AHMEDABAD: The Dr. K. R. Shroff Foundation today commemorates the 25th death anniversary of Ahmedabad’s leading philanthropist and visionary Dr. K. R. Shroff (1921-1989). On this occasion, the foundation has announced their initiative to educate 10 Lakh rural and tribal children from economically weak backgrounds that do not have access to quality education. The objective is to inculcate values along with high quality of education for these children, which will over time bring their families out of poverty.
Considered among the top Indian physicians of his time, Dr. Shroff earned his MRCP (Member of Royal College of Physicians) from London in 1950. For over 25 years, he was associated with Civil Hospital (Ahmedabad) as an honorary physician and with the B.J. Medical College (Ahmedabad) as the Dean and Associate Professor. Dr. Shroff has also authored an educational book on medicine.
His son Pratul is the Founder and CEO of eInfochips, the leading technology services company based in Ahmedabad. Speaking about the commitment, Pratul Shroff said, “Our family has been rooted to Gujarat for as far back as I can think, and we have received tremendous support from the people. My father always believed in giving back to the society, and he exemplified it through his work. We are proud to take his legacy forward in a way that he would have delighted him.”
Project VIKAS operates from their project office in Vadali, about 140 km north of Ahmedabad.
The VIKAS model is unique as it inculcates moral values in the students in addition to quality education. The students also undertake various community projects that benefit the village. The student evaluation and appraisal system built addresses even the weakest child in the classroom.
The other major advantage of this system is that it allows the students to learn at their own pace thus giving equal opportunity to both fast and slow learners. Project VIKAS (Value Integrated Knowledge Assistance Scheme) is operational as a pilot project for 2 years in north Gujarat, and directly impacts 10530 tribal children.
The project has adopted 112 government schools in the region that covers some of the most educationally backward tribal areas such as Vadali, Khedbrahma, Bhiloda, Idar, Vijaynagar and Poshina. The drop-out ratio in these areas is well above the state’s average, while the girl-child literacy is minimal.
Over the duration of the pilot project, students have shown remarkable improvement across the region, with improved school attendance and better test results.The organization uses technology for Audio-Video lectures and computer projectors for an engaging experience. Puppet shows, mothers stories, crafts, mime & mimicry, local songs, riddles, children stories, herbal medicinal knowledge are all part of the curriculum thereby implementing the ‘Learn with Fun’ method.