Academy grade 7 student raises funds for government school | Aga Khan Academies

Academy grade 7 student raises funds for government school

26 April 2017

Rishabh Goenka (grade 7) and his younger sister Myra (grade 3) took initiative recently and personally raised funds to provide furniture for one of the Academy Outreach government schools. Rishabh had engaged with Mankhal Junior School as part of his class service activity.

The siblings put up a food and games stall at a flea market in Hi-Tech City earlier this year, where they sold homemade products including cold coffee with ice cream and Oreo pops. Rishabh and Myra managed to raise enough money to purchase desks and benches for classrooms with insufficient furniture and are now in the process of obtaining correct measurements. The furniture will soon be ready for installation at the school.

Rishabh is not new to fund raising for a good cause. In grade 5, he and his classmates knocked on close to 500 doors in support of sustainable energy. Going from apartment to apartment and encouraged by their form tutor, they raised money to buy a solar panel for the same village government school, where power cuts often result in students sitting in classes without a fan through Hyderabad’s sweltering summers. After much effort, adequate funds were raised and the project completed. Schoolchildren now have a solar backed fan and light to tide them through frequent load shedding. It was a happy day, but what has stayed in Rishabh's mind was that in the school, children sat on the bare floor during their lessons.

A few months ago, he read in a magazine flyer from someone in the colony that there was going to be a flea market called ‘Soul Santhe’ in Hyderabad, having stalls to exhibit and sell. This seemed like the perfect opportunity, so Rishabh picked up the phone, spoke to the coordinators, and convinced them to give him a stall at a nominal rate for a good cause. Rishabh and Myra prepared everything at home by hand and kept costs under control. Their wares sold for a premium, given their high standards of quality and taste. True to his love for ‘all things tech’, Rishabh accepted payments through Paytm as well as cash.

“I did not want to do something through a charity,” says Rishabh. “I wanted to do something directly to help them to have something they could use in their day-to-day lives. As we had already worked in that school, I knew what they needed. This was my best effort to make those students feel equal. The next step is to paint their walls. I was thinking about holding a small fundraising fair in our colony – people like doing such activities so if they got a chance they would do it.”

Click here to see Rishabh’s interview on Saakshi TV.