I am from the colourful country of India. After completing a Masters in Applied Psychology, I started my career in the corporate sector in Human Resources. While I enjoyed being in human resources which gave me opportunities to recruit and train employees for the company, I did not feel fulfilled being in the sector itself. Coming from a family of teachers and educators, my heart lay in trying to create opportunities for children to learn, explore and be creative. I made a decision to change directions and work on education projects in the non-profit sector.


My commitment to this field began with the Akanksha Foundation(www.akanksha.org) in Pune India which was working with underprivileged children from urban slums and providing non-formal education with a focus on English, math, values, creativity and on action-based learning driven by the Gandhian principle of being the change you wish to see in the world. I started and managed a program called the 'social leadership program' which focused on building life skills for adolescents. Through this I formed strong, lasting bonds with the adolescents I worked with. I was inspired and in awe of their commitment to break out of the cycle of poverty and be successful in life.


Inspired by my experiences at Akanksha, I worked as a consultant with The Child In Need Institute (www.cini-india.org) in one of the lowest performing states in rural India, to assist in the implementation of rural education projects with the state government of Jharkhand. The project provided technical assistance to the state government to promote delayed-age marriage for adolescent girls and to reduce the prevalence of anemia. A key strategy employed was to raise awareness of these issues and their consequences among young girls (both in and out of school), their parents and key stakeholders in the villages. The constraints in successfully implementing government policies became apparent to me while working there and this sparked an interest in figuring out ways to plug these holes in implementation. This motivation was made even stronger when after that, I worked as a Program Officer in the department of corporate social responsibility for a major corporate house in Kolkata where we funded educational projects implemented through non-profits working in collaboration with the government. 


Over the last few years, I have been Co Directing a non profit organization, Calcutta Kids Trust (calcuttakids.org) which was started by my husband ten years back in India. I have been focused on training health workers to hone their skills as educators to empower mothers to prevent child malnutrition and ensure a healthy foundation for the first 1,000 days of life. These experiences in the field have triggered my curiosity to explore and gain some insight into practices internationally and hence do a second masters focused on education. CIE's focus on diversity and the richness of experiences within the program among both teachers and students drew me to it.  


I am excited to be a part of this team and I am looking forward to learning from one another, sharing experiences and to taking this learning back to my country to improve policy implementations and focus on creative ways to educate the youth in my country.


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CIE Graduate