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Masterclass With Fearless Educator
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Masterclass With Fearless Educator

Author: Future School Leaders

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A Forward Thinking Masterclass Podcast Series For School Educators.
58 Episodes
Having completed my training in Waldorf education at Emerson College, Forest Road, East Sussex, U.K in 1986, I returned to India and worked in a mainstream school for three years. As a Waldorf educator I found a need to make changes in the method and delivery of education. I wished to implement an alternative way of education based on the teachings of the philosopher Rudolf Steiner and the philosophy of Waldorf education. Keshar Academy of Learning was born in 1992. It began with a playgroup which grew organically into a kindergarten and then into class 1 and subsequently all the way up to class 12, adding a class every year. In 2005 we became a Cambridge accredited school enabling us to offer the IGCSE, and the AS/A Levels Cambridge examinations. --- Send in a voice message:
Achyuta Samanta, after obtaining Master’s Degree in Chemistry in 1987 from Utkal University, started his career at 22 years of age. He has 30 years of teaching experience to his credit so far. Prof. Samanta went on to serve KIIT  as its first Chancellor and has had the distinction of being the youngest Chancellor of any Indian University. He served University Grants Commission (UGC) as Member for two consecutive terms (2008-11 & 2011-2014) and was a Member of the Executive Committee of All Indian Council for Technical Education (AICTE). He was also a member of several other Government of India bodies like, NCTE, ISTE, ISCA, COIR BOARD, CAPART and many more. He has been a Member of the Academic Council of Central University, Silchar, Assam and the Central University, Odisha. He was the first Indian to be Member of both UGC and AICTE simultaneously and the first Odia to become Member of UGC and many other statutory bodies. Currently he is the President of World Congress of Poets 2019. He has delivered nearly 100 motivational speeches, including convocation addresses and foundation day lectures, in different institutions and organizations across the country and the globe. Prof. Samanta has been conferred with 33 Honoris Causa Doctorate awards from different Universities across the globe. He has also been decorated with prestigious Civilian Awards from many countries including, Gusi Peace Prize International, the highest Civilian Award from Bahrain besides over 50 national and international and over 200 State honors and accolades. He is the Founder of Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT ) and Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), Bhubaneswar – the fully free and fully residential tribal institute. Starting modestly with an initial seed capital of Rs 5000/-, KIIT has grown into one of the most promising Universities imparting professional education in the Country with global acclaim having 27,000 students from across the country and abroad. KIIT also runs a 2000 bedded multispeciality hospital and an attached Medical College. KISS has become the largest Residential Tribal Institute in the World and is home for 50,000 tribal children (30,000 pursuing education and 20,000 passed out). Both KIIT and KISS found a place in the Limca Book of Records as well as Guinness World Records in many counts. Prof. Achyuta Samanta, who had lost his father at the age of four, before he could know the significance of the world, was pushed into the mire of abject poverty.  Today, he is a legend, an iconic educationist, an emblem of service to humanity, a beacon of light for social transformation, and a redeemer of the fallen, the oppressed and the marginalized. With huge contributions in the field of education, health, art, culture, literature, rural development, social service and spiritualism his journey in life is not only awe-inspiring but soul-awakening for millions of poverty-stricken youths all over the globe. He has converted the remote village ‘Kalarabank’, Cuttack into a Smart Village and the entire Manpur Panchayat into a model Panchayat (cluster of villages). He has already started working to establish 12 branches of KISS in different districts, besides establishing KISS-Delhi for the underprivileged sections of the society. Besides providing around 10,000 direct employment in KIIT and KISS, he has created over 1,00,000 indirect employment and more than 100 successful entrepreneurs across the country. His hobby is to give happiness and a smiling face to the millions of poor. Prof. Samanta has been working relentlessly for Zero Poverty, Zero Hunger and Zero Illiteracy. --- Send in a voice message:
