Coronavirus: Edtech startup PlanetSpark offers free classes to children of healthcare and police personnel

Founded in 2016 by Kunal Malik and Maneesh Dhooper, PlanetSpark aims to help the children of frontline workers get tutored online for free while their parents help the nation fight the coronavirus spread.

Edtech startup PlanetSpark said it has started offering free live online tutoring classes to children of the medical staff and police force working tirelessly to help India fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The Gurugram-based startup offers academic programmes in subjects such as maths, english, and science, new age skills such as communications, reading, coding, and robotics, and hobby classes, including drawing, sketching, and music, in a live, interactive manner.

To take advantage of their new scheme, frontline workers can choose any one free subject, and avail a 50 percent discount on every additional subject, the company said.

The founders of Planet Spark, Manish Dhooper and Kunal Malik

“For children, school closures mean they can no longer access resources they have at schools. Social distancing is also leading to social isolation for children. But while most of them have parents by their side to help out, the crisis is worse for healthcare workers and police personnel who must choose between caring for pandemic victims and caring for their own children,” said Kunal Malik, Co-Founder of PlanetSpark. 

“We decided we would let our Corona Warriors know that while they are risking their lives to serve India, we will look after their children and ensure they do not fall behind”, added Kunal. 

PlanetSpark was started in 2016 by Kunal Malik and Maneesh Dhooper, both XLRI graduates from the 2012 batch. The company is backed by FIITJEE, Indian Angel Network, Lead Angels and Hyderabad Angels, who have invested nearly $700,000, over two rounds.

When the startup reached out to some doctors and policemen to offer PlanetSpark's content, they found that one big problem frontline workers were facing at home was having someone mentor their kids and help them form a regular schedule, while they were out on duty.

"Therefore, we decided to offer our full service of live classes, where a teacher can (help) build skills while they are out on national duty," Maneesh said.

Speaking about how the offering is different from other online lessons, he said that while many platforms have launched recorded video content for kids, PlanetSpark offers live, instructor-led classes free for kids.

As many as 1,500 children of Indian healthcare and police personnel are now attending the free online classes. Maneesh said, adding the company can cater to upto one lakh such kids, presently.

Edited by Aparajita Saxena


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