Diksha Foundation was co founder by Gautam Gauri with incubation support from Changelooms. Its goal is to provide quality education to children who come from socially and economically disenfranchised communities. Since 2010 the movement has been towards creating vibrant and democratic learning spaces for children who most need them. Diksha believes that children are the most vulnerable members of their communities and their neglect has led to the many crises that they face today. It sees education as a powerful tool to change regressive and apathetic attitudes towards gender, environmental degradation, caste biases, etc. and create awareness on social issues amongst the communities we are a part of. Its learning centres also focus on imparting skills that will allow the students to seek dignified livelihoods for themselves in future and therefore come out of the vicious cycle of unemployment and poverty. Its work is deeply rooted in the idea of building inclusive communities with a special focus on the rights of children. Therefore, its views enterprise as an important intervention to create long lasting and sustainable change in the communities they work with. Its approach to a learning space closely subscribes to the Japanese Concept of Ba. Ba is a mutual space where knowledge is shared, created and utilized between actors. It can be either a physical, virtual or mental space, and it is both closed and open in the sense that it is characterized by certain boundaries but also by constant interaction with its environment. In the first stage, Diksha is working on developing such model learning centres after which it will be working on creating a network of collaborators who will take on this work with different government and other low-cost schools in India.
Avikaran joined Diksha in 2010 as a centre co-ordinator. Avikaran is interested in creating caring classrooms and dreams of a peaceful, joyous childhood for every child. He is passionate about playing, singing and teaching. Avi is a graduate from TISS, Mumbai in Social Entrepreneurship and holds a degree in B. Pharmacy from BITS, Mesra. He was a Campus ambassador for TISS – ACARA program and founded “Chabutra” to promote social and emotional well-being among learners.
Rashee Mehra (Commutineer 2011-12) is passionate about co-creating change in the communities she is part of. She has studied Literature at Gargi College, University of Delhi. Over the last 6 years she has worked in lower income neighborhoods with women and children on the issues of education and creating violence free spaces where individuals can really explore themselves. This work she does at Diksha Foundation. She is also keen on bringing together ideas from the South Asian region onto collective platforms. One such platform is Living Bridges that she anchors for young people in the region.
To know more about Diksha Foundation, visit http://dikshafoundation.org/