Catching Up with Ek Kadam Aur’s 2020 Interns

This summer, the MIT-India program was delighted to partner with Ek Kadam Aur to offer virtual internships to students interested in pursuing work in the fields of education and social impact.

Founded by Satish Tripathi (former MIT postdoc in toxicology, genetics, and chemical engineering), Ek Kadam Aur (EKA) Foundation is a non-profit organization that works to empower underprivileged children in India and Nepal through education-based initiatives, state-of-the-art technology, and access to healthcare. We caught up with two of EKA’s interns, Indrayud Mandal and Mercedes Riley, to learn more about their continued work with EKA and the impact their efforts had on the organization.

Indrayud Mandal (MIT System Design and Management ‘21) worked on EKA’s “Technology Project” team to research economically feasible assistive technologies and apps which can be used by visually-challenged students. In his video testimonial, Indrayud reflects on the value of understanding the problems faced by the visually impaired from a grassroots level, and how his summer internship has led him to work with EKA on his thesis.

Mercedes Riley (MIT Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Philosophy ‘20) worked with EKA as a Strategy and Impact Intern throughout the summer and fall. Her work culminated in a report analyzing the impact of the Train the Trainers Program, which examines problems in government-run primary schools in India and how they may lead to a low quality of education and high dropout rate. Working alongside another MIT-India intern, Robert Koirala (MIT Math and Physics ‘22), Mercedes’ report laid out suggestions for the future of the program.

Additionally, the internship gave her an opportunity to teach EKA’s High School Leadership students on topics in neuroscience and health and wellness. “My time at Ek Kadam Aur has been a wonderful way to meet people from around the world and work together on uplifting those who need it most.” To learn more about Mercedes’ experience, visit her post on EKA’s blog: “Life as a Strategy and Impact Fellow at Ek Kadam Aur”