Kanthari to Inspire


8 young adults from various countries, part of Kanthari, an international institute for social leadership, Trivandrum wanting to make a difference, visiting Aarohi to explore open learning.

Each one shared their stories to inspire us (especially this week during independence day, we have been talking about “are we free from cast, religion…). We read in newspapers, see news channels about traumatized childhood, child labour drugs…but meeting some of them in person and listening their stories from trauma to desire for social change was inspiring. All from different countries…

Traumatized childhood, could not understand at school, had issues from home, issues from school, resulting low grades, could not make to examination, no good job, could not take responsibility of family, depression, not attending mentoring session..no one ASKED “what is the problem”. One mentor asked “what is your problem” and the life changed. Noone wants to know why kids having low grades…she wants to start an alternative learning space for kids with low grades to bring kids out of the box.

Young women coming out to get exposure (mother daughter project) by one young adult.

Growing up in rural community, extreme poverty, lack of good schools, children in labour market, lucky to go to school, university, studied education, pained to see condition of kids in her country, supporting kids to go to school, but no satisfaction with the education…wish to start a school for creative and joyful education. She wants to go back and create opportunity for children to dream and live life, a space to have various learning. And she wants to create a network of passionate people to start more communities. Before colonial era, the education system was based on observation and learning from others.

Born from unwed mothers, 5yr old left alone where neighborhood was a forest. At the age of eight taken to city (slum), instead of taking to school, wake up and work to sell, beaten up, not eating, begging for food, search food in garbage pile…reached school, college, university…using drugs.. discriminated for being poor…dropped out of university…with the help of friend completed degree and got a job in mass communication, Gave up, 3 times attempted to kill but didn’t work, ran away from home… want to use films to empower other kids in similar situations.

Dalit and Tribal considered untouchable, caste discrimination, people can’t treat people equal, two hand pumps in the Community for two different casts ( higher and dalit), serving water in different glasses..went to another country but saw a huge discrimination (staring out of main settlement), teacher not touching notebook to test..started working with an NGO in India..want a school giving a joyful childhood not on the basis of birth.

When 16 yes old, remember the smell of flesh burning, a child set upon a fire because of depression and expectations, 98 more deaths to protest…revolution happened, a lot of promise to uplift rural areas but nothing happened…rural youth caught up in terrorism, crime and drugs, no information reaching…a project to cut off the bridge between rural and urban opportunities. Want to start human library, change public policies for a better future.

Story of Kanthari, institute of social entrepreneurship..once upon a time… travelling to Tibet and met a blind,…changed his life. Task leads to value and it leads to respect and lead to dignity and lead to self confidence…the world has lot of problems… Kanthari was born to help people to give shape to their dreams.