Project image
)}
$448
pledged of $15,000pledged of $15,000 goal
14
backers
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on May 14 2019
$448
pledged of $15,000pledged of $15,000 goal
14
backers
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on May 14 2019

About

**PLEASE TURN ON ENGLISH CAPTIONS FOR THE VIDEO**

We are raising funds to start a community-run non-profit makerspace, called MakerGhat, in an urban low-income neighborhood in Powai (Mumbai). We will be the first space in Mumbai to offer youth from socio-economically poor neighborhoods with access to a staffed makerspace where they can engage with cutting-edge hardware and software across diverse engineering and emerging technology domains. Our mission is to nurture creativity, curiosity, and community through making.

Why this Kickstarter Campaign?

In January 2019, we (two PhD students passionate about making) started a small STEM program for underprivileged students in Powai, Mumbai. We ran a series of workshops and a science fair for middle and high school students at two non-profit educational organizations, Asha for Education and Vidya, which have established a presence in Mumbai for the last 10 years. Asha for Education and independent donors funded the basic equipment for this program and our current space, which has been operating mostly as a co-working studio and workshop venue.

The initial response from students and educators has been amazing! Many students loved the workshops so much that they are coming up with their own ideas for cool projects. A few students from our workshops have even been using some of our equipment when available to work on individual projects. Members of the surrounding Powai community have also begun to show interest and attend some of our workshops. We want to keep this momentum and passion for making going!

We are looking to use our 1000 square feet space to support the maker movement in Powai by evolving into a subscription-based community makerspace and incubator. MakerGhat will become a hub for startups, non-profits, schools, universities, and the local community to work together to solve local problems. We have already connected with relevant stakeholders and identified the people who will run the space, and just need the funds to help us get started! The funds will help us procure more equipment and furniture to be able to accommodate around 30 makers at a time. We will also use the funds to support a variety of projects and entrepreneurial activities.

Our Offerings

We already have some equipment and volunteers to provide training and mentorship for 3D printing, electronics, woodworking, and art, which we will expand. There is also a demand for more support in more areas among students such as virtual reality, digital fabrication, robotics, GIS, and machine learning which we will accommodate in the new makerspace. Additionally, we will partner with local schools, colleges, and non-profits to bring after-school workshops, weekend seminars, and mentorship opportunities to students to inculcate a collaborative spirit, and build a civic and empathetic mindset through the culture of making. 

We have also taken steps towards becoming an incubator by setting up several collaborations with non-profits, social entreprises, and researchers to get students to solve local problems. To make these projects successful, our students need reliable and consistent support and a space to work from which we are unable to provide at the moment. If this kickstarter campaign gets funded, MakerGhat will be able to provide the mentorship, equipment, and materials they need.

Some of the projects that our community members currently hope to build include:

  • A device to identify water wastage and enable individuals and organizations to uncover hidden costs and broken systems
  • A community GIS platform to present data collected on healthcare, waste management, and more, to empower civic bodies to work on these challenges
  • A hand-operated plastic baling machine to enable collection of a much larger number of PET bottles for recycling
  • A mechanical earthworm to aerate land meant for composting
  • A virtual assistant for use at educational organizations like MakerGhat
  • A mapping system using machine learning help with resource allocation for community health interventions
  • A sensor hub with activity recognition to determine waste generated in a household
  • A vertical XY plotter to create bespoke art

Support Us

We started with supporting a small number of students through workshops. As the maker movement gains ground, we need to expand our offerings and provide makers with material, human, and intellectual support. The following is what $15000 will allow us to do:

  • Enroll 80 students or community members every month
  • Make our curriculum and workshop materials open-source to enable others to engage in making across India
  • Conduct 5 workshops every week and reach 600 individuals through such workshops by December 2019
  • Support 15 projects that have the potential to become startups or non-profits focused on solving local and global problems
  • Create a formal mentorship program for our members
  • Conduct outreach with under-resourced schools and universities in Mumbai and reach 2000 students and educators

Additional funds raised will allow us to do the following:

  • Support moonshot projects
  • Enable more community members and students to attend the space, and hold more workshops
  • Organize hackathons
  • Provide additional support and mentorship to organizations and institutions using our open-sourced materials  

Sustainability and Values

We will have a subscription-based model for our makerspace to cover our material and operating costs. Users will be charged a nominal fee and students will get a 50 percent discount. This fee could potentially be covered by the school, university, or non-profit institution that the student attends (several stakeholders have mentioned that they would be interested in doing so).

The values that drive our approach, mentorship model, and the projects we work on at MakerGhat are the following:

  • My life is my making
  • I will take responsibility for what I make
  • I will put care into what I make
  • Making is a joyful process

Additionally, we are committed to providing equal opportunity to attend the makerspace, irrespective of the financial situation of the student. Girls/Women and underrepresented groups are particularly encouraged to visit. Many of our projects are locally situated are driven by local challenges.

Why a makerspace in a low-income neighborhood?

There is a dearth of original ideas, products, research, and companies in India considering the massive human resources available. And there will continue to be until the overlooked 90 percent of the population unable to attend top universities (or even any university at all) is mobilized and equipped. Among youth, in particular, there is a thirst to do something meaningful and different with their lives and to challenge the status quo. But a lack of opportunities and social support, and a rote-learning education system leave little room for creativity and inventiveness. We hope to kickstart a change in how innovation is traditionally viewed in India as the domain of the privileged. MakerGhat will provide a platform where these individuals can nurture and showcase their talents, in an environment where they are free to experiment and contribute to society in previously unanticipated ways.

