Akshay and Krishna


To be economically disadvantaged in India is to be denied the opportunity for success. Akshay Saxena and Krishna Ramkumar knew this, but they didn't live with it.
These two ex-IIT graduates left their high paying jobs to provide a better education for low-income students through Avanti - a college dream that came to life.
Inspiration first struck Krishna at IIT Mumbai by watching some of his classmates belonging to upper middle class, middle and lower middle class, who worked hard to stake their claim at one of the top institutes in the country. Krishna also realized while there were festivals promoting cultural, extra-curricular and teaching activities, there was none for social work. This is when Akshay Saxena and Krishna Ramkumar decided to create a youth movement through which they could mentor students in high school and work closely with them to provide a better education.
Avanti works on two models; the first one is by selecting promising students from low income families to attend coaching classes, and the second one works by collaborating with schools affiliated with the Central Government, which are rurally located. The focus is to teach students how to learn from books and their peers-resources that are more abundant, accessible and consistent in quality.
The students benefit from having mentors from IITs and top private engineering colleges. At over 300 mentors, Avanti's college student volunteer network is one of India's largest. The next goal is to help more than 5,000 students and enter the tier 2 and 3 cities as well.