where tomorrow’s science begins today
An Autonomous Institution, Ministry of Education, Govt. of India



In 2010, a few students of IISER started an Abhyasika for the children of a colony near the campus. Ten years later this small venture grew to become DISHA - an ever expanding platform for an IISERite to set and work towards goals of socioeconomic equity. At DISHA we do not undermine the potential of a student volunteer’s will in shaping social reform for the nation. Education is the most crucial tool for empowerment and DISHA tries to do its bit in making this available to the marginalised. With this in mind we run several programmes

Our Activities

Regular Activities     Yearly Activities
Contact Us:
Team Disha, 2018-19
Team Disha, 2020-21

Email: disha@sac.iiserpune.ac.in

General Coordinators: Abilash Kumar M (abilash.kumarm@students.iiserpune.ac.in)
                                        Gautam Hegde (gautam.hegde@students.iiserpune.ac.in)
Our Collaborators:

Click here for our magazine, Pahal

For our new website, click here


Abhyasika is DISHA’s original initiative and still remains one of our most challenging programmes. Every day Abhyasika volunteers try to bridge the gap between the children of Lamanvasti and the world outside. On the floor of a battered community centre, the students huddle around our volunteers and we teach them math, sciences and anything they want to learn about under the sun. We are striving to get a permanent place in the Vasti for future, to be able to work more effectively. Since the pandemic began, we are conducting classes either online or via phone calls for some of the older students in the vasti.
Kids at the Abhyasika   Abhasika in progress
Business as usual in the Abhyasika at Lamanvasti
Time:5:45 pm to 7:45 pm, Monday to Friday
Place: Samaj Mandir, Lamanvasti

Pradnya is the newest programme of DISHA, started in the year 2018. The idea of the programme is to create a platform to impart classroom-based structured education to children who were previously in Abhyasika. Our objective is to make the children confident about their communication and numerical skills, which are the basics that they need to go into the world out there. The volunteers focus more on personal interaction for overall development of the child rather than just academics. Since the pandemic began, we are conducting classes online for some of the older students.

Time: 6:30 to 7:30 pm, Wednesday and Friday

Place: LHC, IISER Pune


Shivani Deshpande (shivani.deshpande@students.iiserpune.ac.in)

Srijay Sutar (srijay.sutar@students.iiserpune.ac.in)


Practising English speaking through flash cards in Pradnya (left) and by emulating a phone conversation in Mindspark (right)
Not every child gets a fair shot at tackling the hurdles presented by exams. Mindspark tries to inculcate logical reasoning and mental ability skills in students from Pune Municipal Corporation schools. Efforts are also taken to improve their communication skills as a part of overall personality development. Mindspark volunteers help 8th standard students grasp concepts and later solve worksheets on the same. Since the pandemic began, we are conducting classes online for a few students from a neighbouring school for the 8th Standard Maharashtra Scholarship exam.
Time: 12:30 pm to 4:00 pm on Saturday; 11:00 am to 2:00 pm on Sunday
Place: LHC, IISER Pune
Science Nurture Programme
Science Nurture Programme aims to popularise Science among students of 9th and 10th standard in as attractive a way as possible. With the help of well designed sessions and hands on activities, we hope to take students beyond science as a subject and embrace it as a way of thinking. This programme is supported by Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan. Since classes have started, we are now taking classes online on the weekends
Time: 11:00 am to 12:30 pm, Saturday and Sunday
Place: LHC, IISER Pune
Science Nurture Programme   Science Nurture Programme Discussion
Students observing internal workings of a truck at Pimpri Chinchwad Science Park   Deeply involved in discussing the possibility of an elevator to space!
Started two years ago, Prerna, aims to aid students with limited opportunities to prepare for 11th and 12th standard exams. Almost all our volunteers for this programme are PhD students and with their consistent dedication, we hope to equip these students to ace entrance exams that will shape their careers.
Time: 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm on Saturday, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, Sunday
Place: LHC, IISER Pune
Talk for Twenty
Intelligent conversation on matters of social relevance is important to make a student community better citizens of the future. DISHA tries to do the same for students of IISER with Talk for Twenty. The programme began with 20 minute talks by students on topics they find important and now professors, eminent speakers and other organisations have joined the conversation. Talk for Twenty hopes to maintain the platform for any IISER student to talk on any socially relevant topic as well as to organise more talks by prominent people working in social sector.
Spread the Smile
The greatest challenges of realising social reforms lie in India’s villages.DISHA’s volunteers take to villages around Pune, once a year to remind themselves of this challenge. We reach out to village schools and stay over for a weekend to perform experiments and interact with the students. The volunteers get a taste of village life and the students get to see science practised through the eyes of the volunteers.
Time: January-February

Anuraag Aithal (gv.anuurag@students.iiserpune.ac.in)

Kids with their favourite didi in the village of Kule, Maharashtra   Wonders of Science
Kids with their favourite didi in the village of Kule, Maharashtra   Discovering the wonders of science, Kule
The yearly magazine of DISHA, Pahal, recounts the events of DISHA throughout the academic year, through the eyes of the coordinators, volunteers and participants of the programmes. It is our way to connect to people not directly involved with DISHA and get them to learn about our activities. We also feature articles from NGOs across India working towards social change.
Pahal Editor: Manav Sivaram (manav.sivaram@students.iiserpune.ac.in)
Design Coordinator: Bishal Ghosh (bishal.ghosh@students.iiserpune.ac.in)
            Reetish Padhi (reetish.padhi@students.iiserpune.ac.in)             
Resource Team is the backbone of our programmes, most Importantly for Spread the Smile. Before our volunteers take to villages, Resource Team volunteers try and test out experiments and keep ready all resources required for the programme. Resource Team works throughout the year and helps manage all resources required in DISHA’s efforts to meet its goals.

Abhijith Menon (abhijith.menon@students.iiserpune.ac.in)

Raghav Sharma (raghav.sharma@students.iiserpune.ac.in)


Translation Team:
This is our most recent venture to meet the needs of various programmes of Disha. Since most children that we work with understand Marathi or Hindi but many volunteers don’t know these languages that well, we need a system to translate various resources and materials. The translation team was formed with this goal in mind. It now helps all other programmes with their translation demands. It also has some long term goals like making a dictionary in local language for all science related words in terms of daily used words.
Coordinators: Atharva Bhide (atharva.bhide@students.iiserpune.ac.in)
Core Team
Any change in society begins with a small idea. And with discussions and debates, the idea grows bigger. We at Disha believe that discussions about society are immensely important. The core team consisting of senior volunteers of Disha aims to do exactly this. To critically discuss the ideologies of Disha and come up with innovative ways to address various issues present in society. The meetings are usually held twice a month. The core team also plays a big part in deciding the future course of Disha and choosing the coordinators for next year.