This act of humanity touched me deeply and rooted a desire in me to give back something to the society.”
This is the story of Aman Jain, a young entrepreneur who runs ZAV Foundation, an NGO that thrives to bridge the gap between education and individuality. The dearth of quality education in India to students with limited means made Aman start ‘Vision Zav’ with the help of seven volunteers. “First time I visited a government school, it was difficult for me to answer all of their questions. Then I realised their interests and potential and decided to improve the standards of these schools” says Aman. “I feel the main problems are the conventional teaching methods, limited resources and level of technology used,” he adds. Today, ZAV Foundation operates out of Bangalore and conducts various events in government schools of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Goa conducting a variety of events from talks, charity drives and community service.
ZAV Foundation conducts programs like, ‘I can communicate with confidence’ to improve soft skills in women and youth; ‘Careerz’ to encourage students to dream big and opt for diverse careers; ‘Prayati’, a blood donation camp that motivates people to donate blood and, ‘Youth Leadership program’ to promote teamwork and unity by various activities and community service projects. For the past eight years, ZAV has organised various events in schools and colleges and has benefited around 1 lakh students from Grade 6 to PhD graduates.
Talking about the work structure and plans Aman says, “Zav has a vivid vision for the long run. The work is well structured and organised. Nowadays, volunteers are actively participating in learning new skills and training others. Every volunteer has a specific task and target to finish. Moreover, we are providing the youth with a wonderful opportunity of enhancing their leadership, attitude and skills. Every penny is planned from the micro level, and it is seen that it reaches the lesser privileged.” ZAV Foundation has also received appreciation from the US, Europe and Africa.
Image source: Zav Foundation/Facebook Page