Happy Horizons Trust: Educating Rural India through Storytelling and design thinking

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Education in rural India is sensitive topic which is being addressed by Indian government and edu-startups. Although government has made primary education compulsory, still there are many loopholes due to which quality education cannot be imparted to students.

There are many startups which are working towards education of under privileged children. Many NGOs have come forward which make learning easier through new technology at low cost, storytelling, educational games and toys. These small initiatives in different corners of different states are slowly changing education and schooling for children.

Problem faced by People

Recently I have come across many girls of age group 12-18 years who do not want to study as they do not see any incentive in studying. Major reasons for low education interest seems to be following:

  1. Choose to become Bread-earner over Education: NGOs are working in their area to give free education but girls want to become earning member of family earlier, as what will happen if they study? They have no idea how vast world is, or how many options are open for people who complete even basic education.
  2. Early marriage/Dowry arrangement for older sibling: This is again another issue which works in vicious circle. Girl of 13 year age leaves schooling to arrange dowry for 17 year old sister’s marriage. This scenario is very common in rural areas.
  3. Poor quality of education: About 50% of children in class 5 cannot read a class 2 text paragraph fluently nor can write fluently. Medium of education imparting is boring and hard to grasp.

HappyHorizonsTrust

How HHT is resolving above problems

  1. Women Centered Approach: Girls of all age group are being encouraged by them through various schemes like mentoring girls, training them in digital literacy, making them capable of being bread earner while keeping in touch with education.
  2. Interactive sessions, captures students attention: Interactive story telling and craft sessions keep students engaged. Students look forward for next session when they will have fun in school.
  3. Local Champions: They are creating Role Models for people among people through “YOUTH LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM” in rural and semi-urban areas.

About Happy Horizons Trust

Happy Horizon Trust(HHT), a Not for Profit Organization(NPO), was founded by Kshitiz Anand and Vatsala. They started work in 2012 itself, but registered as Trust in 2013. They are covering primary, middle as well as high school education needs through different programs, storytelling sessions and design workshops. Their programs acts as catalyst in keeping students interest in schools and knowledge gaining.

They are operational in Bihar, Delhi and Bangalore and have covered over 25000+ students through 500+ sessions in 40+ schools. What started as small initiative of a couple has expanded into an organization which is organizing meetups and preparing annual reports to track their learning as an organization.

Achievements of HHT

HHT has some good memories in its kitty bag.  They have been selected for Wipro Seeding Programme for Educational Startups and NGO’s in July 2017. In this  programme, three year Founder Fellowship will be provided, which will help is improving quality of services as well as business skills of founders.

Vatsala, co-founder, is also part of six month accelerator program at IIT Delhi initiative, WEE batch 2 which started in April 2017.  WEE foundation has provided a platform to Vatsala where she gained confidence and new insights to broaden her horizons. In hyperactive WEE women group, here is lot of interaction and knowledge sharing which has helped along with mentors continuous support.

Kshitiz, co-founder HHT, is part of Teach For India TFIx which is year long incubation program specifically designed for startups working in education sector. There are total 8 fellows with their organisations all over India selected in November 2016 for this program.

They are the proud recipients of the Pratham books ‘Library in a Classroom Kit twice this year in January and February this year. The 3 kits along with 500 story books were distributed to 2 low income affordable private school and 1 government school.

About Vatsala

Vatsala is a post-graduate in mass communication and has been an NCC cadet. She is expert in story telling and uses animated stories to connect with children. In her own words:

I attended one of the session by Mr Sonam Wangchuk, real life Rancho, given to WEE entrepreneurs at IIT Delhi. There he addressed same issue in different context. According to him, “There is deficiency of role models in villages and rural areas. If we give enough incentive then people will come forward on their own.”

Same ideology needs to be applied in rural areas as well as sub urban areas towards education. We are creating role models in form of our Champions. 

– Says Vatsala, Co-founder, HHT

Happy Horizon Trust can be reached out at: happyhorizons @gmail.com  They can be connected on facebook.

 

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