An organization named as RiSE is located in Srinagar was founded by three IIT graduates, Imbesa Ahmad (Physics, IIT Kharagpur), Mubeen Masudi (BTech, Civil Engineering, IIT Bombay) and Salman Shahid (BTech, MTech, Chemical Engineering, IIT Kharagpur). They realised the education crisis in Jammu and Kashmir and they decided to help aspiring IITians in shaping their careers. Graduates from prestigious Indian IITs are well positioned for international jobs and lead a life of luxury. But these people chose a different way. Even if the kind of life they are leading won’t bring great wealth, but surely it would inspire millions and help many students realize their dreams.
In conversation with Imbesat Ahmad:
1. When did you decide to come up with RiSE?
RiSE was cofounded by Mubeen, Salman and me in 2012. We realised that students of Kashmir are far from main stream knowledge and idea. They don’t have access to quality education. That’s how we decided to do something about it.
2. What inspired you to go on the journey of the noble work you are doing?
When Mubeen and I did our first batch in 2013, we could send 6 out of 14 students to NIT. This was a huge success considering the situation in Kashmir. We could see the direct impact of our work. Then last year we could send 4 students to IIT. Basically the success stories of our students inspire us.
3. How does it exactly work? Do you have other teachers too to take classes?
We provide classes ourselves and have other teachers also. They are also IIT graduates. We do lots of counselling with other school’s students. In 2015, we reached to more than 15,000 students of the valley. But our activities got affected because of the turmoil in the state.
4. How do you choose students for the programme, do you have entrance tests?
Yes, we have proper test mechanism. We take proper care of that.
5. Tell us about your educational background.
I have done my schooling from Loyola High School, Patna. Then I studied in Rahmani Super30 to prepare for IIT.
6. Who has encouraged you people the most in your journey so far?
People of Kashmir, our parents and our teachers had been our greatest support. Our support has always been in motivational form.
7. Can you tell us about the financial backup for the programme?
We charge from 30-40% of our students, those who can afford. But we only charge for classes. Rest all activities are for free. We even have a tailor made App for students in Kashmir.
8. What are your future goals? Where do you want to see RiSE in the coming five years?
Our future goal is to replicate this model at other places in India where there is such a need. We are starting Jammu next month in that line.
9. What would you like to suggest for the betterment of our country in terms of education, any sort of change in our system?
In short, first of all, our education system, focuses more on exams rather than classes. More diversification is required in career choices. Inner talents of kids should be explored.
10. What all obstacles did you face in your journey so far?
People were not ready to accept a change in the pattern of their children’s education. so we had to put lots of effort to prove ourselves. Then came floods in 2014. Then last year was a big turmoil. For 4-5 months we had no internet. Students get motivated with situation around.
Here are the links for readers who want to contact Imbesat Ahmad:
RiSE Facebook Page