Having learnt the hard way, Vimal Daga has trained more than 3,500 engineering students in Jaipur for free
It is said that a good teacher is like a candle - it consumes itself to light the way for others. And 35-year-old Vimal Daga epitomises this.
Vimal runs a technology and training solutions company called LinuxWorld Informatics in Jaipur, Rajasthan. But apart from that, he has been imparting education to thousands of students for free. The only motive behind his efforts is to enable young minds to make a mark for themselves.
Since 2009, Vimal has been engaging with students pursuing engineering across Tier II and III colleges in India with the aim of making them job-ready. One of the most sought-after skills in today’s world being technical expertise, Vimal trains them in many concepts like coding, machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), deep learning, and cloud computing.
“Several engineering colleges in the country, especially in Tier II and III India, tend to fall behind when it comes to equipping students with the right skills. For instance, technical aspects like logical and quantitative ability and computer programming are not fully imparted. This affects the employability of students despite them having the potential to grasp things. As soon as I recognised this, I decided to do something to fill the gap,” Vimal Daga, Founder and Chairman, LinuxWorld Informatics, tells SocialStory.
In the last 10 years, Vimal has bolstered the learning curve of more than 3,500 students, and helped them gain exposure to employment opportunities. Despite his busy schedule, he achieved this by dedicating three months every year solely for training students.
The path less travelled
Born and brought up in Jaipur, Vimal was not very adept in academics and had quite a few problems in school. When he was 19, his father had to wind up his pharma business owing to certain unavoidable family conditions.
Being the only son, he had no choice but to take up the responsibility of his three sisters as well as running the household.
“My childhood and growing-up years were quite difficult. Since I was not very good at academics, a lot of people looked down on me. We were six in the family, and each of us had to take up some responsibilities. With a view to help my family, I began taking tuitions for students of Class 11 and 12, despite having very limited knowledge. My stint as a teacher began then,” Vimal recalls.
In 2005, when Vimal was pursuing his second year in engineering at Jaipur Engineering College and Research Centre (JECRC), he established a venture of his own: LinuxWorld Informatics. Vimal kicked off the operations of the company by borrowing Rs 15,000 from his friends. It was Vimal’s drive to help the student community, coupled with the need for money, that initially drove him to take the path less travelled.
Linux, which started off as a training and coaching centre, has grown by leaps and bounds over the years. Today, it offers a slew of online courses for engineering students – from certifications and workshops to internship programmes to make them corporate-ready.
An endeavour to skill students
To begin with, in 2009, Vimal started dedicating three months every year to teach engineering students, and realised the lack of attention given to technical skills in colleges. Students from several colleges in and around Jaipur showed up for Vimal’s sessions.
“My training sessions are generally quite rigorous and tend to last for around 12 hours a day. I have been conducting them in two batches – each of them for a month and a half. In 2017, I decided to formally establish an association to create an identity for my work. I named it Indian Innovation and Entrepreneurship Community (IIEC) because that was the time when many of my students started innovating in the technology space and leaning towards entrepreneurship,” Vimal says.
Vimal’s sessions are usually held in auditoriums in Jaipur, which he rents for three months. Every year, a team of volunteers help him organise the sessions. This year, around 1,000 students from 200 engineering colleges across India attended the free training sessions.
However, the highlight of this year’s effort was that over 100 students started their own tech-driven ventures after attending Vimal’s sessions. Some of them are Dhobi-Ghat (laundry services), ArchMate (personal architecture), MED D (online medical store), and Easy Money (money management).
In order to recognise these startups and celebrate the entrepreneurial journeys of his students, Vimal recently organised an event called Jazbaa.
However, Vimal’s contribution to the student community does not stop here. Having experienced many financial constraints, Vimal did not want other students to go through the same. This is why he decided to sponsor the education of underprivileged students as well. So far, he has funded the education of around 4,000 students by giving away a major chunk of his salary.
Making a difference
Over the years, thousands of students have benefited from Vimal’s sessions, and Siddharth BV is one of them.
“I learnt a lot under Vimal's guidance and gained several insights about the application of computer science and technology in today’s era. It was more of an experience for me than attending a training session,” he says.
Vimal’s only objective at the moment is to make India future-ready by teaching more and more students and bridging the ‘skill gap’.
When asked about his motivation, Vimal says,
“Teaching gives me immense satisfaction and the act of spreading knowledge is very close to my heart. This is what keeps me going”.
(Edited by Megha Reddy)