Vidhyalay Udhyam

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Vidhyalay Udhyam

A small organisation founded in 2018, Vidhyalay Udhyam describes itself as a “school enterprise network”. Its primary focus is on eradicating child labour in rural and remote areas of Rajasthan’s Udaipur district, and reduce the rates of migration to cities. The organisation does this through programmes designed to empower the entrepreneurial skills of women and children, particularly adolescents.

Vidhyalay Udhyam has helped youth in local communities establish sustainable enterprises that provide indigenous solutions to specific local problems. It has helped adolescent girls, for instance, develop their own hygienic sanitary pads with locally-available materials, to improve their menstrual health and tackle menstrual taboos.

The organisation is setting up “maker laboratories” to help rural youth explore new innovations and establish new enterprises. It has also worked to reduce school dropout rates among tribal communities in Udaipur.

The project supported by MFE: 

Maker Lab – Empowering Young People for Grassroots Innovations

In this one-year project, Vidhyalay Udhyam aims to establish Chawand, a “maker lab” in Udaipur, as a leading hub for young, aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators. The project involves creating a new streamlined curriculum for its “maker mindset” courses that can then be replicated in every government school.

As of now, Vidhyalay Udhyam has a 300-hour curriculum for the courses, which train adolescents to become entrepreneurs. Under this project, the whole curriculum will be revamped, with new lesson plans and project-based learning modules created in book and video format. To test its effectiveness, 150 hours of the new curriculum will then be piloted with 100 students at the Chawand maker laboratory, and feedback will be collected not just from the students but also from other institutions and NGOs in the region. Vidhyalay Udhyam then aims to improve upon the curriculum based on the feedback received.

In the third stage of the project, the organisation and the students aim to co-create three functional prototypes of student-led enterprises. These prototypes are meant to solve real-life local problems, and their effectiveness is to be measured as part of the project.

Beyond the project period, Vidhyalay Udhyam has longer-term goals for at least two more years. This includes designing a playbook, with videos and lesson plans, to guide educators running the maker lab, uploading the whole curriculum on digital platforms, launching five sustainable enterprises, creating local jobs for the youth and scaling the curriculum up to at least 30 government schools in Udaipur district.