Fab Lab Vigyan Ashram

Revolutionize the education system

Vigyan Ashram, Pabal, Dist. Pune - 412403, Maharashtra, India

Fab Lab Centre communautaire

Superficie 2000 m²

Ouvert en Février 1983

Type de structure Non-profit organisation

Exploré en Mai 2017


Village based voluntary organization with focus on work centric education, development of enterprise development and rural technology.

Contact

-
Membre de Fablab Asia network, DST Tara, Stars Forum et Fab Labs world network

Réseaux sociaux

Thématiques principales

Technologie - machines & outils Initiatives sociales & solidaires Communauté Entrepreneuriat Robotique Santé & bien-être Education Energie & environnement Electronique Design Eau & océans Science & biologie Recyclage & upcycling Alimentaire Agriculture Auto-suffisance Artisanat

Cet atelier est fait pour les :

Ecoles & universités Organisations publiques Associations Agriculteurs Grand public Etudiant.es

Les ateliers les plus proches :

  • Vigyan ashram pune

Interview & visite guidée

Rencontrez une personne de notre atelier & découvrez le lieu par vous-même

Notre atelier en détails

Découvrez en plus sur notre espace, nos membres, nos machines & services !

In 1983, 90% of the Indian population didn’t complete their school curriculum and 75% still lived in rural areas, characterized by a clear lack of schools and adapted educational methods.

That’s exactly why Dr. Kalbag picked the village of Pabal, a very rough place, without electricity nor water supply, to create the Vigyan Ashram. A place dedicated to deliver “education through development and development through education”: in other words, Rural Development through Educational System (RDES).

It started as a non-formal education center based on learning while doing methods, interdisciplinary projects and living (farming, food processing, …) and non-living (engineering, energy environment, …) syllabus. Intended to students out of the educational system, there were no age neither background barriers to access it.

In 2000, there were 2 core programs: DBRT (Diploma in Basic Rural Technology), residential courses dedicated to children that dropped the education system and IBT (Introduction to Basics of Technology), courses run into Maharashtra schools to teach differently to children.

The same year, Neil Gershenfeld, the “father of Fab Labs”, visited the place and since then, keeps on saying Vigyan Ashram should be an inspiration for all. Further to his coming, FabFoundation provided digital fabrication machines and tools to enrich the teaching of Vigyan Ashram. In 2002 was born the “Fab Lab 0”, the 1st Fab Lab after the MIT’s. Since 2011, after a few refurbishments and expansion, the last version is called Fab Lab 0.3.

Today, the Vigyan Ashram vision is the same but tools, techniques and processes evolved with the technology. Many success stories came out of the space in terms of low-tech rural innovations : Mechbull, a low-cost tractor made out of scrap, rice dehusking machines or egg incubator are commercialized on the market.

Vigyan Ashram’s reputation crossed Pune’s borders with 900 monthly visitors from schools, Colleges, individuals, … and 500 yearly users. Even though there’s no age limits, 80% are under 35 years old.

Picture yourself Vigyan Ashram as a small communitarian village in which 70 resident students from different backgrounds and skill levels, 7 Fab Academy students, 120 instructors, 40 staff members, interns as volunteers and other punctual visitors and makers live together.

The day-to-day life of Vigyan Ashram is tightly scheduled: from 6 am to 7 am, prayer then sport or yoga, 9 to 9.30, breakfast, 1 to 2 pm, lunch time, at 5.30 pm you’ll get your snack, 7 to 7.15 you’ll be able to watch TV followed by meditation at 7.15. and of course at 8.30 you’ll have dinner.

Every resident (from the student to the Director) is involved in the community life: prepare and serve food, clean the place or animate the meditation. Also, every DBRT course student has to earn 1 000 rupies per year (15€) by providing a contracted service to a member of the community: it can be animals breeding, building maintenance, …

Most of the people who come in Vigyan Ashram want to become an entrepreneur (50% of DBRT students want to start their business in their own villages), usually in rural areas, and to learn new things by making: business, engineering, farming, … Thereby, more than 300 people came last year for a training, including 150 for agricultural courses and 90 women for food processing workshops.

Finally, last year, Vigyan Ashram’s Fab Lab helped 50 people to find a solution to one of their problem: rice planting machine, egg incubator, …

As a non-profit organization, Vigyan Ashram can’t get more than 10% of profit. Thereby, with its 220 500€ budget, 30% are dedicated to salaries, 20% to consumables, 20% to electricity and communication, 15% to travels and the rest of it to infrastructure maintenance, internet fees etc.

60% of the revenues are earned thanks to Vigyan Ashram activities: 35% from tuition fees, 10% from hosting and food fees and 15% from 85 different services provided by students to the community (electrical wiring, website design, …).

