Today, on the occasion of Teachers Day, we at PARI would like to tell you about some of the most inspiring people we have found in our reporting of India. Countless selfless teachers transforming lives of those who would, perhaps not have a better opportunity. Some stories may seem like they are about students alone, but on reading you will discover phenomenal teachers made these spaces possible. Perhaps this is more a compilation of the achievements of rural Indian teachers.
Primary Girls School in Loharsi village, Chattisgarh
This school is almost a century old. Can you imagine how it must have been, to teach girls a century ago? Old records of the school are a fascinating window into how it must have been. Purusottam Thakur's incredible overlay of history in reporting little barefoot girls at school continue reading
A school that not just encourages learning by doing, but the students hold robust and well informed debates on issues of agriculture. And why not? They also grow food! Presentations by the students managed to surprise Sainath with trivia on agriculture he did not know about at all! continue reading
S. Vijaylaxmi, teacher at Integrated Tribal Development Project school in Edalippara
She teaches four classes in a single room and still has managed to create a flock of the darn cutest little people. Read, as they flash their maths skills, and charm you with an ode to the humble potato continue reading
Kattaikkuttu Gurukulam, a residential theatre school, TN
Namita Waikar tells you of a residential school that trains little girls and boys in a traditionally male theatre art form, where roles in performances of epics know no gender boundaries. Learning all aspects of creating the performance. Dance, music, singing, instruments, acting.... Interested? Thought so. continue reading
Not letting school interfere with education at Balia
The teachers of this school in Posco's Project zone have a tricky balancing act. With police occupying most of the school and students who refuse to stand by as guns are trained on parents, finding both the right spaces for teaching, and the right learnings to encourage. Can you even imagine these conditions? continue reading
Meet the wrestling legends of Maharashtra, now teaching new champions
Meet legendary Gama Pehelwan, Appasaheb Kadam, former Olympian and guru Ganpatrao Andhalkar. Sons of the soil and big names in wresling in rural Maharashtra. They are now running taleems, transforming sons of farmers and labourers into new generations of champions continue reading
Beyond the homogenous developed culture of the cities lies a rich and diverse India, where traditions of teaching thrive, and inspiring Gurus, largely forgotten by the eye of fashionable modernity go above and beyond the call of duty to create something incredible. They transform lives, keep knowledge alive, and keep alive a passion for learning, often in conditions that are capable of stripping hope from all they touch.
This special edition comes with heartfelt gratitude to the countless teachers keeping hope for India's future thriving.
We hope you are as inspired by reading these stories, as we were, compiling them to share with you on this special day.
The PARI Network team.
PARI has an audacious vision of creating a living archive of India's people. Of recording its arts, crafts, traditions, languages, occupations and more right down to every district and block in the country. As you may imagine, attempting something like this with the largest democracy in the world is a phenomenal endeavor, both in terms of effort and money. If you liked this newsletter, please consider donating to keep this project thriving and growing. Donations made to CounterMedia Trust are eligible for exemption U/s. 80G of the Income Tax Act, 1961. Spread the word about PARI to people you know online and offline. Forward this newsletter and encourage people to register for it on the blog.