Bharat Calling is an initiative of Shri Ramesh Prakash Samajik Sansthan based in Pathrota village of Hoshangabad district of Madhya Pradesh.
It was started as a part of internship program in 2009 by TISS M.A in Social Entrepreneurship course students (2009-11) after assessing the situation of Kesla, a tribal block where students in higher education showed 82% dropout rate till 10th standard according to the 2001 census. Later Bharat Calling received incubation support from Changelooms.
Bharat Calling enables rural youth to pursue higher education courses of their choice. The initiative guides the students and links them to the right universities through information sharing, support in form filling, coaching during summers and then to finally linking these students to respective universities.
From 1 school and 0 role models, the organization has spread to 27 schools with more than 100 role models in higher education, since it started working. The activities include:
1. Tie up with government – Official permissions from government departments and school principals to conduct awareness sessions in targeted government schools.
2. Awareness sessions in schools – A session includes amotivational talk, posters, games and an higher education friend appointed by the organisation. Follow up of students is done through revisits in schools,calling up students over phone and sending letters aimed at motivating students to attend summer camp during April and May to prepare for various entrance examinations.
3. Summer Camps – Accompanied with extracurricular activities, motivational talks and counselling of parents and individuals. Preparation for summer camps, finalising the list of interested students from the area, allocation of centres and taking permissions from
Sandeep Mehto was a Changeloomer from 2013 to 2014. After having faced financial challenges as a student, Sandeep started Bharat Calling. He says, “Every day, the teachers would ask me to stand out of the class because I had not paid the school fees.” Sandeep and his family had high hopes for his future but not enough financial cushioning to back it up.
“After schooling, getting into a decent college was again an uphill task. These challenges can only be understood by someone who has faced financial restrictions,” says Mehto. Sandeep was one of the fortunate ones from one of the backward hamlets in interior Madhya Pradesh who was able to make it to a prestigious university.
A question that kept troubling Sandeep was “where do the large majority of students studying in government schools and villages go?” As a social entrepreneur, he started Bharat Calling because he felt that one of the most important concerns was alarmingly higher rate of school dropouts.
You can learn more about Bharat Calling here: