Education and dreams on wheels: Mobile Science Laboratory


By Misbah Khan

Even in the twenty-first century, a large number of Children in India do not have the access to basic education. Children who are studying in government schools in far villages simply do not get to see much of facilities.

Most of such schools do not have libraries or the laboratories to do practicals. The presence of school is an achievement in itself.

20 years ago an NRI couple in Pune felt the need to provide these students a better chance. Thus began the campaign called ‘Vidnyanvahini’. Madhukar and Pushpa Deshpande who had been living in the USA came back to India and started this campaign. 

NewsGram talked to Pushpa Deshpande who is the President of Vidnyanvahini. She very proudly talked about the campaign. MSL, the Mobile Science Laboratory is the unique campaign under which a bus travels all over the state.

The bus usually has five to six teachers every day. The teachers are scheduled. Trust has almost 25 teachers and a properly planned schedule is kept of all the teachers.

This year’s MSL campaign finished just last week since exams of students are close now. The campaign starts every year in June.

The bus covers every village of Maharashtra. Pushpa Deshpande told NewsGram that the children take this very positively. They are taught science and Mathematics. Bus keeps all the laboratory equipment and usually, these children never have had the chance to see and use such things.

There is a TV, DVD player, laptop, projectors and wash basin. It is targeted at the students of 8th, 9th, 10th standard. The schools are selected by Vidnyanvahini on the basis of their needs, size and location.

Pushpa Deshpande further told NewsGram that most of the teachers are retired professionals and because of neither the money nor the time is an issue for them. She appreciated the enthusiasm of the teachers for the campaign and the hard work they put.

There are different professionals like teachers, professors, scientists and engineers who are connected with the campaign as the volunteers. All people have degrees in subjects related to science.

The trust gets the funds from a lot of Indians living outside the country. It has no financial support from the government.

Vidnyanvahini has all the information on its website. All the details of curriculum and the schedule of MSL visits. It deserves a lot of credit for the smooth functioning.

Vidnyanvahini is an attempt to provide the facilities to the many of the children who do not have enough resources.

Misbah Khan is a Second year student. She likes to write on social and political issues.