Techie finds a new way to get children to love going to school

Updated: 06 November, 2017 11:09 IST | Chaitraly Deshmukh | Pune

Software developer-turned-entrepreneur gives a new meaning to creative use of free time, and Swachh Bharat, turning classrooms in Pune schools canvas for Warli art

This 25-year-old techie-turned-entrepreneur has hit upon a novel idea to bring children to school, and make them stay willingly, brimming with positive energy.

Sayali Avinash Ponkshe

For the past six months, Sayali Avinash Ponkshe and her group of volunteers have been spending their Sundays visiting Pune civic schools and painting on the classroom walls.

Temples of knowledge
"Education is very important, and I am lucky that I had parents who nurtured me and raised me to get the best of it," she said.

"I always loved school. I believe it's the first temple of knowledge, and such an environment should always be clean. Since its inception, Swachh Bharat has only grown in momentum, and this is just our way of contributing to it — by creating clean and fresh classrooms filled with art to motivate students to study better and with more focus."

Ponkshe, who did her masters in computer application, was working as a software developer with Tata Technologies a year back. This January, she started her own IT company.

Warli art on walls of classrooms by Sayali Avinash Ponkshe and her group of volunteers
Warli art on walls of classrooms by Sayali Avinash Ponkshe and her group of volunteers

She went on, "In the last six months, my friends and I have painted the walls of classrooms in five schools. Additionally, we have also spruced up the toilets on the premises. We have spent our own money on this — buying material, mixing it with adhesive and applying it on the walls. On that, my mother's friend, who paints beautifully, and the rest of us have created Warli art."

"We make it a point to go every Sunday; it takes around four hours to give this makeover to two classrooms. We have seen that this has been making the children happy too, surrounded by drawings and paintings. They don't avoid school anymore," she added.

Full attendance
Principal of Dnyansadhana Vidyamandir school in Wadgoan Budruk area Prajakta Murmatti said, "The work Sayali has been doing will be long-lasting and impactful. We have noted a rise in the number of students attending classes since August, because of how welcoming the classrooms look and feel now."

"Besides doing this, she even comes to teach at times. And that has helped to improve our students' English, as well as given goals to many to pursue higher studies in computers," she added.

Number of schools they have given a makeover to

Number of hours it takes to paint two classrooms

First Published: 06 November, 2017 10:53 IST

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