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Havas Group India and Akshara Foundation of Arts and Learning (AFAL) partner up as happiness preachers!

  One of the most meaningful partnerships for AFAL has been the one with HavasImpact+ (Havas Positive Impact), the global CSR unit of Havas Group India.   In 2022, through this partnership, HavasImpact+ and AFAL have been conducting a series of activities that not only provide education, and encourage the creative steak in our children, but also impart vocational training. A series of workshops that constituted knowledge-sharing sessions were designed specifically for students aged 11-15 years. The next event was coming together to create a wall of graffiti at the project premises in Mumbai.  For the workshop which had hour-long training sessions, volunteers from Havas Group India visited AFAL premises to interact with the students, imparting training on 3 topics: Design Thinking, Public Speaking, and Introduction to Art. The curated sessions were designed to provide the students with the necessary tools to create a foundation that they’d be able to build upon, thereby moulding them in
Recent posts

From advertising to adversities

Kunal Chakravarty Director - Communications & Fundraising AFAL I spent 20 years as an advertising and marketing professional before deciding to take on the responsibilities of running a not-for-profit school. When I told people what I was planning to do, they all either said I was mad or (which amounted to the same thing) brave. But jacking in a career like this to become run a school so late in life wasn’t brave – it was desperate. Though I didn’t admit it at the time, I was entirely burnt out – I had been in the same industry for 20-odd years – and was showing the classic symptoms. I was getting cynical about the value of what I did and of as a whole – what was all this crazy chasing of ephemera really for?  It would have been much braver (and much madder) for me to quit at 27 when my financial liabilities were limited. Back then, I was still in thrall to the status of what I did (though at the time I would have denied that). The job in itself was part of my identity – it was the

Why art education?

Kunal Chakravarty Director - Communications & Fundraising AFAL At Akshara, we strongly believe that the Arts are an integral part of an individual’s well-being as they foster the young to become sensitive and compassionate adults . Artistic interventions and experiences help children engage more intimately with themselves, their surroundings and the world at large. The Arts create an environment of equality where children absorb knowledge, develop skills and express themselves freely without fear or prejudice, thus empowering them. Another driving force that makes us lean heavily on the Arts is the fact that a majority of our students are either first-generation school-goers or first-generation English learners. We are also an inclusive school, which means that every class has a mix of students with varied intellectual and physical abilities.  Thus, text-based education and cookie-cutter lesson plans are not something we can rely on and we have to find artistic ways to ensure our

Yes She Can!

Priya’s mother worked as a domestic help in the house of a family who had two children, both students of Akshara High School. As a little four-year-old, Priya often tagged along with her mother when she was at work and played with the younger of the two children who was as old as her. The parents of the two children approached us enquiring if we could perhaps admit Priya to our school as they were aware that we support the education of girl children, offer subsidies and also full scholarships.  The thought that two children who played together would now come to school together as well, was absolutely joyous and we immediately took her under our wing. Both her parents had never been to school and for their child to jump straight into an English-medium ICSE school was going to be a challenge.  However, Priya was not the first child at Akshara to come from a background like this. We had an existing system which ensured the child becomes an independent learner from a young age and is not d

‘After lockdowns, there’s no point in school anymore’

Kunal Chakravarty Director - Communications & Fundraising AFAL "What's the point?" My 9-year-old looked me dead in the eye as I asked if she was ready to go back to school. Truth be told, I didn't have a perfect answer for her. She will be ending her 4th grade and has the usual ho-hum 'must have' educational subjects. Yep, we've all been there. We've all been that 9-year-old who doesn't like school.  The difference, though – this is a new generation – the Covid generation. While our daughter may see no point in school for the usual teenage reasons or the fact she is just recovering from Covid, she was also referring to the fact that the education system as we know it has changed forever. She has been in primary school for four years, and she has had approximately two years plus that was uninterrupted by Covid, and that's probably being generous. I remember the first wave of Covid well, and it was just after her 8th birthday.  And just like

A Sports Day Without a Victory Stand

Timira Gupta Sports day brings back memories for everyone. How it was always held in winter – the hot sun rising slowly above our heads as the day rolled by, playing its own game with the cool breeze that blew across the ground as a respite to the streams of sweat that trickled down the side of children's foreheads. And how at any given point in time, there were groups of children in different corners of the ground. Some in position for their 100m sprint, others warming up for 400m, some stretching before their long jump into the sand pit and a tiny group always huddled at the Glucon-D stall hydrating themselves after their run. Most of the other children were stationed in the cool shade of the stands watching all the action and screaming and cheering for their House to win. If you were a child who always sat watching in the stands, you would know the urge to want to step onto the sports ground, even if you did it as part of the march-past squad, a sports drill or at the end of the