Promoting Free Expression
In Inclusive, Safe and Joyful Learning Environments
Theme: Peace
Mumbai: September 2016- November 2016

Introduction

VIDYA is a not for profit working with children, adolescents and youth in the urban slum communities of Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Bangalore and soon Pune. This is our 31st year having been seeded in Delhi in the home of our Founder Rashmi Misra, where a handful of girls who had never been to school were taken in to learn. It is time to pause, reflect, rescript, acknowledge and learn from every one’s endeavour.

3,00,000 families impacted in this journey could not have been possible without the ceaseless efforts of The VIDYA Teacher. Each one has empowered every learner to achieve his\her potential.
Focus: Education in India in 2016 is characterized by rising enrolments, plunging scores and widening gaps. The focus today has to be on improved learning for all children, creative thinking and innovation and holistic interventions that will narrow divides in our diverse demography.

The idea of a Literature Festival is in keeping with VIDYA’s Three Pillars of Learning Intervention: Educational Enrichment, Life Skills and Digital Literacy. An important aspect of Educational Enrichment is Reading with Comprehension, a skill that is sadly in need of immense fillip.

The Lit Fest at VIDYA has as its aim to provide many opportunities of immersion in language enjoyment and appreciation. The children and the youth of VIDYA will get a focused exposure to books and other written material. Films, debates and discussions will be an intrinsic part. Authors and poets will also get an opportunity to explore their own expression and promote reading, as will Exposure Visits to Libraries and Book Fairs that will create further reading opportunities.

The Theme for Lit Fest 2016-17 is Peace.

Background Information

VIDYA’s Beyond School Educational Programs for children and adolescents are run both in the Communities as well as School Partnerships with the Government and Lesser Privileged Schools. The expanded learning hours offer opportunities for an enriched education and values based skills to succeed program. The Youth Program offers Employability Linked certified courses in Computers, Spoken English and also the Open School Initiative for those who wish to re – engage with learning.

The VIDYA School in Gurgaon is one of a kind. A certified CBSE school for the less privileged, it provides opportunities to walk the path to a future which is second to none.
Across programs, the effort is aimed to bridge gaps, link education to employability, promote citizenship values and equip young people to make informed life choices.

To know more please click on the following:

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https://www.facebook.com/VIDYAEducationAndEmpowerment
https://twitter.com/Vidya_India
https://vidya-india.org/vidya-blog/

Objectives of the Lit Fest:

• Promoting Free Expression
• Imbibing the values of inclusivity, respect for the other, acceptance and working in harmony ( in keeping with VIDYA’s mission of nurturing responsible and productive citizens in keeping with the tenets of our Constitution)
• centering discussions, readings, stories and expression on Peace
• Addressing Peace within, with the family, the community, in our everyday conflicts and disagreements. Empathy with those in the thick of war and personal conflicts.
• Providing a platform with representation from expert educators, civil society representatives and the VIDYA teaching teams
• Capacity Building
• Reinforcing supportive learning environments [in the context of diverse classrooms, varying abilities, needs, backgrounds; program structure]

VIDYA Mumbai Lit Fest 2015 was dedicated to rhyme and verse, poets and poetry. What emerged was a book of poems by the participating children, My Voice, My Verse – available on Kindle https://www.amazon.in/My-Voice-Verse-poems-celebrating-ebook/dp/B01GU4GLAC
For orders please write to [email protected]

VIDYA invites all to participate in this coming together to celebrate the diverse expressions of Peace.
We thus hope to create an environment where all of us work towards bettering ourselves through self-reflection because like a colleague put it ‘peace begins with me’.

References: http://epathshala.nic.in/wp-content/doc/NCF/Pdf/education_for_peace.pdf
• “If we are to teach real peace in the world we shall have to begin with children” – Mahatma Gandhi
• “All education is for peace” – Maria Montessori