The remaining 40% come from charities: mainly companies (as Indian companies have to give 2% from their profit to a social cause), NGOs, individuals and the government. Those 40% are usually reinvested in development works. If a prototype developed by Vigyan Ashram is up to be commercialized by a company, this latter will be able to dedicate 4% of the product revenues to the NPO.

Vigyan Ashram needs to report key indicators to its donors: number of community services provided, financial indicators (ROI, students number, average age, …) and its social impact (number of technologies transferred to the community, % of students using their learning into their work, …).

23 organisations partner with Vigyan Ashram: it can be Universities which send their students to make internships as DST Tara with which they organize training programs in new technologies.

According to Yogesh Kulkarni (the current director), Vigyan Ashram faces 3 main challenges: to create a support system to help the development of rural companies, increase their new technologies learning base and make it adopted by their community.

At Vigyan Ashram, you’ll find on average 40 staff members, assigned to the various programs, including 2 administrative staffs, 20 interns and volunteers from IT companies.

1 lead and 5 instructors are dedicated to DBRT, a 1-year residential course. Students will work on each of these 4 sections during 3 months:

  1. Agriculture and animal husbandry (goat farming, …)

  2. Home and health (food processing, …)

  3. Energy and environment (electrical fittings, …)

  4. Engineering

Then 1 head and 3 instructors are in charge of the IBT (Introduction to Basic Technology) school program. To set up this 3-year curriculum in more than 120 schools in Maharashtra State, the team needs to train 120 teachers in the lab via 2 yearly sessions.

Created in 2016 with Pune University and coordinated by 2 staff members, the Design Innovation Center (DIC) teaches 10 resident students out of 60 initial applicants:

  1. Product design

  2. Sensor application

  3. Water invest management

  4. Micro biology

Each DIC student will be assigned a customer for whom he’ll have to develop a final prototype. Industrial experts come here to coach them.

In the Fab Lab, 1 fabmanager and 5 instructors, all of them students from Fab Academy, coach students for their projects and organize digital fabrication workshops.

As part of the Entrepreneurship Accelerator, future rural entrepreneurs are coached through 4-day camps (4 per year) and individual mentoring.

Finally, many short-term courses are embedded in the Vigyan Ashram’s daily life: digital jewellery making and computing courses for women, goat and cow farming, how to run one’s makerspace, …

Last year, V.A. co-organized the Fan Asian Network 3rd conference and launches annual hackathons in Pabal.

Since its creation in 1983, most of the study materials, manuals and learning resources of Vigyan Ashram are documented and freely available for use.

When students and teachers come here, they are taught how to document properly and simply everything they learn through opensource free blogs (wordpress) thanks to the “Integrated Work Centric Education” approach. They are trained to produce “socially productive works”.

Almost each program has its own blog: DIC program blog, IBT program blog, Fab Lab blog and entrepreneurship accelerator blog.

Fab Academy documentation process is a great source of inspiration to them: photographs, videos, explanations of each step, project status, … One staff member was dedicated to document all the knowledge of Vigyan Ashram on the website: http://learningwhiledoing.in/. As this latter left, instructors are going to do it.

According to Vigyan Ashram’s philosophy, this documentation process generates a virtuous circle: a tool for students to learn in real life environment but also a service provided to the community which reduces training costs. Moreover, this opensource documentation avoids to reinvent the wheel each time.

Even staff members do monthly status reports (projects, activities, …) to be sent to the Deputee director and the administration.

In 1983, 90% of the Indian population didn’t complete their school curriculum and 75% still lived in rural areas, characterized by a clear lack of schools and adapted educational methods.

That’s exactly why Dr. Kalbag picked the village of Pabal, a very rough place, without electricity nor water supply, to create the Vigyan Ashram. A place dedicated to deliver “education through development and development through education”: in other words, Rural Development through Educational System (RDES).

It started as a non-formal education center based on learning while doing methods, interdisciplinary projects and living (farming, food processing, …) and non-living (engineering, energy environment, …) syllabus. Intended to students out of the educational system, there were no age neither background barriers to access it.

In 2000, there were 2 core programs: DBRT (Diploma in Basic Rural Technology), residential courses dedicated to children that dropped the education system and IBT (Introduction to Basics of Technology), courses run into Maharashtra schools to teach differently to children.

The same year, Neil Gershenfeld, the “father of Fab Labs”, visited the place and since then, keeps on saying Vigyan Ashram should be an inspiration for all. Further to his coming, FabFoundation provided digital fabrication machines and tools to enrich the teaching of Vigyan Ashram. In 2002 was born the “Fab Lab 0”, the 1st Fab Lab after the MIT’s. Since 2011, after a few refurbishments and expansion, the last version is called Fab Lab 0.3.