 MakerGhat primarily caters to individuals from underserved backgrounds who may be motivated to extend their technical skills but lack the space and resources to do so. Additionally, we work to build aspirations among our members, especially youth, broadening their perspectives on  the potential of technology for societal upliftment and impact.   

Through this makerspace/hub, we hope to uplift the surrounding underserved community by engaging students from this area, and solving local problems. We will thus serve as a conduit to students who are interested in moving towards a career in serious entrepreneurship, industry, or research pursuits, but lack the necessary skills, mentorship, and resources for experimentation as a result of their socioeconomic situation. On one end, we will work with established NGOs to identify talented and driven students from under-resourced neighborhoods and under-represented groups. On the other end, we hope to connect students to programs and opportunities in incubators, industry, and academia. In the middle, we train and support our students with the design, engineering, and leadership skills necessary for gainful employment or future careers as entrepreneurs, through community-driven projects. 

Our Team

MakerGhat is founded by graduates and doctoral students from Stanford University (USA), Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-B, Mumbai), and the Georgia Institute of Technology (USA). We have secured top engineering talent at these universities to provide technical and mentorship support to our makers and staff. We will also engage the local community by training youth to volunteer at the space and gain practical expertise with troubleshooting and debugging, along with leadership and communication skills.

The founders of MakerGhat have over 5 years of combined experience working with community leaders in and around slum communities and with with slum residents. We have first-hand experience with the creative potential of underserved communities, despite (and often because of) their lack of formal education or non-traditional learning. 

  • Professor Jitendra Shah, Resident Director
  • Animesh Nautiyal, Finance Manager
  • Dhiraj Vishwakarma, Space Manager
  • Satyam Prajaputi, Prototyping Instructor
  • Babita Ratudi, Prototyping Instructor 
  • Azra Ismail, Co-Founder
  • Aditya Vishwanath, Co-Founder

Risks and challenges

To minimize challenges and better reach our target group, we have been partnering with Asha for Education, a 25-year old non-profit educational institution (10 years in Mumbai) that is very familiar with the challenges students face and is well-respected in the local community. They have been very supportive and helped fund our initial setup of the space. We also have a strong relationship with Vidya, another respected non-profit education center in Mumbai and have conducted several workshops and a science fair with them in the past.

https://ashanet.org/
http://vidya-india.org/

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1

    Be inspired

    Love learning about cool projects on science, art, and technology? Get access to bi-weekly stories about our students and their projects, delivered every 2 weeks!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    3 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    Thank you!

    Support the creation of a video that showcases our students' talents, and your name will be included at the end as a thank you!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    1 backer
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 15 or more About US$ 15

    1-Month Subscription

    Get a one-month subscription to MakerGhat.
    **Not in the Powai area? You can gift this to someone who's near us, or we will sponsor two students on your behalf.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    2 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    1-Month Subscription + 1 Workshop

    Get a one-month subscription to MakerGhat and access to a workshop.
    **Not in the Powai area? You can gift this to someone who's near us, or we will sponsor two students on your behalf.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    0 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    3 Month Subscription + 1 Workshop

    Get a three-month subscription to MakerGhat and access to a workshop.
    **Not in the Powai area? You can gift this to someone who's near us, or we will sponsor two students on your behalf.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    4 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    6 Month Subscription + 1 Workshop

    Get a six-month subscription to MakerGhat and access to a workshop.
    **Not in the Powai area? You can gift this to someone who's near us, or we will sponsor two students on your behalf.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    0 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    1-Year Subscription

    Get a year-long subscription to MakerGhat.
    **Not in the Powai area? You can gift this to someone who's near us, or we will sponsor two students on your behalf.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    1 backer
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    1-Year Family Membership + All Workshops

    Get a year-long subscription to MakerGhat and access to all workshops.
    **Not in the Powai area? You can gift this to someone who's near us, or we will sponsor four students on your behalf.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    0 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    Sponsor

    Sponsor a major tool of your choice, we will name it after you! You will also get to see what students made with this equipment at a special event held for our supporters at the rooftop at MakerGhat. We will also add a panel with your name to a wall installation, and will list you as a donor on our website.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    0 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1,500 or more About US$ 1,500

    Supporter

    Love our work and want to help us grow to our fullest potential? Help us draw more students to making by conducting workshops across Mumbai. As a thank you, you will get to see what students are working on at a special event held for our supporters at the rooftop at MakerGhat. We will also add a panel with your name to a wall installation, and will list you as a donor on our website.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    0 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 2,500 or more About US$ 2,500

    Super Supporter

    Love our work and want to help us grow to our fullest potential? Help us draw more students to making by conducting workshops across Mumbai and support our locally-based community projects. As a thank you, you will get to see what students are working on at a special event held for our supporters at the rooftop at MakerGhat. We will also add a panel with your name to a wall installation, and will list you as a donor on our website.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5,000 or more About US$ 5,000

    Champion Supporter

    Love our work and want to help us grow to our fullest potential? Help us draw more students to making by conducting workshops across Mumbai and support our community and moonshot projects. As a thank you, you will get to see what students are working on at a special event held for our supporters at the rooftop at MakerGhat. We will also add a panel with your name to a wall installation, and will list you as a donor on our website.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)