Social startup Muskaan Dreams raises Rs 1.5 Crore funding from Vedanta Group
Muskaan Dreams, a youth-driven non-profit social startup, has raised Rs 1.5 crore from Hindustan Zinc Limited, part of the Vedanta Group. Muskaan Dreams was started in 2014 by social entrepreneur Abhishek Dubey (24), and is currently operating in three cities of Madhya Pradesh - namely Gwalior, Bhopal and Indore.
The funds raised will be used to transform 100 rural government schools in MP into digital learning spaces. This will create a significant impact on 15,000 rural students, 300 Teachers and 100 villages across Madhya Pradesh. The initiative will also help students in better understanding of subjects especially Mathematics, Science, and English, with the help of audio-visual content and internet, says Abhishek.
On raising funds and future plans, Abhishek Dubey, Founder and CEO, and Rishi Raj (Programme Director) Muskaan Dreams said,
"We would like to thank Hindustan Zinc Limited, CEO Sunil Duggal, and Neelima Khetan (Head - CSR, Vedanta) for this great stride taken for a better India, as it will help Muskaan Dreams to take the initiative to the next level. We always wanted to support and dedicate our life serving the children from rural areas from a very early age. I believe that education in the rural segment should be promoted as it has a more significant role to play in the growth of the country.
Abhishek began teaching and mentoring 70 children on the weekends in the orphanages of Gwalior with 20 volunteers, before he founded Muskaan Dream Creative Foundation.
In the last four years, Muskaan Dreams has reached out to over 5,000 students in rural India through different initiatives. It is trying to solve the problem of insufficient teachers in rural government schools through e-learning (self-learning) classroom for the students, so that students can easily learn anything related to their subjects through virtual classroom through the Internet. The social startup uses LED screens in order to ensure sustainability, and easily usable model for students.
Muskaan Dreams has won seven youth-driven awards, recognised by different organisations, governments, politicians and institutions.
Talking about the initiative, Sunil Duggal, CEO of HZL, said:
Hindustan Zinc has a strong focus towards uplifting the communities. A school is a cornerstone of any student’s life to cultivate healthy thought process and groom intellectual abilities. With an objective to provide quality education, this initiative is a platform to empower rural students to pursue their dream and further contribute to nation-building.
Neelima Khetan (Head - CSR, HZL, and Vedanta) further added that, "We believe that access to good education can be the fulcrum to change the world. We see a lot of hope in organisations like Muskaan Dreams, set up by young and passionate people, and wish them the very best in this endeavor.”
Hindustan Zinc, a Vedanta Group Company, is India’s only and one of the world’s largest integrated producers of Zinc, Lead and Silver. Headquartered in Udaipur, Rajasthan, where it has its Zinc-Lead mines and smelting complexes, Hindustan Zinc governs about 85 percent of growing Zinc market in India, and produces almost 100 percent of India’s integrated Silver.