Indiana University Kelley School of Business visits Akshara Foundation

Ashley Martinez and her classmates from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business came visiting us and this is what she had to say about Akshara Foundation and the work we do here.
The students from Indiana University Kelley Business School along with the school kids.
It happened on May 16–as we each took one step in front of the other, as smiles greeted us from every angle, as our eyes and ears soaked in the new environment–that our faces lit up with blissful smiles. We were amongst angels. Beautiful children of every age and grade who were invigorated by our presence. 

 Moments earlier we had walked through the doors of the Akshara Foundation for the first time unaware of the magnificence we would later witness. We learned of its mission to bring education to all children, to extend the required length of school attendance to age 15, to provide teachers with the necessary materials to teach, and to make sure every child receives at least one nutritious meal a day at school. We were impressed. We were intrigued. We were inquisitive. We wanted to know more about Akshara and how the organization was achieving all of its goals.

As if reading our minds, Ashok Kamath brought the answers to life. He explained that Akshara is a privately funded organization receiving no financial aid from the government. In fact, that very day he had a meeting with a potential donor. He also had another member of the Akshara team show us one of the math kits that Akshara gives out to all the elementary school teachers. The ingenuity and meticulosity used in the development of such were incredible. Kids would get to learn math through sight and touch and all the items in the kit could be turned into a math game. The coolest item was a fraction set made out of foam that the teacher could stick to the board by simply putting a little bit of water on the back. Awesome!

But the best part of the day was when we took a little field trip to the local villages. Even before arriving at the school, we could tell we were in another world. The houses looked different, there were farming fields all around, and children were everywhere. Hurriedly, we got off the bus and walked up to the school. We took off our shoes and entered the place of both worship and education. The kids stared at us curiously just as we did them. It took but one glance to fall in love with any child.

The kids do a little dance with their new friends.

While visiting the schools we played Lego with the kids, watched them perform some traditional dances, listened to their stories, showed them the Macarena, taught them our school’s fight song, and played cricket. We even showed the kids how to use our digital cameras. They found so much joy in taking pictures of everything around them and they took fantastic photographs. The greatest lesson we got out of our trip to India, we learned from these kids. Education really is a blessing. Learn as much as possible, ask many questions, and always be willing to share one’s own knowledge with others. These kids were so full of life and so inquisitive. They wanted to know as much about us as possible, but they also wanted to share with us everything they knew.

 The Akshara Foundation has a wonderful mission and it is such a successful organization. Our visit to this foundation changed our lives forever and increased our awareness. Many Kelley School of Business students now have a desire to do something at Indiana University for Akshara. We wish nothing but greatness for the organization that touched our hearts. Thank You Akshara! You are truly amazing and we love what you do!

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