Mr. Prabhakaran has been in the education sector for 34 years. His rich experience in National (CBSE and ICSE) and International Curriculum (IB and IGCSE) has impacted not just the students but teachers too.  With his diverse knowledge in various academics feats, he has served as the Assistant Headmaster and Dean of Academics of Doon School, Dehradun. He actively enjoys curriculum development, pastoral care and counselling for students. Apart  from teaching   and school  administration,  Mr. Prabhakaran has been deeply involved in social  and  community   services,  including   Round  Square  programmes,   for  helping underprivileged   students.   He has led the students and teachers of the in setting up and re-building damaged    schools in the   earthquake     and    flash-flood    affected     areas   of   Uttarkashi,   Chamoli, Rudra Prayag, areas of Himalayas (Uttarkahnd)   and Wayaad, Gudalur and other parts of Western ghats (Kerala and  Tamilnadu ).  Mr. Prabhakaran is a post graduate in Geography with a degree in education.  He was the university rank holder during graduation and a recipient of the National Merit Scholarship for post-graduation. He started his career as a Lecturer, and later worked as the resource person for Kerala State Institute of Education.  He believes in motivating and assisting students to reach their full academic potentials. For Mr. Prabhakaran, values such as humility, self-discipline, spirit of service are important in shaping the character of the individual and the nation.  Mr. Prabhakaran is an avid trekker and has organized student expeditions through the length and breadth of the Himalayas.  Mr. Prabhakaran is the 20th Headmaster of The Lawrence School, Lovedale and is now impacting and changing students to be global leaders. --- Send in a voice message:
Craig has family connections with Asia which stretch back over five generations. His great grandmother was involved with the famous Chefoo School in northern China. Craig earned his BA degree in Intercultural Studies at Biola University, California, in 1984. He completed his M.Div. in Theology from the same university in 1986. He has a Ph.D. in Sociology from Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines. His doctoral dissertation focused on the introduction of women’s basketball to the Philippines by American educators, entitled The Social Construction of Bodies through Basketball during the American Occupation: 1906-1922, and was awarded the John F. Doherty, S.J. Award for Social Justice. Craig’s research interests lie at the intersection of sociology of the body, gender, and sport.  He currently serves as President of the International Sociological Association’s Research Committee on Sociology of the Body. He started his teaching career as a High School Teacher in La Habra, California. From 1988-1992 he worked in community development in a Muslim majority area of the southern Philippines, where he learned both Tagalog and the local language, Maguindanao.  From 1992 until 2004 he worked at Faith Academy, Manila, Philippines, first teaching Humanities in the High School, then as High School Principal and, for five years, as Superintendent of the entire school, guiding a team of  130 faculty staff and 700 students in K-12, one third of whom were boarding students.  From 2004 until 2012 he was Chair of the Social Sciences and Humanities Departments at Crown College, St. Bonifacius, Minnesota. He returned to Asia 2012-2016 to work as Deputy Dean and High School Principal at UPH University and High School, a flagship Christian institution in Jakarta, Indonesia with some 15,000 students at High School and University. From 2016-June 2019, Dr Cook was Dean of the School of Education at Simpson University, Redding, California, where he successfully led the school through complex accreditation procedures. Dr Cook is married to Jamie Williams, J.D.  They met in Indonesia, where she was teaching International Law in the Faculty of Law at Universitas Pelita Harapan.  She earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Literature and Letters from the University of Oklahoma and her Juris Doctorate from Vermont Law School.  A licensed attorney in the states of New York and Texas, she has practiced family, criminal, and commercial law. Prior to joining Woodstock, Jamie was a professor in the History and Political Science Department at Simpson University in Redding, California, where she taught Political Science and Criminology. She was also an adjunct professor teaching Restorative Justice and International Law at Le Tourneau University in Longview, Texas. In addition, she served as Program Coordinator for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), a nonprofit organization that advocates for the best interests of abused and neglected children in the foster care system. In Craig’s own words: “I have been an athlete and participant in vigorous physical exercise for the whole of my adult life, being a regular basketball and tennis player and a tennis coach for many years. We live at present in a mountainous area of Northern California, where we enjoy hiking on the many beautiful trails… The heart of Christian leadership is being a servant to others, as evidenced by Jesus’ washing the disciples’ feet and commanding us to do the same.” --- Send in a voice message:
Mr Peter Bird originates from a small rural village in South Cambridgeshire, UK. His humble beginnings started in Corporation housing and his father was known locally as the Professor because he was the only one they knew that had attended Technical College in Cambridge. Until the age of 16 he attended school within his village and had never traveled outside of the UK. Mr Bird left school with minimum qualification and was in a real sense a school failure. Why did a modern day successful school Superintendent fail school? Well in Mr Bird’s opinion he did not fail school, the education system failed him. The memory game of traditional education kills children's creativity and passion to learn which is why he hated school. Mr Bird then started on a long road to prove his intelligence despite his school results resulting in a varied career in many fields which he will share with you. The connecting factor in all his career successes has been his sheer determination to not accept the current system or the situation he has encountered. Instead he has forged on to achieve and now pioneers to bring about change in education which he remains passionate about. During his career in educational leadership, Mr Bird has been the founding Principal in several countries including England, Qatar and currently The International Village School,Channi, India. IVS opened its doors in August 2018 and by JUne 2020 achieved IB World School statues in under two years, and during a global pandemic. Mr Bird’s message is simple, education IS the gateway to personal growth and career success, BUT only if the education system fits the pupils and not forces the pupils to fit the education system. --- Send in a voice message:
Originally from Denmark, Allan has over four decades of experience as an educator; and over three decades of experience in senior administrative positions in Denmark. He is armed with an M.A. in Danish language, literature and history as well as a Master’s in Public Administration. He has taught Danish language and literature as well as communication and IT. Allan is a visionary leader in the field of education and believes that Preparing students to succeed in a rapidly changing 21st-century environment begins in schools. He is the Founder and Principal of the globally recognised Orestad Gymnasium School in Copenhagen, Denmark, which is recognised amongst the 15 most innovative schools globally. The school was the first globally to go 100% digital and has been visited by eminent personalities like Prince Harry. The school is renowned for its’ innovative learning environment with open spaces instead of traditional classrooms, its strong emphasis on media skills, fully digitalised teaching material and innovative teaching practices. According to him non- traditional teaching environments form the backbone of the teaching-learning process. The digital environment also encourages a more personalised style of teaching. He has been an active participant in public debate in Denmark on topics related to education and challenges faced by youth. He has also presented at international seminars and conferences on 21st-century learning spaces and learning, technology in teaching and the “why of education” in the 21st century. He is one of the founders of the Global Schools Alliance, which is a select gathering of innovative schools. Allan is also a member of the Academy of the Finnish organization HundrEd, which collects, shares and rewards innovative school projects from all over the world.   Allan is one of the founding members of the Chaman Bhartiya School . The school will prepare students for living and leading in India in the 21st century. To realise this vision Allan is one of the key contributors towards the development of the unique “We Lead” curriculum which incorporates development of academic competencies along with 21st century competencies as well as leadership skills. The school will also incorporate best practices on open learning spaces, innovative teaching practices as well as incorporate technology to personalise learning. “What’s important is for the teacher to talk less and let the students work more. The teacher has to organise processes that encourage that to happen. The architecture of the school forces the teacher to do just that.” says Allan. --- Send in a voice message:
Qualification: M. Sc., B. Ed. (special education), Diploma in counselling Work experience: 1. Head teacher, at Marudam farm school since June, 2009 2. Science, Maths and language teacher at primary, middle and secondary levels at Olcott memorial High school from 1996 – 2009 3. Worked with street children in Dharavi, Mumbai, 1993 -1996 Languages: Tamizh, English, Hindi, Malayalam (only speaking) Interests: Dance, Music, Theatre, Crafts, all traditional art and craft forms, Environment I was part of an Action research programmed conducted by the British council, called the – Teaching English to the disadvantaged [TED]. This was a very useful and educative programme for all of us. Employment generation Working in close contact with Hemant from Centre of scientific research in Auroville, we created a model of employment generation with a group of my ex- students, replacing kerosene lamps with solar lanterns in the shops on the Elliot’s beach. This was a very simple but impactful move as it had great beneficial health impact for the shop keepers. With kerosene lamps they were inhaling a lot of sooty smoke. It was of course very