Born and raised in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, Vishal Singh did his M.Tech in Agriculture and Food Technology from IIT Kharagpur, got a well-paying job in the R&D department of SAIL, Lucknow. He had opportunities to change his life into luxury but was more concerned to serve society. Since his college days, Vishal provided free teaching to village children and later co-founded NGO, which has prospered thousands of lives. Currently, Vishal is working full time in the NGO and is transforming lives.
Vishal started his IIT journey in 2011. He was overwhelmed to see the advanced teaching methods and techniques used in the Institute but at the same time was concerned over the lack of education infrastructure in the villages surrounding IIT Kharagpur. He started his work from two nearby villages, Soladahar and Kusalchatti, where child labour was common. With the help of his friends, Vishal went door to door to convince villagers to send their children to nearby schools.
The villagers mostly disagreed as they expected their children to follow the family tradition of farming or do some other jobs in the village itself. Finally, after getting convinced, the villagers started sending their children to the nearby school where Vishal and his friends gave classes in the evening. Within months the students increased to 60-70 in number. Vishal spoke to department Head of Rural Development Sector, IIT Kharagpur and with help from his college, he installed lights and benches in the school.
After achieving success in schools, Vishal broadened his horizon to help in other fields as well. For this, He co-founded an NGO -Kaivalya Vichar Seva Samiti in 2012 (KVVS).
The NGO is run by the students of IIT Kharagpur and Banaras Hindu University (BHU). The volunteers from Aligarh and Kharagpur helped expand KVVS to further campaigns on education (Siksha-Daanam ), food distribution (Anna-Daanam), and clothes distribution (Vastra-Daanam). Currently, KVVS operates in 5 branches across the nation and has expanded to villages in West Bengal and Orissa.
Apart from programs on social welfare, livelihood, sustainable, and agri-allied programs, KVVS started an organic farming program to benefit farmers. Vishal noticed that the villagers were migrating to urban areas for the petty jobs despite having big fields for farming. KVVS programs not only reduced their migration but also helped in scaling their production which earned them profit. KVVS also offered a profit of 1 lakh per annum to the farmers who farmed on 1 acre of land. This Initiative was started in Mayunbhanj district of Orissa on 360 acres of land. Volunteers taught farmers about zero budget farming and developing pesticides from cow dung and Urine. Almost 3000 farmers were trained by the NGO, the same year when it started. Vishal’s Initiative has helped farmers commercialise their harvest and scale the production with the help of organic farming techniques. By march of 2019, more than 27,000 farmers have benefitted from this scheme, they left their conventional farming and succeded in organic farming.
Vishal strongly believes that India can gain prosperity if future generations of our country are educated and skill-oriented. As a message to the educated masses of India, he appealed, “Come forward and serve the country for making each and every deprived child educated and self-dependent.”
Till date, KVVS has tirelessly worked in the field of education and training, distribution of clothes, bags, and food items in tribal and rural regions of India. More than 8,000 children have benefited from the education programs of the NGO.
Besides this, the NGO is facilitating 4 orphan centres, 6 primary schools, and covering more than 15 villages in Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
The progress made by Vishal and the team is applaudable and is very inspiring for the generations to come