University of Surrey to Ahmedabad: Empowering lives with Project Chakra and Student Enterprise

In the Summer of 2023, an incredible opportunity presented itself to a group of passionate students at the University of Surrey. Armed with the desire to make a difference and create an impact, we embarked on a life-changing journey to Ahmedabad, India, with Project Chakra and Student Enterprise.

Student Enterprise and the Hackathon:
As students, we were always on the lookout for opportunities to showcase our skills and make a real impact. Student Enterprise provided us with the perfect platform. Armed with innovative ideas and a passion for change, we participated in a hackathon that focused on addressing challenges faced by marginalised communities. After an intense 48 hours of brainstorming, planning and refining our solution, we were overjoyed to be declared the winners in a great ceremony a week later! Our idea revolved around leveraging technology to enhance access to education in underserved areas.

The journey to Ahmedabad:
With the hackathon victory still fresh in our minds, we eagerly prepared ourselves for the journey to Ahmedabad. Excitement mixed with apprehension as we left the comforts of our university campus behind, embarking on an expedition that would forever change our perspectives. Project Chakra had already established partnerships with NGOs like Manav Sadhana, and we were eager to see their initiatives in action.

Manav Sadhana and their Projects:
Upon reaching Ahmedabad, we were introduced to Manav Sadhana, an organization with a mission to empower slum communities through education, healthcare, and skill-building programs. The first thing that struck us was their deep connection with the community, built on trust and genuine care.

One of Manav Sadhana’s remarkable projects was their “Education on Wheels.” As we visited the slums, we witnessed a colourful mobile classroom bus equipped with learning materials, books, and teaching aids. The program aimed to bring education to the doorstep of children who couldn’t access formal schools due to various socio-economic reasons. The smiles on the faces of those young learners were heart-warming and a testament to the impact of this initiative.

Another notable project was the “Skill Development Centre.” Here, Manav Sadhana offered vocational training in various fields like tailoring, handicrafts and computer skills. The centre empowered adults from the slums by providing them with skills that could help them generate a sustainable income and break the cycle of poverty.

In addition to education and skill-building, Manav Sadhana also ran healthcare programs, providing medical services and raising health awareness among the slum dwellers. Their commitment to holistic development was evident in everything they did.

Gratitude and reflection:
Our journey to Ahmedabad was nothing short of transformative. It opened our eyes to the challenges faced by marginalised communities and the incredible potential of grassroots organizations like Manav Sadhana. We left Ahmedabad with a renewed sense of purpose, inspired to continue our work with Project Chakra and contribute to positive change.

We want to extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who supported us on this journey. To the University of Surrey for encouraging us to dream big, to Project Chakra for guiding us towards meaningful projects, and to Manav Sadhana for showing us the power of compassion and grassroots initiatives.

The group also met the British Deputy High Commissioner in Ahmedabad

Our journey from the University to Ahmedabad was an eye-opening experience, marked by the convergence of technology and social work through Project Chakra. The hackathon victory and witnessing the incredible projects of Manav Sadhana reaffirmed our belief in the power of collective efforts to bring about positive change. As we move forward, we are filled with hope, inspiration, and gratitude for the opportunity to make a difference in the world.

Thank you, Project Chakra, Student Enterprise, and Manav Sadhana, for shaping our journey and empowering us to create a better tomorrow. Together, we can create a world where everyone has equal access to opportunities, and no one is left behind.