beneficial for the environment. Hemant went on to win a Green Oscar based on this work. Child safety I began to work towards child safety, preventing child sexual abuse, working in close connection with Lois Engelbrect an International expert on the issue. We have been in close contact for nearly two decades and work in close collaboration. I regularly hold child safety workshops for teachers and students of various schools. Marudam farm school - from 2009 As a family, we moved to Thiruvannamalai, in 2009. My partner and I along with a British, Israeli couple and a few friends formed a new trust, called “The forest way”. The forest way is involved in afforesting the sacred Arunachala hill, running an Organic farm and the Marudam farm school. More about the forest way is available on – As a founder member and Head teacher of the Marudam farm school, which started, in 2009, with 20 children and has around 120 children now, I have been involved in all aspects of running the school, from curriculum development, teacher training, teaching at all levels, creation of education resources, time tabling, administration, Education department interfaces etc. I regularly conduct workshops for various schools and work closely with Azim Premji foundation in Pondicherry. I have been conducting the annual craft week in Marudam farm school for 8 years now, in which traditional crafts people and artisans from all over come and teach children from various schools these skills. It is one of the most popular activities in Marudam. More about Marudam farm school at – --- Send in a voice message:
"A social entrepreneur from heart, Shibani is the Co founder of ‘Parvarish - The Museum School’, an innovative education Project of OASiS. As a Founding Member of OASiS - A Social Innovations Lab, Shibani has been at the core of all education innovations in the organisation. After completing her Masters in English Literature, and Bachelor in Education, she thought of doing something different, to educate masses, not classes. She started a Museum based School to teach underprivileged children through Museum Exhibits in the year 2005. She collaborated with 5 museums of her city and began the journey. Her journey began with 40 children 15 years back, and today there are approx 100 children from 10 slums of Bhopal attending her school regularly. More than 4500 children have benefitted from this initiative of her. Some of them are now pursuing Engineering, Science, Commerce, Arts, Pharmacy and Fashion Designing undergraduate courses, some are pursuing Performing Arts, some have started their own Businesses, and some have joined back as Teachers. She has received many awards, out of which the project ‘The Museum School’ won the UNESCO Asia-Pacific EDUCATION INNOVATION AWARD 2016 in Beijing, and has been listed under '100 inspiring Global Innovations in Education’ by HundrEd Finland. --- Send in a voice message:
Vaibhav Chhabra is a mechanical engineer by education but a carpenter by passion. A graduate from Boston University, Vaibhav spent the first 2 years of his career at EyeNetra, a startup from MIT Media Labs, building portable Virtual Reality based eye diagnostic devices. While working with the rural community in India for his eye diagnostic prototype, Vaibhav founded ‘Makers Asylum.’ Maker’s Asylum is a community space focussed on fostering innovation through hands-on learning. It also provides access to an ecosystem of stakeholders which includes Governments, Businesses, Incubators/Accelerators, Investors and subject matter experts. The space houses various labs that are co-located in order to facilitate prototyping of ideas that are interdisciplinary in nature. Vaibhav essentially coupled his degree with his passion to create the first community Makerspace in India. The key focus of this space is to foster education in areas of sustainability and disability. The flagship program of Maker’s Asylum, STEAM school, running for the last 2 years in collaboration with the French embassy in India, brings together 150 global participants that solve and prototype for the UN Sustainable Development Goals. He also runs a similar program for the differently abled community. Both programs together have resulted in 29 high impact global projects that are in various phases of prototyping. The space has trained over 3000 people in the area of digital fabrication globally. The French President and the government has accredited him as a Young leader in this regard. In his leisure time Vaibhav enjoys making furniture, photography and winning at ping pong. He is also the Chair for innovation and entrepreneurship at Young Indians – Confederation of Indian Industries and a Global Shaper at the World Economic Forum. --- Send in a voice message:
Dr Urvashi Sahni is a social entrepreneur, women rights activist and educationist. Through her various organizations, she has been working for the rights of children and women for over three decades. She is a leading expert in school governance, curriculum reform and teacher training with a special focus on girls’ education and the use of technology in education. Dr Sahni is a non-resident fellow at the Center for Universal Education - Brookings Institution. She has been recognized by the Obama Foundation Global Girls Alliance and the Clinton Foundation as a Change Maker. In 2017, she was declared the Social Entrepreneur of the Year India by the Schwab-Jubilant Bhartiya Foundation, and joined the international fellowship of Schwab social entrepreneurs. Dr Sahni was awarded the Ashoka Fellowship in the year 2011. She received Berkeley’s Haas International Award for her efforts to reform education in India and bolster education for girls in the year 1994. Dr Sahni was also invited to be an honorary member of the Clinton Global Initiative. She was also a member of the sub-committee on school education of the Chief Minister's Advisory Council in Rajasthan (2013 - 18). She founded Suraksha, a women rights organisation, in 1983 in Uttar Pradesh, India. She is the founding president and CEO of the Study Hall Educational Foundation (SHEF), under which she has established three K-12 schools including Prerna Girls School, providing affordable high quality rights-based education to over 1000 girls from urban slums. SHEF directly provides education to over 4000 students including middle class urban children, disadvantaged girls and boys from poor areas, out-of-school children, and rural children. She is the co-founder and director of the Digital Study Hall, which extends the pedagogical practices developed by the foundation to rural and urban schools in Uttar Pradesh and reaches out to over 1,00,000 students and teachers. A prolific social entrepreneur, Dr Sahni also founded DiDi’s, a social enterprise generating sustainable livelihoods for women, where she employs 65 Prerna graduates and their mothers. She has a Masters and a PhD in Education from the Graduate School of Education in UC Berkeley. She has presented academic papers at many national and international forums and universities, including Columbia, NYU, Chicago, and Berkeley, and has given Keynote addresses at international drama and education conferences in Edinburgh, Jamaica, Plymouth, Toronto, Northern Ireland and New York. She has published extensively on Critical Pedagogy, Theatre in Education, Feminist Pedagogy, Child Cultures, and Girls’ Education and Empowerment. Her current research focuses on developing and scaling her Girls’ Empowerment Program in India with the help of curricular reform, teacher training, and affordable technology. Her latest book – Reaching for the Sky: Empowering Girls through Education – draws on her 14 years of work with Prerna Girls School, and argues that education can be truly transformative if it addresses the everyday reality of girls’ lives and responds to their special needs and challenges with respect and care --- Send in a voice message:
Radhakanta is the School Leader of Chirag School. He is a Stronge ducation professional with a Master's degree focused in Education from Azim Premji University, Bangalore. He is a experienced School Leader with a demonstrated history of working in the education management industry. He has been an educator for the last 10 years in various capacities and in various national and international schools. He is a lifelong learner and leader who believes in the value of building trust in children through a fear-free and joyful learning environment and is passionate about teaching in the educational setup as a means to create a learning organizational culture across the organisation. Work Experience 1. Working as school principal at Chirag School, Nainital (2019 onwards) 2. Worked as a teacher at Mirambika, New Delhi (2009 to 2013) 3. Worked as a teacher at Heritage School, Gurgaon (2013 to 2017) 4. Worked as a consultant at Foundation for MSME cluster, New D --- Send in a voice message:
Born in 1966, Bodhirupa Sinha spent her childhood and part of her college days at Visva Bharati, Santiniketan, the Ashram set up by Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, which later became a Central University of repute, specialising in indepth research in Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, World Literature, different kinds of art forms and above all, in educational pedagogy. Later she moved to Kolkata in pursuit of higher education. The ambience of her childhood imbibed in Bodhirupa certain inclinations and values, which have paved the path for her future life. Bodhirupa has been actively associated with the world of education initially as a teacher and later as an Academic Administrator since the past three decades. For the last fifteen years, Bodhirupa Sinha has been associated with Patha Bhavana, Visva Bharati at Santiniketan in the capacity of Principal . In her long career as an educationist and academic visionary, and also as someone deeply influenced by the Educational Philosophy of Tagore, Bodhirupa has delved into the world of education extensively, in particular Pre- Primary, Primary, Secondary and Higher secondary education. Bodhirupa Sinha has attended numerous seminars , conferences, workshops etc at home and abroad and has several publications to her credit --- Send in a voice message:
Director of Engineering - Zoho Corporation. After dropping out of IIT-Madras as an Engineer in Electronics and Electrical Communication, Rajendran was part of the founding team at Zoho Corporation, then called Vembu Systems. Later, he spent seven years at Xerago, Asia's largest New-Age Marketing Entity, as their Chief Algorithms Officer, managing projects and services for clients including Citibank and Sify. After rejoining Zoho Corporation in 2004, he has been serving a triple role at the company. He spearheads mobile development at Zoho, with a multi-talented team that builds mobile Apps for its 45 million+ customers. He is the President at Zoho Schools of Learning, Zoho's own ongoing social experiment seen by many as a viable alternative to conventional college education. He is also a TEDx speaker and a technology evangelist who tries to share hard-earned advice and best practices from his two dozen years of professional experience. Beyond work, he is a contra-academician at heart. Feeling strongly that the education system in India needs a reboot, he also walked the talk, doing his own small bit by ‘free-schooling’ his 20-year-old son at home. His son graduated out of Zoho Schools of Learning, and is now his colleague, at Zoho Corp! Short form: Rajendran is the business solutions evangelist at Zoho Corporation. His vast expertise in conceiving and nurturing creative concepts into full-fledged software applications and his role as President at Zoho Schools of Learning, Zoho’s ongoing experiment in alternative education, make him a much sought-after speaker and panelist. A diehard Apple fan, he believes in aspiring to be ‘insanely great’ at anything he attempts. --- Send in a voice message:
CEO, TEACH FOR INDIA Shaheen grew up in 5 countries around the world, and returned to India when she was 18 to start Akanksha . F or 17 years, she worked with teachers and students, building Akanksha to provide children from low- income communities the kind of education that would maximize their greatest potential. Today, Akanksha serves 9300 children through their School Project and after-school centres in Mumbai and Pune. In 2008, Shaheen founded Teach For India , with an audacious vision of providing an excellent education to all children across India through building a pipeline of leaders committed to ending educational inequity in India. Today, Teach For India directly impacts approximately 32,000 children across seven regions in India. Shaheen has also created projects like the Maya Musical , the Kid's Education Revolution which explore student leadership, creating platforms for student voice and partnership, and TFIx , which is a year-long incubator program for passionate entrepreneurs who are willing to adapt Teach For India’s model to their context and region in rural areas. Shaheen serves on the boards of Akanksha Foundation, and Simple Education Foundation. Shaheen has been an Ashoka Fellow, a Global Leader for Tomorrow at the World Economic Forum, and an Asia Society 21 Leader . She is the author of the book, Redrawing India and the Miss Muglee Children’s Books. She has a Bachelor’s Degree from St. Xavier's College, Mumbai and a Master’s Degree from the University of Manchester --- Send in a voice message:
Current involvements:  In the year 2003, Shukla started the Parkirma Humanity Foundation - A roof-top school in Rajendranagar in Bengaluru with 165 students from the slums. Today, with over four schools and one junior college, Parikrma Humanity Foundation continues to offer high quality education and support to 1500 children from four orphanages and over 80 slums in the city and was awarded the No.1 Social Impact School in India 2019-20. A TED speaker, Shukla Bose has been contributing towards shaping and influencing education policies at the State and National level. Shukla is a member of the Karnataka Knowledge Commission (KKC) - headed by Dr. K Kasturirangan. She is the academy Member, HundrED Organization, Finland. She has published three papers in international journals and contributes opinion pieces for national dailies on education and policies.  She has been nominated as the chairperson to draft the Karnataka school education policy, and works with the Karnataka State Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), IQ Education Excellence Task Force, to check on quality in education. A member of the national CII Education Committee, Shukla helps in drafting the national policy for schools. She is on the board of a few private and public sector organizations for prevention of sexual harassment of women at workplace.  Past work experiences: She was with Oberoi hospitality group for 13 years and was the CEO of RCI for 11 years. She volunteered with Mother Teresa for 7 years.  Her experience with slum and street children greatly encouraged her to make the development of under-served children as her mission in life.  Awards and recognition: Shukla was awarded the Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 1995, the Bharat Gaurav Award in 1996 and the Woman of the Year award in 2000.  A TED speaker, Shukla was awarded the Pride of Karnataka Roundtable International in 2015.  She was nominated as a Bangalore Hero in a Bangalore Mirror (a national daily) campaign in 2014.  Qimpro Platinum Standard Award in Education in 2017.  Woman Achievers Award 2018 from FICCI-FLO. Times Power Women award 2019. She was recognized for her contribution to the education of the poor by the Save Government Schools initiative 2019.  She was awarded the international Excellence Award for Education Development from the Global Achievers Foundation and the Parivathan Inspire Awards for women and child development in 2019. --- Send in a voice message:
Founder at Flurn, Co-founder at Sahaj Natural Learning Centre, and Defender of children's right to Freedom, Respect and Play After having completed her chartered accountancy from Ahmedabad, Ishani started her career with Ernst & Young in Mumbai and the stint lasted for a year till getting married and shifting base to Udaipur. Ishani’s heart and passion have been elsewhere: she always had a strong urge to inculcate life skills in young adults and, with this intention, founded Flurn in 2011 in Udaipur; ever since its inception, Ishani has been conducting workshops for young children. Her early childhood explorations began with her motherhood. When her daughter was 5 months old, Ishani read about the life-transforming tools on respectful parenting by Magda Gerber and her life started evolving. She found answers to the questions that had been haunting her throughout the growing up years. As she introspected about her own life journey and what she had been learning, a realisation dawned upon her that if we need to change the world, we need to re-imagine how we treat our infants and toddlers. She commenced facilitating process-art workshops and Kids Life Studio workshops for the youngest children before co-founding Sahaj in Udaipur. Sahaj is her activism, it is her way of defending the child’s right to play, it is her way of advocating for a more equal world for children. It is her reform project to transform the world by gifting secure, loving, trustful, joyful formative years to children. When she observes children learn naturally and joyfully at Sahaj, it gives her an assurance that the young children of today will create a ripple effect in the world by upholding the democratic principles of Sahaj while leading a happy and content adult life ahead Her experience of being a conscious parent has inspired her to conduct parent cafes, listening circles in Udaipur, Calicut and Bangalore. At Sahaj, she continues to work with parents by empowering them with highly effective and useful tools to be respectful and conscious parents. --- Send in a voice message:
Founder Director – The Teacher Foundation MBA (Education Management) with distinction - University of Leicester, UK; Diploma in Journalism with distinction - Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, New Delhi B.Ed. - Delhi University; B.Sc. (Botany Honours) - Delhi University Maya has been in the field of education for over 3 decades. Her areas of professional experience include conceptualizing, designing and implementing a wide range of school and teacher-related projects and services – including the Wipro Applying Thought in Schools Teacher Empowerment Project initiated in 2001 and Safe & Sensitive Schools initiated in 2009 and most recently the development of the Indian Social and Emotional Learning Framework (ISELF) – an age-banded set of standards for Social & Emotional Learning for Indian schools. In 1988, she set up the Newspaper in Education Programme for The Times of India in Bangalore. Her interests include school effectiveness research and whole school improvement, teacher development, collaborative approaches to teaching and learning, interpersonal communication in the classroom, leadership and strategic management of schools.  She has been a full-time teacher trainer since 1996, conducting professional development programmes for heads and teachers of schools across India and abroad. She has trained several thousand teachers across the past 20 years. She has presented at leading education conferences both nationally and internationally. She is an Accredited Teacher Trainer for Jenny Mosley Consultancies (UK) for training teachers on Whole School Quality Circle Time across schools in India. Maya has written on issues concerning educational practice and management in leading publications like The Times of India, The Economic Times, Education World, Teacher Plus, Mentor etc. She has written a chapter on Addressing Teacher Quality and Training in a book titled Accelerating Access to Quality Education, a Brookings India 2015 publication. She has also been been a member of the British Council India's Policy Think Tank for Continuing Professional Development. She was also invited to be on the National Technical Committee set up by National University for Educational Planning and Administration(NUEPA) for developing Standards for School Leaders. --- Send in a voice message:
Dr.(Mrs.) Shayama Chona “Awarded Padma Shri  and Padma Bhushan by the President of India, former Principal, Delhi Public School, RK Puram Dr.Shayama Chona,  Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan Awardee, is former Principal of Delhi Public School RK Puram, New Delhi - a world class institution.  Her efforts to break the barriers of schools to include the poor and the handicapped are unprecedented.  She has launched major initiatives to strengthen school teaching of STEM subjects: Science, Technology ,Engineering and Mathematics  which now also includes Arts and has moved from STEM to STEAM. She is a strong advocate of critical thinking and believes that it should be promoted since childhood by parents and teachers alike.  Dr. Chona has been serving as a member of over 99 Advisory Boards, Committees , Educational Institutions and is a member of UNESCO. She has been associated with the Special Olympics, Concerned Action Now’ and the Society for Human Development .She has been named in the Limca Book of Records 2007 as the woman who has received the highest number of awards. She firmly believes and lives by the principle that “We also live in a wider world, a world in which we bear enormous responsibility”.  Dr. Chona has given concrete shape and direction to her transcendent principles, by setting up 3 centres for the mentally challenged: ‘Tamana Special Centre’, Tamana‘Nai Disha: Skill Development Centre’ and the Tamana ‘Autism Centre’.  As their Founder-member, she has been working for the upliftment of the multiple-handicapped children since 1970, and celebrates humanity with the dictum, “Numberless are the world’s wonders, but none more wonderful than man”. Not only has her contribution been recognized and felicitated time and again, her investment in the field of education and social welfare has given concrete shape  directly to the nation’s education policies and welfare programmes.   She is the proud recipient of over 65 awards, the most prestigious being the Padma Shri in 1998, Padma Bhushan in 2008,two National Awards in 1997 and 1994 and two State Awards in 1993 for her investment in the field of education and social welfare. For over 5 decades, Dr. Chona has served the community and the society at large, with distinction and timeless dedication.  Her mission to educate and empower both the well-to-do and the needy, the abled alongwith the disabled, and the ‘haves’ with the ‘have-nots’, has never known any boundaries, and has led to the full realization of the human potential. Overall, Dr. Chona’s work may be best described as a confluence of deep and abiding compassion for everyone and humility in the exercise of vast responsibility.  She indeed stands among the very best. --- Send in a voice message:
Ph.D. in Agriculture from Indian Agricultural Research Institute BSc (Ag) and MSc (Ag) from Andhra Pradesh Agricultural University  Current work:  Executive Director, Centre for Sustainable Agriculture Expert Director, Sahaja Aharam Producer Company Earlier selections and work experience 1995: Indian Revenue Service (IRS) 1996: Agricultural Research Service (ARS) till 2004  Contacts:,  Focus of work • Working on public policy issues impacting on food systems and farmers livelihoods and a framework to ensure income security for farmers • Working with farmers in AP, Telangana, Maharashtra in establishing ecologically and economically sustainable agriculture models • Building a Community marketing System ‘Sahaja Aharam’ linking farmer cooperatives directly to consumers. • Working on building rural entrepreneurship • Working on Open Source Seed systems • Working as a resource organisation supporting the programs of state and central governments. Currently working Government of Andhra Pradesh in promoting natural farming, with Society for Elimination of Poverty, Telangana, with Maharashtra State Livelihoods Mission in building the capacities of the staff and organisation involved in the program. • Working with NABARD in supporting establishment and strengthening of over 120 farmer producer organisations in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. • Initiated ‘Kisan Mitra’ to improve the last mile delivery of all support services and their governance. Currently working in three districts of Telangana and one district in Andhra Pradesh • Started ‘Grameen Academy’ which runs regular courses on Agroecological approaches, farmer producer organisations and Rural business enterprises, public policy for agriculture Awards • 3rd Badshah Khan Memorial Award by ITM University, Gwalior -2019 • Rytunestham Lifetime Achievement Award-2019 • Won best rural innovation award in Maharashtra Rural Innovation Award in 2014 for ‘Community Managed Sustainable Agriculture’ • Won best rural innovation award in Bihar Rural Innovation Award in 2014 for ‘Non Pesticidal Management’ • Won World Bank Development Market Place Award in 2005 Others • Author of several books and articles on sustainable agriculture and public policy CSA work featured in 8th Episode of Satyamev Jayate ‘Toxic food’ --- Send in a voice message:
Supriya Joshi, Pioneer of homeschooling movement in India & Co-founder of Indian Association of Homeschoolers Presenter & Panelist to National Conferences on Alternative Education Presenter at TED for Pursuit of Happiness Worked on remedial education of hundreds of youth in various categories like slow learners, dyslexic children, cancer patients, street children to name a few Work is recognised by leading newspaper, AIR & television channels --- Send in a voice message:
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