Today, the Vigyan Ashram vision is the same but tools, techniques and processes evolved with the technology. Many success stories came out of the space in terms of low-tech rural innovations : Mechbull, a low-cost tractor made out of scrap, rice dehusking machines or egg incubator are commercialized on the market.

Vigyan Ashram’s reputation crossed Pune’s borders with 900 monthly visitors from schools, Colleges, individuals, … and 500 yearly users. Even though there’s no age limits, 80% are under 35 years old.

Picture yourself Vigyan Ashram as a small communitarian village in which 70 resident students from different backgrounds and skill levels, 7 Fab Academy students, 120 instructors, 40 staff members, interns as volunteers and other punctual visitors and makers live together.

The day-to-day life of Vigyan Ashram is tightly scheduled: from 6 am to 7 am, prayer then sport or yoga, 9 to 9.30, breakfast, 1 to 2 pm, lunch time, at 5.30 pm you’ll get your snack, 7 to 7.15 you’ll be able to watch TV followed by meditation at 7.15. and of course at 8.30 you’ll have dinner.

Every resident (from the student to the Director) is involved in the community life: prepare and serve food, clean the place or animate the meditation. Also, every DBRT course student has to earn 1 000 rupies per year (15€) by providing a contracted service to a member of the community: it can be animals breeding, building maintenance, …

Most of the people who come in Vigyan Ashram want to become an entrepreneur (50% of DBRT students want to start their business in their own villages), usually in rural areas, and to learn new things by making: business, engineering, farming, … Thereby, more than 300 people came last year for a training, including 150 for agricultural courses and 90 women for food processing workshops.

Finally, last year, Vigyan Ashram’s Fab Lab helped 50 people to find a solution to one of their problem: rice planting machine, egg incubator, …

As a non-profit organization, Vigyan Ashram can’t get more than 10% of profit. Thereby, with its 220 500€ budget, 30% are dedicated to salaries, 20% to consumables, 20% to electricity and communication, 15% to travels and the rest of it to infrastructure maintenance, internet fees etc.

60% of the revenues are earned thanks to Vigyan Ashram activities: 35% from tuition fees, 10% from hosting and food fees and 15% from 85 different services provided by students to the community (electrical wiring, website design, …).

The remaining 40% come from charities: mainly companies (as Indian companies have to give 2% from their profit to a social cause), NGOs, individuals and the government. Those 40% are usually reinvested in development works. If a prototype developed by Vigyan Ashram is up to be commercialized by a company, this latter will be able to dedicate 4% of the product revenues to the NPO.

Vigyan Ashram needs to report key indicators to its donors: number of community services provided, financial indicators (ROI, students number, average age, …) and its social impact (number of technologies transferred to the community, % of students using their learning into their work, …).

23 organisations partner with Vigyan Ashram: it can be Universities which send their students to make internships as DST Tara with which they organize training programs in new technologies.

According to Yogesh Kulkarni (the current director), Vigyan Ashram faces 3 main challenges: to create a support system to help the development of rural companies, increase their new technologies learning base and make it adopted by their community.

At Vigyan Ashram, you’ll find on average 40 staff members, assigned to the various programs, including 2 administrative staffs, 20 interns and volunteers from IT companies.

1 lead and 5 instructors are dedicated to DBRT, a 1-year residential course. Students will work on each of these 4 sections during 3 months:

  1. Agriculture and animal husbandry (goat farming, …)

  2. Home and health (food processing, …)

  3. Energy and environment (electrical fittings, …)

  4. Engineering

Then 1 head and 3 instructors are in charge of the IBT (Introduction to Basic Technology) school program. To set up this 3-year curriculum in more than 120 schools in Maharashtra State, the team needs to train 120 teachers in the lab via 2 yearly sessions.

Created in 2016 with Pune University and coordinated by 2 staff members, the Design Innovation Center (DIC) teaches 10 resident students out of 60 initial applicants:

  1. Product design

  2. Sensor application

  3. Water invest management

  4. Micro biology

Each DIC student will be assigned a customer for whom he’ll have to develop a final prototype. Industrial experts come here to coach them.

In the Fab Lab, 1 fabmanager and 5 instructors, all of them students from Fab Academy, coach students for their projects and organize digital fabrication workshops.

As part of the Entrepreneurship Accelerator, future rural entrepreneurs are coached through 4-day camps (4 per year) and individual mentoring.

