Shankar Sangam's Empowering Story
Shankar Sangam is an alumnus from the first, grade 10 batch of Pujya Kasturba Gandhi English Medium School. Born and raised in Pune, Shankar grew up with his parents in a loving and caring home located in Koregaon Park. He has always been driven towards his ambitions and has never fallen short of support from his parents. He started his Junior KG at the PKG School which later got adopted by Akanksha in 2017. It was around this time when Shankar fully got involved with the Akanksha School Project.
As a student, Shankar was calm and a silent child who thoroughly enjoyed Mathematics. There was a period when the school did not have teachers to help students with Hindi and Marathi. This created a learning gap in Shankar's early years leading to a loss of faith in the education system. However, he tried to remain active in sports and other outdoor activities which allowed him to explore his true love for football.
It was only in Grade 8 when he found himself surrounded by a strong support system of didis and bhaiyas. Not only did they encourage him to perform well in class but also helped him recognize his potential as a young individual. Akanksha started playing a huge role towards the end of his schooling years, allowing Shankar to find a voice in the crowd.
One of the many high points of his journey at Akanksha was becoming the captain of the school football team. Under his captainship, the team managed to win their first inter Akanksha school football tournament. Shankar has always possessed the characteristics of a leader and went ahead to become the Head Boy in grade 10. Through these years, his focus was to work with peers and strengthen the idea of self-development. It was this position that gave Shankar the opportunity to build on skills such as empathy, confidence, public speaking and negotiation.
Along with these activities, he also started to enjoy Science and he credits the use of technology and the integration of digital literacy in the school. This learning process helped him to make the right decision and head into the world of Science post grade 10. He aspires to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree with an interest in Computers.
Shankar believes in the power of education and the impact it can have in people's lives. He belongs to a community which is predominantly a group of daily wage earners. In such a situation, most families do not have the financial capacity to pay fees while simultaneously being able to have access to good quality education. When Shankar’s parents started sharing their experience at Akanksha with community members and talking about his achievements, several others expressed an interest in getting their children enrolled in school and today a majority of the children are admitted in school.
For the last two years, Shankar has also been interning as a Student Leader at Pi Jam Foundation, a non-profit organization that works with schools to integrate technology in the classroom and enables children to maximise their potential.