Transforming India: Gandhi Fellowship and Grass root renaissance

Posted on July 1, 2010 in Social Entrepreneurship

Ranjeet Kumar:

A sincere effort can culminate into a revolutionary saga. This is what happens when a vision transforms into a mission and the seed of social renaissance is sown. The vision of Aditya Natraj got a platform of reality when the idea of transforming grass root education was supported by Ajay Piramal head of Nicholas Piramal. This was how Kaivalya Education Foundation got initiated.  It was a generous step, an extension of what is called Corporate Social Responsibility.

The idea was to penetrate deep into the rural areas and target school headmasters for leadership training and creating a fun filled fearless learning atmosphere where asking questions was no more taboo and mistakes of students are encouraged. The idea was to give an out of box learning module on the pattern of interest of students. Parallel to it was to bring a shift in the psyche of headmasters from a Hitler type mindset to passionate human being.

The flag bearers of the experimental module were young motivated and learned individuals that were selected by a rigorous screening committee to transform India to Bharat. Though the fellowship was not very lucrative but the passion driven individuals could seek opportunity in rural chaos. The task was not easy; the pattern and beliefs of headmasters were the bottleneck. Their stubborn and adamant nature forbade them to learn something new, that too from young people. But these commandos of educational renaissance made it possible. In the remotest villages of Rajsthan and Ahmadabad the saga continues. Thus now one can witness a viral transformation in educational scenario throughout the country this was what Piramal and Natraj has at the back of their mind. They propose to establish universities that can train these headmasters in totality so that none of the kicked out students from schools is christened as dropouts.

I had the opportunity to witness the graduation ceremony of the first batch of Gandhi fellowship on 26th June 29, 2010. To my surprise I realized what young minds can do when they experience the gentle souls of headmasters. The extreme humility that Ajay had was great! I remember his message not to let ego come to your mind when you are doing something unique. Discharge off your duties with passion and responsibility. He further added that the corporate world awaits such diamond souls who have been polished in the microenvironment of rural India. His passion for being the ambassador of transforming India to Bharat is bound to fructify by the increasing lot of talented youth sharing common passion, mission and dream.

The writer is a visiting researcher at Uppsala University, Sweden.

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