Project RISHI is a 100% student run 501(c)3 non-profit. Our initiatives are grassroots, and represent a connection between ourselves here in Los Angeles, and our village in Gujarat. But it takes the support of a community to put together real initiatives.
Real projects that impact real people.
Education: Literacy Through Innovation
USC Project RISHI went to Naga Valadiya saw the literacy rate for adults was strikingly low. Not only does this mean inability to read or write, but oftentimes precludes being able to take the bus to the city, or count change. Education is the key to economic prosperity, and that axiom doesn’t have an age attached to it.
Project RISHI has a unique approach to tackling the low literacy rate. We are combining a traditional classroom setting with an e-learning curriculum. Based off of Khan Academy or Coursera, Project RISHI believes an education should be available to all, and we are developing our own curriculum and creating our own videos (in Gujarati) to bring the power of literacy to Naga Valadiya for both the young and the young-at-heart alike.
Tobacco: Awareness and Access
Over 90% of the men in Naga Valadiya are habitual chewing tobacco users. The culture equates chewing tobacco to an everyday activity like putting on shoes. We in the US have been fortunate enough to be aware of the detrimental effects of tobacco; in rural India these campaigns are few and far in between.
Project RISHI's approach is to start a tobacco cessation campaign in the village, targeting school children and adults. In the Summer of 2016, we held school presentations, put up anti-tobacco posters, had a open dialogue with the wives of tobacco users, painted a mural near where tobacco is often chewed and started provided tobacco alternatives to a select group of motivated men as a pilot study for tobacco cessation in Naga Valadia.