Kanavu turned 6!

Read our co-founder’s reflections from the six years of working with schools and communities of rural Cuddalore.

We have just finished our 6th academic year at our schools (4 of them catering to 1000 students) in rural Cuddalore.
When I started my work here, after 7 years at Teach For India (as a fellow & staff), I didn’t expect this work to be easy. But I didn’t realize that it is going to be this tough. A few learnings I have had / beliefs I have formed through these years are here:

(1) Change (one that withstands the test of time) is slow. It is slow because it involves people – their upbringings and their beliefs. It is slow because rural India operates at a very different (much slower) pace from its urban counterparts. It is slow because very few believe that a long term intervention in rural India is worth it.  
(2) In the why, what and how of an intervention, I feel it’s the ‘how’ that is crucial than the ‘why’ and the ‘what’ (sorry Simon Sinek, I have to disagree with you on this). Especially in education, every well meaning individual understands ‘why’ it is important to have a ‘good education’. Again, few well meaning people have their own conviction on ‘what’ a ‘good education’ is. One feels ‘SEL’ is the key component, another feels we need to put our money on ‘sports’ and so on and so forth. They have their reasons for why they feel thus and I respect them for that. I, however, feel that if one puts stronger emphasis and thought into the ‘how’ of an intervention, it goes a long way in building a muscle for change and growth. ‘how’ might we design an intervention that tells us more about us (students, educators etc.,) in specific and education in general. It builds a muscle for embracing change, accepting mistakes and cherishing successes. Don’t you think so? 
(3) It so happens that, some of us well meaning privileged people mostly (if not entirely) design interventions ‘for’ the disadvantaged. If we can move away from designing ‘for’ the stakeholders and move towards designing ‘with’ the stakeholders, it’s a sustainable way to affect a contextual change. 

In the overwhelming hope that there are more learnings and that we move closer to meaningful change in circumstances for our people, we at Kanavu enter into our year ‘7’ . Wish us all the good wishes folks!


Co-founder, Kanavu

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