Inclusive Stem (I-Stem) is a group of young persons who are blind or visually impaired from India pursuing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and careers. Inspired by the challenges that many of us faced as STEM students in India, our goal is to make math and science education more accessible and inclusive in the country. We hope to do this through hands-on activities such as hackathons, advocacy and outreach initiatives, technical R&D and a strong community.
Our vision is a society where people with disabilities are no longer consumers of technology, but actively contribute to its advancement.
Meet Our Team
The core I-Stem team consists of nine members with a mix of backkgrounds, including current engineering students, alumni working in the tech industry and professionals working in disability and inclusion space for a long time.Abhisar Waghmare
Abhisar Waghmare is currently pursuing Bachelor of Technology in Computer Science and Engineering at National Institute of Technology, Surat. He completed 12th grade studying Science from Reliance Foundation School, Mouda(Nagpur). Despite being late blind, Abhisar, through the support from his family, teachers/mentors and colleagues is unshakably determined to serve the world in every way possible. He is highly passionate about the Universe(COSMOS) and the Technology and wants to expand his passion all over so as to lead and enable each and every person to grow in life thus allowing inclusion to flourish everywhere.Abhisar's Linkedin profile
Akashdeep Bansal is currently pursuing PhD in computer science from Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, focusing on reading accessibility for the visually impaired with the objective of making STEM eBooks accessible for the visually impaired. Prior to this, he completed M.Tech in Optoelectronics and Optical Communication from IIT Delhi and B.Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Uttar Pradesh Technical University, Lucknow. He is passionate about research that has social impact.Akashdeep's website
Kartik Sawhney is a software engineer at Microsoft on the Cortana team within AI and Research division. He graduated from Stanford University with a B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science, focusing on artificial intelligence and human computer interaction. His interests lie in the intersection of technology and business, and he enjoys machine learning, natural language processing, data mining, universal design, accessibility and assistive technologies. His past experience includes internships at IBM Research, Microsoft and Uber, as well as research experience with Stanford HCI group.
Kartik is passionate about using technology to bring about positive change, and has worked on several projects and initiatives over the years to empower people with disabilities. He is one of the first blind students in India to pursue math and science in the 11th grade, and worked with the CBSE and IITs to make their exams more accessible for the blind. In 2016, he also co-founded an award-winning social venture NextBillion.org, a mentorship program for students with disabilities interested in tech, which has completed over 85 mentorships across 10 countries so far.Kartik's website
Neha Trivedi is currently the only woman, non-vi member of the I Stem Core team. She feels strongly about diversity and problem solving! A psychology graduate (St. Xavier's College, Mumbai) with masters in Medical and Psychiatric Social Work from Tata Institute of Social Science, Neha has over a decade of experience in the disability sector. Her primary engagement has been with the Xavier's Resource Centre for the Visually Challenged (xrcvc.org) where she has worked on projects relating to changing legal frameworks in the country, facilitating inclusion programs in various organisations, conducting awareness events, R&D on accessibility solutions, inclusive school and higher education and guidance and support services for individuals with disabilities and their families.
Neha feels passionate about travelling, religion & spirituality and the need for humans to be able to celebrate differences without being threatened by them! She strongly believes in the power of simple logic and humanness to bring about change that benefits all.Neha's Linkedin profile
Paras Jain is currently in the pre-final year of his B.E in information technology at Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology (NSIT). Prior to this, he completed his high school from Mount Carmel in New Delhi, studying sciences. His experience includes internship at organizations such as Ernst & Young (EY). He is extremely passionate about technology and has been involved in social advocacy for the visually impaired for a long time now. His areas of interest include accessibility, software asset management, among others.Paras's Linkedin profile
Rishabh jain is currently a third year student studying Applied Mathematics at Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee. He is a data science enthusiast and has worked on several research projects in the area of machine learning and computer vision. He will be working at Microsoft as a summer intern this summer.Rishabh's Linkedin profile
Shakul Raj Sonker is a third year undergraduate student of Mathematics and Computer Science at Ashoka University. Prior to this, he completed his high school from DPS R.K.Puram. His areas of interest include data science, data analytics, abstract algebra, combinatorics and graph theory. His experience includes internships at DRONAH Foundation and TARALife Sustainability Solutions pvt. ltd.
Shakul believes that everyone should have access to a quality education irrespective of their disability, and thinks that technology is a great leveller. The goal of his life is to help make this world a better place to live with equal treatment and opportunity for everyone.
Sunil Choudhary is a final year B.Tech student of Computer Science and Engineering at Indian Institute of Technology, Jodhpur graduating in May 2018. His interests lie in computer networking and using machine learning to build new computer interfaces. He has keen interest in making STEM accessible alongwith other members of the group.
Besides technology, he likes listening to English music, learning keyboard and enjoy watching comedy movies. He is a great fan of Game of Thrones.
Venkatesh Potluri is an aspiring researcher in Computer Science, a composer and drummer. He is a Research Fellow at Microsoft Research India and is advised by Dr. Manohar Swaminathan. Broadly, his research interests are in the areas of HCI and Accessibility. His current focus is on improving developer productivity for visually impaired developers in GUI based programming environments.
Venkatesh is a B.Tech HONS and MS by Research (dual degree) graduate from International Institute of Information Technology Hyderabad and was advised by Dr. Kishore S Prahallad and Dr. Priyanka Srivastava on his thesis on Audio Rendering of Mathematical Content.Venkatesh's website
Besides the core team, the I-Stem community consists of nearly sixty people with and without disabilities who are passionate about equal opportunities for all. The community consists of aspiring blind science students, blind professors, company D&I representatives, non-profit professionals, software engineers and architects, sighted computer science students, parents of blind students interested in science, and several others. If you are interested in what we do, join us.