Corona is closer than ever. And we all are trying to look ahead, while also taking out time for mourning the loss caused. A disproportionately high number of girls are at the verge of being married at a young age and to an increased risk of gender based violence. The role that we have to play only has to be strengthened despite the fatigue. But to do so, first of all we need to take care of our own emotional as well as physical health. …

Ignorance is bliss. Often I wonder, if it was easier to not see, not feel. Hathras shook the Nation, once again. It takes the most violent of the rapes for us to feel something, to think of acting. Most other forms of violence wouldn’t even make a headline. Action from the masses still remains a distant dream. Covid has hit us in many ways, but the way it has supported violence, trafficking — it is hard to put in words.

What kind of persistent efforts can we put in to address some of these issues collectively. What stops the affluent of us to not commit say even 2% of their earnings or 5% of their time to improve the very society we are a part of. Anyway, just beyond these thoughts is an urge to act, and do what we can. …

Coding is the latest buzzword. Everyone seems to be talking about it. With Whitehat’s acquisition & NEP 2020 mandating coding, there’s a lot of demand to learn programming. As an organisation, this is a time to recreate our culture towards scale and efficiency to meet the growing gap.

The Good

  1. We targeted 1000 girls this year to teach programming online. We are on a path to do more. However, creating forward linkages for these girls after the online program is still an important challenge.
  2. We are working on Meraki — an open source collective to build an app and deliver coding skills to the remotest of the students in the country, by enabling them to learn and run their code on Smartphone. …

Rishabh and I started Navgurukul to answer a simple questionCan we train students from marginalized backgrounds in a year to be good Software Engineers? And the answer is, yes we can. In fact we can do so much more. To build a system with no teachers, no campus stuff, it took Rishabh and me more than just three years to prove the viability and potential of such an approach.

Rishabh decided to step down as the COO in October 2019 as he became interested in researching and eventually work on careers that help us in regenerating ourselves, the earth’s natural systems and communities. …

As country prepares for lock down and Corona cases shoot up, the crisis is far from over. Not only there is a need of short-term relief work but a sustained effort to work on the disparity that the pandemic is magnifying multi-fold.

  1. Three of our alumni Komal, Nilam and Savita joining our team. This brings us closer to having diversity in our team and ensuring that Navgurukul is truly run by the students themselves.
  2. Incorporating process changes around goal setting for individual team members, communication, accountability and responsiveness. #ThankYou Aakanksha
  3. Looking at ways of directing our spends during the program to benefit local and rural economies. One of the most concrete steps is to open our 200 girls campus in a rural area instead of Pune as planned earlier. If you have any lead for a managed property that we should consider for 200 girls in a rural area, write back. …

Out of nowhere, the new disruptor — Corona has impacted our plans deeply as well. While we were set to open a 200 girls residential campus, which in itself was a hard task — now we are in the queue of getting more clarity on how things emerge.

However, one thing is clear there’s no stopping us, especially in these times. There is an even stronger need for a platform like Navgurukul to exist and expand.

We are gearing up for opening the 200 girls campus. I’m heading off for a 10-days meditation camp (Vipassana) after a hectic few months at work. Here’s January for you :-)

The Good

  1. We are raising funds to work on more diverse problems including working with abuse survivors, students who need more than a year due to inadequate maths or english baselines, etc.
  2. We have set up a way for you to pledge monthly donation. The suggested amount is 4% of your monthly income. Any amount when pledged monthly is a huge support for us. We aim to get at least 100 monthly pledges over a period of next few months. Pledge here. …

How does it work?

We use Lotuspay which is a recurring payment solution using NACH Debit physical mandates and eMandates (eNACH). NACH Debit is a payment system of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and is regulated by the Reserve Bank of India under the Payment and Settlement Systems Act 2007.

In simple words, it is similar to how SIP (mutual funds) work. It is safe, simple and secure.

You can directly cancel your monthly pledge from your banking app, helpline or website. Else you can also email us at, and we will cancel your monthly pledge within 3 working days.

Usually, the payment gateway charges for any transaction vary in the range of 2–5%. However, eNachs are considerably cheaper and only costs 5 INR per transaction…

It has been more than three years, since Navgurukul was setup to provide a meaningful alternative at scale to the underprivileged. To provide them a choice and a voice, to be able to solve their own problems.

But Change doesn’t come easy. It demands time, resources, and dedication. Even if we spend a lifetime dedicated to change, meaningfully changing lives of 100 people itself can be a task.

Given the mammoth size of problems that we as a society face — the crisis of environment, of inequity, of injustice, not using our 10% of our time or financial wealth if not more to bring about healthy and direct change would either be an excuse or procrastination. …

Work’s been hectic. Can we use that as an excuse to not do the important work (of sending monthly updates)?

2019 for Navgurukul was a year of being able to prove some of the key ideas that we started working in 2016. 2019 — we fought, we fought for more love. And when Navgurukul is getting the limelight for the work that hundreds of our students, our dear alumni, our volunteers, our team have put in, I get to take the credit. Here’s our 2019:

Life’s Good

  1. Our campus in Dharamsala and Bangalore with a gender ratio of 50:50 had their arc of being set-up to jobs and the autonomy of the students and alumni to manage the campus and their learning. …


Abhishek Gupta

Lead a for-purpose startup —! Mail me at :-)

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