SARAS (Society for Advancement of Research in Arts and Sciences), born in 2011, is a student endeavour by a few undergraduate students of IIT Delhi and Delhi University. It is a newly found non-profitable group formed for the purpose of advancing studies in both Arts and Sciences by building on the developments in both fields around the world. It aims at not only promoting technical and literary advancements in India, but more so by students across the nation in all other fields as well.
SARAS is a Government registered NGO and currently running in 5 universities – IIT Delhi, TERI University, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Amity University and Delhi University (DU). It has over 50 volunteers from IIT Delhi. Prof. PMV Subbarao, Prof. Sangeeta Kohli, Prof. Nomesh Bolia and Prof. Rajendra Prasad from IIT Delhi are the faculty members involved with this organization.
The work of SARAS is recognized by famous agencies like US-AID for Audio Visual Education System (AVES) for Primary Education, CRDT of IIT Delhi for Modified Stove and NASSCOM for Project Samvaad.
ONGOING PROJECTS AT SARAS:
- Audio-Visual Education System (AVES): AVES is a tool to support as well as supplement conventional education in classrooms at primary level. In this system, high quality educational resources prepared by experts are conveyed to students in rural classrooms. This system also supplements a teacher training module.
- Self Help Groups: SHG is a rural area-based approach to ensure and provide impetus to self-employment generation opportunities to the local people. SHGs have been linked with banks for the delivery of ‘microcredit’. Many groups have been granted loan by giving boost to artisan and craftsmen activities, providing gainful employment, reducing pressure on agriculture, enforcing rural industrialization and diversifying economic activities at village level. It has also led to social and cultural transformation, by bringing women to the forefront of becoming economic agents and bringing status parity with men.
- Cooking Stoves: In India, 5 million immature deaths are recorded due to inefficiency of the cooking technology. A research suggests that being in front of conventional chulha for 7 hours is equivalent to smoking 20 packs of cigarettes. The same research tells that average rural women spend 4-7hrs in front of chulha. This project aims to improvise the efficiency of stoves which include development of chimney, development of 2 phase burning with primary and secondary air, and concept of small scale gasifier.
- Staircase Lift: Project aims to enable people with disability to access public buildings and all such places where visits are unavoidable.
- Economic Green Building (EGB)
- Pump as Turbine (P.A.T.): Turbines are expensive and out of reach for poor people. Volunteers at SARAS are helping people with a pump which is cheap and easily available to meet the power needs of the people not connected with grid.
- Patient Transfer Device (P.T.D.): SARAS is working to make a transfer device which is capable of transferring a patient from a bed to a wheel chair, to an operation theatre or to a toilet seat and vice versa. This will enable a single assistant to transfer a patient without any strain.
SOURCES OF FUNDING: At SARAS, major sources of funding are from individual donations, state governments and agencies like US-AID.
“We, at SARAS, believe that collective effort is a requisite for the construction of a society which could be deemed self-reliant and sustainable. So, our primary aim is to create a large group of people, mostly students, with unrelenting vigour to contribute in the positive development of our nation”, says Ritesh Singh, President, SARAS.
One can visit their website www.sarasparivar.org to contribute and to follow-up more on their work.