Chirag Bhansali, a 16-year-old student hailing from Delhi Public School in Noida, found himself profoundly moved by a viral video by Sonam Wangchuk, the visionary engineer, innovator, and education reformer. Wangchuk’s passionate call to boycott Chinese goods struck a chord with Chirag, sparking a mission that would lead to the creation of Swadeshi Tech.
Wangchuk’s impactful message, made even more famous by inspiring Aamir Khan’s character in the Bollywood film “3 Idiots” (2009), set the stage for Chirag’s entrepreneurial journey. Posted on May 28, 2020, Wangchuk’s video resonated deeply with Indians, foreshadowing the subsequent ban on 59 Chinese apps by the Indian government. Chirag’s innovative spirit was kindled by the video’s call for change, driving him to devise a solution to promote Indian alternatives.
A Young Tech Prodigy:
At just 16 years old, Chirag Bhansali possesses a remarkable proficiency in coding and web development, skills he acquired through online resources like Udemy and YouTube. His journey into the world of technology began when he built his school’s website in the seventh grade. Progressing from this initial foray, Chirag went on to create an app for book exchanges. His dedication was recognized when he became the runner-up at the Adobe Creativity Challenge 2019 for product designers and participated in Google Code-In 2019 for developers.
Inception of Swadeshi Tech:
Chirag’s response to Wangchuk’s call to action took shape in the form of Swadeshi Tech, a platform designed to help users discover alternatives to Chinese apps and products. This unique initiative, conceived in the weeks following Wangchuk’s video, was officially launched on June 12, 2020. Swadeshi Tech provides a digital haven for users seeking to embrace local alternatives and contribute to the burgeoning “digital swadeshi revolution.”
Empowering User Choice:
With the ethos of “web-first” in mind, Chirag and his friend Arghya Shubhshiv, a 14-year-old student from DPS, embarked on the development of Swadeshi Tech. The platform’s barebones design hosts two primary sections: Apps and Products. Users are invited to explore a comprehensive range of non-Chinese alternatives across 17 app categories, ranging from Social and Chat to Video Editing and Photo Editing.
Catapulting to Success:
Swadeshi Tech quickly garnered attention and users, with Chirag’s strategic outreach efforts paying off. His engagement with prominent figures, including Sonam Wangchuk himself, helped elevate Swadeshi Tech’s profile. Following the Indian government’s ban on Chinese apps, Swadeshi Tech experienced a monumental surge, attracting 50,000 new users overnight. The platform has since registered over 1.2 lakh unique users and 1.5 lakh sessions in less than a week.
Beyond Apps: Expanding Horizons
While Swadeshi Tech’s app section fulfills a crucial role in user acquisition, its “Products” section holds the promise of future monetization. This section, currently focused on electronics and consumer durables, spotlights non-Chinese alternatives for leading brands. As the demand for indigenous products grows, Swadeshi Tech plans to incorporate affiliate links to major e-commerce platforms, thereby generating revenue to support its noble cause.
A Noble Cause and Future Aspirations:
Chirag Bhansali’s vision extends beyond technological innovation. The teenager is committed to donating Swadeshi Tech’s earnings to the Indian Army, a gesture aimed at supporting the dedicated personnel stationed at the Indo-China border. With minimal operational costs and a clear mission, Chirag and Arghya are determined to make a meaningful impact while furthering the cause of “digital swadeshi.”
Chirag Bhansali’s journey exemplifies the power of youthful determination and innovation. His creation, Swadeshi Tech, not only serves as a beacon for those seeking alternatives to Chinese apps but also showcases the potential for young minds to ignite change and contribute to a larger societal movement. As India embraces the call for “atmanirbhar” solutions, Chirag Bhansali stands as a shining example of how technology, entrepreneurship, and philanthropy can intersect to create a brighter future.
Ashish Munjal Revolutionizing Education with Sunstone Eduversity
In a nation teeming with educational institutions and courses, India grapples with an escalating employability gap. According to the 2021 India Skills Report, a mere 45.9 percent of Indian graduates possess the requisite employable skills. The educational system in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, in particular, faces profound challenges, creating a significant skills divide. To address this critical issue, Ashish Munjal, Co-founder and CEO of Gurugram-based Sunstone Eduversity, embarked on a mission to reshape education. His vision: to provide students from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities with the same quality education and opportunities as their Tier 1 counterparts.
Bridging the Skills Gap:
Ashish Munjal recognized that the existing educational landscape in India’s smaller cities was fraught with disparities. Students in these regions lacked access to the educational opportunities available to their Tier 1 counterparts. As the employability gap continued to widen, Ashish was determined to bridge this divide. He envisioned a purpose-driven learning model, technology-driven pedagogy, and job-oriented programs as the keys to success.
