February 19, 2018

“You have been rusticated for copying. Get out of the class, you have been caught copying. Your marks have been deducted for copying.”

These sound familiar to you, do they? I have heard these as a student in school and now as a teacher as well. Have we always seen copying as an offence or have we failed to observe that all of us learnt through imitation or copying at points in our lives?

Imitation plays an important role in observational learning. Infants imitate and learn simple facial expressions and actions. Players imitate the actions of skilled players and become adept at their game.

People have been known to learn through three models of imitation:

Live model — A live model demonstrates a behaviour personally which the observer imitates. For example, yoga students imitate the c...

February 13, 2018

Gentle breeze by the lakeside. Women and Men of all walks of life. Short eats being sold. Minimal yet stunning stage set-up. Storytellers from around the world sharing their journeys through music. This experience would then shift to a larger space in the evenings where more storytellers, performers would share their stories and involve themselves in a dialogue with the hundreds who were turning up to listen to them. All of this for free-the only investment being time from our side and this was a more-than-worthy investment in a long time. I am talking about the Udaipur World Music Festival 2018.

I was fortunate enough to be witness to this spectacle and did take in a lot of learning. I am thankful to a dear friend who knew one of the bands back from college and got us a privilege...

February 11, 2018

I was born on July 19, 1991. July 19, 2017 was special day — not only it was my birthday but it was the first time on my birthday there was no electricity in the house. There was power cut at 8 am & it came back at 7 pm. As there was no electricity, I was not able to charge my phone. No phone = no internet browsing, so I had 2 options.

1st one

and 2nd one — my family’s favourite topic ‘Ravi, what are going to do with/in your life?’

For a change, I choose 2nd option. I started thinking — I am a Japanese language teacher working as a freelancer & I earn pretty well. Now, what I want to do with/in my life? After pondering for an hour, I decided to open a school because

I love working with children,

I have been told by my classmates during school & under graduation that I explain better than the te...

February 9, 2018

The ideological framework with which colonial rule in India was imagined was tied to the evolution and perception of British society. The belief of being a civilized society guaranteeing freedom, a just rule of law and universal rights to its citizens made it paramount moreover necessary to justify their conquest and rule of India. On the face of considerable support and criticism, the British had to answer questions as to their purpose, motives and adopted roles in the lives of the Indian people and the Indian society. They answered these questions in numerous ways.

It is important to keep in mind the historical background of the British and understand their desire to spread the idea of civilization across the world. In their conquest of Ireland for purely material reasons, the British emb...

February 9, 2018

An article that appeared in the Foreign Policy magazine in December, 2015 spoke about a top-secret nuclear city in a tone reminiscent of the Nuclear Arms Race in the early 1950s between Soviet Russia and the United States of America. The article while building the narrative of the geopolitical interplays between India, China and Pakistan manages to bring in the localized plot of the “top- secret nuclear city”- the kavals of Challakere (Levy, 2015 ). The Science City, as the government wishes to call it will make way for the Defence Research and Development Organization, Indian Institute of Science, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, ISRO and a private solar power company on 10, 000 acres of rich Amrit Mahal Kaval grasslands. The acquisition of these grasslands in Challakere taluk in Chitradurg...

February 9, 2018

1. Introduction

The Supreme Court of India after dismissing the plea of Co-operative Housing Society of Mumbai to regularize floors built in violation of the sanctioned building plans in 2013 expressed their regret over the increasing number of illegal construction in cities and the government authorities move to regularize them (PTI, 2013). This assertion of the Supreme Court was preceded and followed by several High Courts criticizing state and local governments for circumventing planning and regularizing illegal developments (PTI, 2015) (Rohith, 2013). Numerous PILs and judgements of the Supreme Court and High Courts in states have highlighted the repercussions of regularizing developments without taking into account the stress on already crumbling infrastructure, finite resources and th...

February 5, 2018

Impatiently awaiting a phone call. Checking for messages constantly. Sleeplessness. All clear signs of a breakup or more clearly say an attachment too strong. I was beginning to forget what I was here in Kotra for. Lesson Plans remained as Just Plans. Classroom sessions were becoming forceful.

I had to gather myself and start envisioning and working towards the larger purpose again. My crisis was a speck in comparison to the crisis I was being witness to.

The number of children coming to school had reduced. Digging deeper into the reason, I found out that it had been quite sometime since the supply of ration for their mid-day meal had stopped. The children were sitting hungry post namesake lunch break. This was unfair to them on all grounds as even the teachers...

January 29, 2018

“Peace on Earth will come to stay, When we live Christmas everyday.” — Helen Steiner Rice.

I came across this quote while trying to do a bit of research on why Festivals have been such an integral part of any culture. How do so many people come together and celebrate, keeping aside all visible forms of hate, greed and what not.

I was fortunate enough to be witness to a “Mela” which happens here in Kotra amongst the Adivasi communities. It is a two day event where the entire community gets together, spend two entire days and nights with each other, eating, praying, singing, dancing. People of apparent other sects attend this “magical gathering” as well to get a “darshan”(sight) of the holy deities who are prayed to for the well being and prosperity of the village. Not a penny spent, not a pen...

January 25, 2018

Have you ever wondered why our classrooms back in school would be filled with boredom? The teacher would always be the grumpy, fearful one? I never really gave it a conscious thought before I started working as a fellow with Kshamtalaya Foundation, intervening in a Government School in Kotra, a scenic and experiential beauty of a place, otherwise projected to the outside world as the “kaala paani”.

Let alone lacking with teachers, infrastructure etc. I myself did not feel like i was in a school on the first day. The apparent “Gurus” sitting and “warming” the chairs, students with torn uniforms and visibly neglected, blackboards filled with what might seem Latin to the children and so on. I was to work here for the next two years. I had to do something about it. Not for myself, but for the c...

December 14, 2017

It is said that 65% of the population of India live in rural areas. The major concern across of educators in India is to make the present generation learners future-ready and achieving universal education. Relatively, India is young as a nation with around 28 million youth population being added every year. More than 50% of its population is below the age of 25 and more than 65% are aged below 35. In 2020, the average age of an Indian is expected to be 29 years, while it will be 37 for China and 48 for Japan.

After getting selected into the India Fellow Social Leadership Program, I got placed with Kshamtalaya Foundation. It is a non-profit organisation founded to support school children in disadvantaged settings so that they develop into socially and economically active young adults. We int...

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