Meet an Action Group founder: Abhishek Surywanshi in Pune, India

by Celeste Hamilton Dennis on May 12, 2014

Connector Abhishek Surywanshi is all about providing access and opportunities to others.

As the curator of TEDxPune, he hosts periodic events for seven slum areas in the city along with community programs. He’s also working on the Spoken Wikipedia project, which brings recordings of articles to the rural, illiterate, and visually impaired population.

“If we want to make the world a better place, it is important to empower each and every section of society,” he says. “I believe knowledge and opportunities must be free, open, and accessible to all.”

Abhishek recently created the “Empowering the underprivileged in Pune” Action Group to find like-minded people willing to help bridge the gap.

Abhishek (middle) at a recent TEDx Pune community event.

“Pune is known for ideas worth spreading,” he says. “We are hopeful this model will inspire Pune’s underprivileged communities as well as the world.”

He believes in organic growth, and is currently using Facebook and email to spread awareness about the Group. He’s also open to all kinds of support and guidance from others outside Pune, and will be planning online meetings through Skype and Google so anyone anywhere can jump in on the conversation.

“Playing the role of catalyst is important. The community and Group must feel the ownership of activities, and to make sure everyone is participating in the long run, it is crucial to give justice to each and everyone’s idea,” he says.

As of right now, five new members have joined Abhishek.

“It looks like a promising tool to channelize energy and efforts,” he says. “Already we have got potential volunteers through the Action Group so it’s a fantastic start.”

In Pune and interested in the cause? Join the Group’s first meeting on May 17. Not in Pune? Check out the Action Groups near you or start one of your own!

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