Pay-on-Placement MBA Programs:
Sunstone Eduversity commenced its journey by offering pay-on-placement MBA programs. These innovative programs aimed to break the traditional mould of education. Rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, Ashish sought to provide students with practical skills that would lead to gainful employment. Sunstone’s unique model focuses on outcome-based education, where students only pay fees once they secure a job.
Demystifying the “Education Black Box”:
Ashish recognized a significant flaw in the traditional education system—a lack of transparency. Students often progress through courses without knowing their areas of weakness until it’s too late. To address this issue, Sunstone Eduversity sought to convert education into a transparent system with an effective feedback loop. Technology played a pivotal role in this endeavour. Sunstone’s system tracks every student’s progress in real-time, enabling timely intervention with remedial action plans. The internal term for this mechanism is the “Sunstone Learning Index.”
Sunstone Eduversity formed partnerships with Tier 2 and Tier 3 colleges to integrate its courses into their curriculum. The company not only focused on education but also emphasized placements. In the initial years, Sunstone boasted an impressive placement record of 97-98 percent. For many students, Sunstone became a gateway to a promising career, with numerous being the first in their families to enter the corporate world. Corporations, on the other hand, valued students with strong problem-solving skills, effective communication, and the right attitude, qualities emphasized in Sunstone’s courses.
Overcoming Degree Hangover:
Ashish Munjal recognized the prevailing “degree-hangover” culture in India, where possessing a degree often takes precedence over acquiring relevant skills. He advocated for a hybrid education system that combines physical learning with online courses. He emphasized the need to shift the focus towards skills development, especially in a technology-driven era where tech talent is in high demand.
Ashish believes that the Indian start up ecosystem now offers greater depth, creating a conducive environment for aspiring entrepreneurs to make a meaningful impact in the education sector. He sees immense opportunities in consumer-focused edtech innovations, especially in addressing the skills gap and creating a more holistic approach to education.
Day Care Activities for Toddlers: Fun and Educational Ideas
When it comes to daycare, one of the key goals is to provide a nurturing and stimulating environment for toddlers. This holds particularly true for places like Ermington, a vibrant suburb located in Sydney, Australia. Nestled in the heart of Ermington, daycare centres strive to engage toddlers in fun and educational activities that keep them entertained and promote their overall development. This article will explore a variety of activities that Ermington daycare providers incorporate into their daily routines to make learning enjoyable for the little ones.
Toddlers are naturally curious and love exploring the world through their senses. Sensory play activities are perfect for engaging their senses while promoting cognitive and physical development. Set up a sensory station with various materials like sand, water, rice, or play dough, and let the children dive in. Encourage them to touch, feel, and manipulate the materials, fostering their fine motor skills and creativity.
Toddlers have vivid imaginations and innate creativity waiting to be unleashed. Art activities are not only enjoyable but also help enhance their fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and self-expression. Supply them with non-toxic crayons, markers, finger paints, and large sheets of paper. Let them experiment with colours and textures as they create their own masterpieces. Display their artwork in the daycare space to boost their self-esteem and sense of accomplishment.
Reading and storytelling are essential for language development in toddlers. Create a cosy reading corner with a variety of age-appropriate books and invite the children to join you for storytelling sessions. Engage them using puppets or finger puppets to bring the stories to life. Encourage active participation by asking questions and allowing them to retell the stories in their own words. This activity develops language skills and fosters imagination and emotional intelligence.
Music has a magical effect on toddlers, captivating their attention and energising their spirits. Incorporate music and movement activities into your daycare routine to promote physical coordination, rhythm, and social skills. Play lively songs and encourage the children to dance, jump, or clap their hands to the beat. Provide musical instruments like shakers, tambourines, or drums to enhance their sensory experience. This activity fosters a sense of joy and togetherness while aiding in their gross motor skill development.
Spending time in nature is not only refreshing but also offers endless opportunities for learning. Take the toddlers on nature walks around the daycare facility or nearby parks. Encourage them to observe plants, animals, and natural elements. Create nature-inspired art projects by collecting leaves, flowers, or rocks. This activity enhances their curiosity and appreciation for the environment and stimulates their senses while promoting physical activity.
Puzzles and games are excellent tools for developing problem-solving skills and cognitive abilities in toddlers. Provide age-appropriate puzzles with varying difficulty levels to challenge their thinking. Play simple board games that involve counting, matching, or memory skills. These activities enhance their concentration, spatial awareness, and logical thinking while encouraging social interaction and turn-taking.
Incorporating fun and educational activities into the daily routine of an Ermington daycare centre not only keeps toddlers engaged and entertained but also promotes their holistic development. Sensory play, art activities, storytelling, music and movement, nature exploration, puzzles and games, and dramatic play are just a few examples of the countless possibilities for engaging young minds. By providing a nurturing environment that stimulates their curiosity and creativity, daycare providers play a crucial role in laying the foundation for a lifetime of learning and growth.
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