IT was December 2002. The 25th reunion of the 1978 batch of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad was on. The air was charged with excitement and fun. Amid all the camaraderie, a serious note emerged. The alumni decided that they wanted to make an impact in the social sector. This is how the NGO IIMPACT was born in 2003. The vision of the NGO is to bring about change in the lives of women and families by educating the girl child. IIMPACT has set up local, community-based learning centres in remote areas of rural India and motivated girls between the ages of 6 and 14 to come to these centres.
Free, quality education up to Class V is provided through detailed subject-wise teaching. The subjects taught are Hindi, English, Mathematics and Environment Science (EVS). The girls who come to IIMPACT centres have either never been to school, do not attend school irregularly, or have dropped out after one or two years of schooling. Creditably, almost all the girls go on to enter middle and high school. The average student attendance and student retention stand at a heartening 80%.
As of March 2020, IIMPACT was educating over 60,000 girls in 2,000 villages in 11 states of India. Says Arvind Mahajan, President, IIMPACT: “We operate only in rural areas and are focussing on states where the literacy gap between males and females is more. Before setting up a learning centre, we conduct a survey to find out whether there is a large enough pool of girls who are out of school. We ensure there is commitment and participation from the village panchayat and parents.”
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