Seven years ago, an outraged pioneer set out to narrow the education gap in India between the rich and the poor. Seven years later, Gourav Jaiswal’s social initiative Shikshalaya – a resource centre for rural students – claims to have made a difference to the lives of over 6,000 kids living in remote villages of India.
Self-confessed engineer eccentric Gourav Jaiswal attributes his small yet significant achievement to anger at the lack of curriculums, assessments and teacher training in Anganwadis. Anganwadis are resource centres located in every village and urban unit. Gourav noticed that they offered nothing to the children attending their programmes while private schools provided their students with polished education programmes. Watch his Josh Talk to find out why the reformist thinks that the bad reputation of rage is a misdiagnosis and how we can constructively channel anger to our greatest advantage.
In his Josh Talk, the social entrepreneur explains that he found his true calling in the field of education. “I always believed that education is the only sustainable change you can create, and so finally I decided to initiate Shikshalaya.”
Gourav’s NGO Agrini introduced multimedia techniques and the use of toy libraries in the school curriculums. However, the introduction of such a different curriculum and new training programs for the teachers didn’t come without a challenge. “Pre-school education was not even considered as a part of school education when we started. It took us time to convince people that it is one of the most important times when a child learns,” he says.
Agrini bagged the first prize in Social Innovation Competition “iPreneur” at Tata Institute Of Social Sciences, Mumbai.
Gourav’s initiative to accommodate children coming from all classes of society is premised on a very important social element – equality. A wise person once said, “a little spark can start a fire.” Hopefully, Gourav’s enterprise can ignite a spark in the hearts of the nation’s youth.