India’s lopsided economic development has caused financial, social and cultural impoverishment of Indian villages. In its aftermath, a vast majority of governmental and non-governmental agencies working in rural areas have largely focused on charitable acts in the areas of education, health, nutrition, awareness, etc.
Lokalex’s radically different approach aims to empower villages with educational, financial, social and cultural capital in the spirit of the Gandhian concept of ‘Village Republics’. While temporary relief and help to the disadvantaged are welcome, our vision is to empower them with the capability to bootstrap themselves up, collectively as a community that takes pride in being self-sufficient.
In addition, our goal is to nurture local thought leaders and entrepreneurs to find unique solutions to local problems and grow their economy. In this 20-year vision of ours, educating the young children now to develop their life survival skills, social skills and leadership skills is a crucial factor.
Most of the 600,000 Indian villages don’t have schools within a three-mile radius. Often existing schools are underfunded and dysfunctional. Even those that claim to function ‘well’ are very conventional in nature and produce clerical automatons fit for mundane jobs but not future entrepreneurs and leaders. We believe that a sea-change in this educational culture can be brought about by effectively using information technology.
The Lokalex’s trustees have all run successful IT businesses and have research and development experience. By innovating technology that brings the Internet to remote and inaccessible places. Lokalex is able to foster relationships between educated and passionate professionals and the rural children with great potential. Our initial efforts have shown tremendous results both in the development of children and in motivating many professionals to volunteer in social activities from the comfort of their own homes.
One of the thrust areas of Lokalex in its quest for building self sustained village republics is the nurture of children who are going to be the future community leaders in that society. At present children in these communities are caught between two calamitous situations, atleast in India –
a lack of an adequate educational infrastructure that provides for quality teachers, school buildings, well rounded curricullum, extra curricullar activities, learning fundamental skills and values.
a lack of an ecosystem rich in experiential, discovery based learning through interactions with parents, teachers, peers, natural surroundings, media, etc.
Lokalex has a two pronged strategy to benefit children –
Adoption of schools that are different and are sincerely providing value based education for underprivileged children run by well meaning local community leaders . Lokalex helps such schools with funds, technical, teaching and management expertise.
Establishing “Chetan Study Centers’ in communities where Government and private schools are not adequate in providing the necessary learning environment needed for children to grow into leaders of tomorrow. The Chetan Study Centers are envisioned to provide a post school environment for children to learn.
TEMD Program – Chetan Study Centres
Nine centres have been set up in the rural communities of Tamil nadu and Karnataka where children interact with mentors from all over the world to gain exposure to the outside world and help build skills and values.
A project for the Economically, Socially and Academically Backward sections of the society. Volunteers from Lokalex conduct classes for class 10 and 12 students at their communities where concepts in Math and Science are simplified to gain better understanding. Volunteers select the subjects of their choice and come up with a creative design for delivery.
Coloured magic rods
When we spoke to schools, their main concern was Math and English. With immense research Lokalex has adapted a method of teaching English and Math using coloured rods (An adaptation of Dr. Caleb Gattegno’s methodology).