Vijay Kulkarni – AAVISHKAAR INDIA, Chennai
A professionally qualified artist, he has worked in the creative department of several National Advertisement Agencies for more than 15 years.
Started Aavishkaar India with the camping division with the vision of creating unique experiences for children in the pursuit of making them independent and brave. He has impacted more than 10 lakh students across ages and is continuing to do so.
He shared his thoughts about the idea of Summer Camp with AAVISKKAAR in this interview.
Mr. Kulkarni opines that summer holidays are the time when children are truly free from the pressure of school and exams. This is the time when they get to explore their hobbies and interests. A summer camp is a great way to introduce children to outdoor activities like trekking and adventure sports. Unlike older generations children are not able to experience nature near their homes and hence a summer camp is the best way to let them explore nature and enjoy if only for a while! Aavishkaar India is based out of Chennai and has been conducting summer camps for children for the last 16 years. It is the first organization which offered such camps and till date their focus is only on children’s camps. More than 12,000 children with the age group of 8-15 has taken part in these camps. He proudly mentions, Schools and parents trust us because of the effort we put in to make children comfortable and help them learn and have fun.
What do they learn: to be independent, to be aware of their surroundings, to get over fussiness, to get over their fears and mainly how important nature is to their survival. In children’s camp, parents become the biggest challenge says Mr Kulkarni. First time campers are always excited but their parents are a worried lot, because they are sending their kids away for the first time without them and are worried about safety of their children but once a child comes to camp with us, he/she turns into a regular!
Aavishkaar strongly believes that safety and hygiene should be put at the top in priority list as they are dealing with children. Our camps are at one particular location without having to travel to multiple places. These camp-sites are completely under our control and when we conduct our camps it is only our group that occupies the campsite with 10:1 instructor and student ratio. This ensures that there are no outsiders except for the campsite employees and caretakers. We have a medical kit on board with us and details of local doctors. We always keep a vehicle around us to transport in case of emergency.
Reminiscing his past 16 years of experience, he shares that “I have seen the change in children from an age where children brought story books to camp, to now where they bring an ipad.” Technology has changed the way children behave, they are more aware now and definitely smarter but again there are some naughty ones who need to be engaged and show them the difference between right and wrong.
He signs off this interview sharing a precious memory with us. At our civet creek camp, we were doing a session on a rope activity where two ropes were tied at a height of 25 feet across two trees. The campers had to walk across the trees, a distance of 40 feet on the lower rope catching the upper rope for support. Nimble and light weight students can easily do this activity and one of the campers was a heavy set 6 foot boy, he was very conscious of his capability and wasn’t sure if the ropes could hold his weight and even if he can climb the stairs till the start of the rope! Our instructor spoke to him individually and the entire group of 35 campers cheered for him. He made it first to the top of the tree and then he took that one step on the rope. It wobbled and he got scared, but he did it!! He had conquered the limitations he had set on himself and came out glorious!
That is AAVISHKAAR for you!
Mobile No: 09908061222