The Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) today inaugurated its community outreach project ‘SMILE Centre’ wherein students and faculty members of the premiere institute would impart formal as well as informal education to children of underprivileged families.
The SMILE (Student Mediated Initiative for Learning to Excel) Centre operates from an empty space under a flyover in front of the institute.
The Centre was inaugurated today by Chairman of Wagh Bakri Group Piyush Desai in the presence of IIM-A Director Ashish Nanda and several other faculty members and students.
City-based Wagh Bakri group has provided financial support while Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has alloted the space to start the Centre.
As of now, 89 students of Class VIII to Class XII, both Commerce and Arts streams are enrolled for the current academic year, said IIM-A Professor Rakesh Basant, Dean (Alumni and External Relations) and Faculty Coordinator for SMILE project.
“These 89 students of underprivileged families, including 35 girls, are from urban slum areas of different parts of city. Our aim is to provide them education which would help them in their regular studies. In addition, we will also teach them English communication and computer skills,” Basant said.
38 students of IIM-A along with seven faculty members and three research associates have agreed to give their time for this project, he added.
“This Centre is more than a tuition class, as our students and faculty members would also provide them guidance about career opportunities, personality development and other skills which would prove beneficial for their overall development. We do not charge any thing from the families of these kids,” the professor said.