SPJIMR inaugurates new facility for its Abhyudaya initiative

Students from the S.P.Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR) spent the weekend painting, singing and dancing with school children from low-income neigbourhoods to inaugurate a new facility, where the two can interact more closely and learn from each other.

The new facility is a spacious office for Abhyudaya, a pedagogic innovation that is run as a 1.5 credit course in the two-year PGDM programme at SPJIMR. Under Abhyudaya, MBA students mentor bright, underprivileged children from the neighbouring government schools through home visits and group activities.

SPJIMR is the first and the only school of management to run such a mentorship initiative that helps shape the attitude of MBA participants. It helps them discover the joy of giving and exposes leaders of tomorrow to the challenges faced by millions who live in the slums of Mumbai.

Mentors and mentees together drew murals, dipped their brushes into cans of paint and turned whitewashed walls into expressions of colour and delight.

SPJIMR speaks

Deepa Krishnan, head of SPJIMR’s Abhyudaya initiative, said, “The mural painting activity is a joint initiative of the mentors and mentees. It is a great way to bond together and have a creative, joyful experience. We are so delighted that these murals will cover the walls of the new Abhyudaya Centre. They will be a visual reminder of all the children who bring us so much joy.”

Added Neelima Deshpande, a counsellor who has worked with Abhyudaya for five years: “Today’s activity is a part of the mentoring process. Students share and learn from each other, and I can see today that mentors are learning from the mentees in an open environment.”

“The PGDM batch is thoroughly enjoying itself and this is social understanding along with fun… the bonding between the school children and PGDM is blossoming now. The new office will support practical learning and we are trying to take Abhyudaya to a new level,” said Naman Khanna, a PGDM participant who is a member of the Abhyudaya Committee at SPJIMR.

Awards over the years

Abhyudaya’s unique approach has received national and global recognition. In 2015, Abhyudaya won the gold award at the Indian Management Conclave under the theme of “Innovations in teaching Methodology”. In 2013, the initiative won the jury award at the World Education Summit “Innovation by Management Institute” category. It also received the “Big Idea to Solve Big Problem” award in 2012 from GMAC, the body which holds the GMAT examination.

Abhyudaya, which is Sanskrit for “Ascendance”, has been running successfully since 2008. Abhyudaya provides financial grants to deserving students and helps them develop their skills. Today, Abhyudaya covers over 90 local schools in Mumbai’s K-West Ward. It supports 229 school students and 124 college students, of which more than 50 per cent are girls. A total of 1048 MBA students have participated in the initiative, delivering over 45,000 hours of mentoring.

To know more about Abhyudaya and SPJIMR in general, click here.

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