Author: Nirmal Kaarthick

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Parents as Partners

`A warm June afternoon…mats laid out in the big parking area. An anxious-looking School Leader is pacing up and down. making last-minute arrangements. A parent-teacher meeting with a twist – every classroom had prepared for a student showcase, an opportunity to demonstrate what they are learning in class… Just a few days ago, there was […]
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Ladies Day Out

“Why ma’am?! Everyone seems to be in a hurry always!!”“Hey! Do you remember our ma’am had also mentioned about doing something with scrap clothes? This cloth key chain reminds me of that!”“Look at this, the spacing of the stitching is not the same throughout” (a little joy of finding a similar mistake to theirs, in […]
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Climbing the stairs

It’s the first hour of the day, a poem is read and some words are up. Students are in groups, identifying meaning of some words. I walk around and I see a group trying very hard to work out a clue. I sit down and ask if I can help- there is so much panic […]
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Kanavu Camp mornings begin with a morning circle – a space where teachers reflect on their experiences and share their leadership stories. In one such morning meeting, teachers were sharing about striving for excellence.Mehar miss started the circle sharing, “I always think, wherever I go, I have to create an impression of mine. I have […]
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Story of a delivery

Time: 3:45pmPlace: Periyar nagar – 150 cloth folders, freshly stitched, firmly ironed and finely trimmed, packed tightly maximizing space in the box- all set to go out for dispatch to a firm in Bangalore. The folders have a long way to go – from the poorly connected Periyar Nagar village to Kannarapettai headquarters; from where […]
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The Art of Costing

“Look at this zip – it isn’t straight”“Oh yes! okay let’s do this again”“The Buddha face is cut into two – we can’t have an incomplete design!”“AAH! Ma’am, I was focussing on a straight stitch – didn’t notice the design”“oh! this is perfect.. but wait- this is 2 inches longer than our size”“But such a […]
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Scaling Heights

“Ma’am! in the video you showed us at the training, loved how children could write on the blackboard! Can we also get low boards so our children can do that?”“yes! Let’s write that in our school improvement wishlist, let’s see if we have the funds for this” | A few days later, in the classroom, […]
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Button Up!

The usual well-oiled hair, flowers, pleated saris are all missing – messy buns, semi-done plaits, nighties and towels, tired faces at 8 AM. The women are back here after stitching until 8 PM the previous night, wrapping up dinner, managing to steal some sleep and finishing up morning chores, before coming back here. There are […]
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Shoba, the sofa.

‘What gives you comfort?’ was picked up as a prompt in our sharing circle. Ela started off sharing ‘sleep’ as the one thing in her life that provides her comfort. “It makes me overcome anything; because I HAVE to hold myself together to make things work at home,” she says. One can’t miss the grit […]
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