Finally, many short-term courses are embedded in the Vigyan Ashram’s daily life: digital jewellery making and computing courses for women, goat and cow farming, how to run one’s makerspace, …

Last year, V.A. co-organized the Fan Asian Network 3rd conference and launches annual hackathons in Pabal.

Since its creation in 1983, most of the study materials, manuals and learning resources of Vigyan Ashram are documented and freely available for use.

When students and teachers come here, they are taught how to document properly and simply everything they learn through opensource free blogs (wordpress) thanks to the “Integrated Work Centric Education” approach. They are trained to produce “socially productive works”.

Almost each program has its own blog: DIC program blog, IBT program blog, Fab Lab blog and entrepreneurship accelerator blog.

Fab Academy documentation process is a great source of inspiration to them: photographs, videos, explanations of each step, project status, … One staff member was dedicated to document all the knowledge of Vigyan Ashram on the website: http://learningwhiledoing.in/. As this latter left, instructors are going to do it.

According to Vigyan Ashram’s philosophy, this documentation process generates a virtuous circle: a tool for students to learn in real life environment but also a service provided to the community which reduces training costs. Moreover, this opensource documentation avoids to reinvent the wheel each time.

Even staff members do monthly status reports (projects, activities, …) to be sent to the Deputee director and the administration.

Technologies & procédés mis à disposition

Fraisage numérique Electronique Impression 3D Scan 3D Découpe laser Découpe vinyle Découpe plasma Outils pour le bois Etabli outillage

Services proposés

Accès gratuit à l'espace Accès gratuit aux machines & outils Restaurant Incubation / mentorat de projets & startups Hébergement de startups & projets Prototypage Temps libres Formations & ateliers pratiques FabAcademy programme Centre communautaire Coaching & mentorat de projets

Nos pratiques inspirantes

Ce que nous faisons de particulier pour gérer notre espace collaboratif

Confronting students to customers

What is it?

All the syllabus developed by Vigyan Ashram are based on learning while doing methods, interdisciplinary courses and project management.

In concrete terms?

DBRT (Diploma of Basic Rural Technology) and DIC (Design Innovation Center) students have a contract with a customer selected by Vigyan Ashram to develop a product or a service.

For example, the Indian organization ARTI (working on non-conventional energy) used to produce Indian traditional stoves called Chulha that made too much smoke. The institute ordered to Vigyan Ashram a more compact chulha with less smoke. The student in charge of this client had to develop this product and manage the project development from end-to-end.

Why it’s interesting?

Thanks to that method, students are held more accountable, learn customer relationship, accounting once the bills are to be paid by the client and project management (time management).

Moreover, thanks to that method, students are aware of the real needs of the field and develop positive impact products.


Opensource documentation process

What is it?

Each project and learning resource developed in Vigyan Ashram is thoroughly documented and posted in opensource on free blogs.

In concrete terms?

First, students and instructors are taught how to document properly and simply one’s project according to the IWCE approach (Integrated Work Centric Education). Thereby, almost each program has its own blog: DIC program blog, IBT program blog, fablab blog and entrepreneurship accelerator blog. One staff member was dedicated to document all the knowledge of Vigyan Ashram on the website: http://learningwhiledoing.in/.

Why it’s interesting?

According to Vigyan Ashram’s philosophy, this documentation process generates a virtuous circle: a tool for students to learn in real life environment but also a service provided to the community which reduces training costs. Moreover, this opensource documentation avoids to reinvent the wheel each time.


Nos projets de makers

Inspirez-vous des projets DIY de notre équipe & nos membres

DIY 3D-printed prosthetic hand

What’s the project story?

The project started last year because a man from the village of Pabal who lost his hand. The Design Innovation Center student Ms. Prachi developed this prosthetic hand inspired from the opensource Hackberry hand during more than 6 months.

How does she interact with the workshop?

Thanks to the lab, she got mentorship, made in India components, office and was working directly with her customer.

What’s next?

Today, two companies are willing to develop the project. Keetronics which is ready to improve the efficiency of the product by providing sensors and components, difficult to find in India, or Jaipur Foot, an organization working on prosthetics. This latter shall commercialize it.


Rural low-tech innovations

To help Indian farmers, Vigyan Ashram’s students have been working on sustainable and low cost solutions. The student’s first prototypes are always made out of scraps, check out what they’re working on!


Découvrez d’autres ateliers explorés par MakerTour

RiiDL

Fab Lab and startup incubator

Mumbai, India
Fab Lab Incubateur Espace de coworking

Maker's Asylum

A community makerspace open to all

Mumbai, India
Makerspace Fab Lab Atelier mobile

Curiosity Gym

Makerspace, design, innovation and entrepreneurship platform

Mumbai, India
Makerspace Agence de design & d'innovation