PULL THE STRINGS

WOMEN CALL SHOTS IN OFF­BEAT CA­REERS

India Today - - SIMPLY GUJARATI - By Aditi Pai

RUK­MINI THAKORE |

FOUNDER, KAK­SHAA

When she moved back to Vado­dara in 2009 armed with a de­gree from the Lon­don School of Eco­nom­ics and a one- and- a- half year long stint at Cit­i­group, Ruk­mini Thakore, 27, was sure she wanted to use her skills to “do some­thing with a so­cial cause”. She picked pri­mary ed­u­ca­tion. “I saw ed­u­ca­tional mod­els in China and Korea and re­alised that there is a need to give qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion to our chil­dren and tech­nol­ogy is an ef­fec­tive plat­form for that,” she says. In 2013, she launched Kak­shaa, a cre­ative and en­ergy packed au­dio-vis­ual learn­ing pro­gramme that aims to sup­ple­ment con­ven­tional teach­ing in pri­mary schools. With a team of ex­perts, Thakore has cre­ated a repos­i­tory of over 500 lessons that fall in the Na­tional Cur­ricu­lum Frame­work. To make it fun and in­ter­ac­tive, the pro­grammes are a mix of mup­petry, songs, ex­per­i­ments, ac­tiv­i­ties, sto­ry­telling and theatre. “These are en­gag­ing teach­ing meth­ods that en­thuse chil­dren and im­plic­itly train lo­cal teach­ers,” ex­plains Thakore. For now, the pro­grammes cover sub­jects such as English, Hindi, Math­e­mat­ics and En­vi­ron­men­tal Sci­ence, and are aimed at pri­mary school stu­dents, es­pe­cially in “un­der-re­sourced schools” in ru­ral ar­eas. Thakore man­aged to rope in mup­peteers, com­mu­nity work­ers, mu­si­cians, lyri­cists, cin­e­matog­ra­phers and teach­ers. “When chil­dren go to school, there’s barely one teacher and these tu­tors are over­bur­dened,” she says. Kak­shaa’s pro­grammes are cur­rently run­ning in schools in vil­lages of Haryana and Thakore plans to take them to other re­gions soon.

Ruk­mini Thakore, Founder, Kak­shaa

Pho­to­graph by DANESH JASSAWALA Cover pho­to­graph by DANESH JASSAWALA

Pho­to­graph by DANESH JASSAWALA

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