In 2012, an IIT Bombay alumnus Mubeen Masudi, decided to move back to his native place, Kashmir with an aim to contribute to society. Given the political strife in the region over the past few decades, the education sector has been vastly neglected. Since 2012, he has been joined by 2 more IIT Kharagpur graduates (one is from Bihar and other is from Delhi), and their initiative RISE has mentored and counselled high school students from different parts of the state for various competitive examinations.
In past 3 years, they have battled harsh winters and uninvited floods and yet produced inspirational success stories through their students. In the September 2014 floods, they suffered huge losses. The ground floor of their institute was completely submerged in water for 15 days; their library, which had approximately 4000 books, could just save 200 books. They survived this calamity and managed to grow.
This year they have gone a step further, they are conducting a valley wide talent search examination to identify talented students who have the desire to excel but to do not possess the resources to pursue the same. The examination is primarily targeting the economically weaker sections of the society. The selected students will receive mentoring and counselling from experts of relevant fields. From test taking to mentoring, the entire process is free of any cost to the students.
Their initiative – RISE – aims to make this process permanent where year after year talented students are identified and are mentored to secure admissions to the most prestigious institutes of the country and abroad. Currently RISE is in process of replicating the model in other places of the country where the education sector is in equally dire straits, and is trying to build a bigger team of passionate individuals who believe society can be changed for the better through providing quality education and opportunities.
Mubeen believes that school level education is currently a mess in Kashmir. Even the brightest students in Kashmir are not able to get admissions to tier-1 colleges of India due to lack of awareness. A few who have the awareness lack proper guidance or support from schools or institutions. His team aims to establish a sustainable institute where students get the best possible guidance and resources.