The Education Tree is one of the India’s fastest growing youth led organization, operating across a network of different schools and universities. The organization was created to foster and facilitate all forms of education with a goal to lay special emphasis on the holistic development of the individual.
Thisstudent initiated organization has a goal to lay special emphasis on the holistic development of the individual, impart sound education irrespective of the socio-economic background, encourage the country’s youth to shoulder social and environmental responsibilities and bring together those who want to teach and those who want to be taught.
We spoke to Smriti Singhal one of the founding member of ‘The Education Tree’ on how she and her other c-founders perceived the idea this youth-led organization and how they took it ahead across the schools and universities in India.
Please tell us briefly about yourself, your co-founder and your startup ?
I am 23 years old, an alumnus of DPS Rohini, I pursued graduation in the field of literature from Delhi University (S.G.T.B. Khalsa College). A diploma in Public Relations from Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan and another in Business Journalism and Corporate Communication from Sri Guru Gobind Singh College of Commerce,Delhi University . I also hold a masters degree in Mass Communication. Currently,While managing the organisation I also teach students preparing for various entrance examinations. I take care of all the creative campaigns and the design the modules for the workshops and summits.
My other two Co-Founders are Kunal Arora and Karan Katyal. Kunal also is an alumnus of the English department from Khalsa college and also the holder of a post graduate degree in International Marketing and a Masters degree in Mass Communication. He is a theatre professional, with 7 years of experience in the same, he is one of a kind orator who spellbinds you with every word he delivers. Karan Katyal, one of the youngest co-founder of the organization who is a fresh graduate from Khalsa College (Delhi University). He loves to write and takes care of all the back stage work and technical aspects.
The Education Tree is one of the India’s fastest growing youth led organizations, operating across a network of different schools and universities. The sapling of TET was sown to break the stereotypes associated with education by broadening its horizons to encompass various art forms such as art, music, theatre, dance etc. I started the organisation when I was 20 years old.
Ideally, education should transcend the boundaries of academics to truly and holistically develop an individual. It should also nurture awareness and social responsiveness while cogently countering the forces of the diverse socio-cultural backgrounds, existing in our society. The organization aims to achieve this wholesome, inclusive vision
Why did you start with the Education Tree ?
The Education Tree was a dream shared by me and two of my friends, Kunal and Karan for long time. Long before it had come to fruition, in our second year of college, after observing the dismal condition of education around us, we were discussing how best to bring about small meaningful changes to dissolve the stereotypes of education. We had envisaged a platform where scholastics would be inclusive and nurturing of not just academic learning, but also of different arts including music, theatre, crafts, photography etc. The driving force was to break the dysfunctional mould, to change the status quo of education so that it did not just remain limited to rote learning. We wanted to come up with an organisation that makes art commercially viable.
How do you plan do add value to the education system of India through your efforts ?
In our country, there exists a narrow perspective about education, limiting it to just scholastic excellence. People having a non-academic bent of mind are discouraged from pursuing it, however proficient they maybe in their area of interest. Our goals consist of steady growth and increasing awareness through our initiatives. These include fostering education to become wholesome, promoting holistic development, and increasing public knowledge about issues of social importance .
We use small yet meaningful ways to achieve our objectives with the help of unique art forms such as freeze mobs, flash mobs, graffiti, chalk art, street dancing, street plays, etc to create this awareness and sensitivity. We also design and organize workshops on theatre, personality development, corporate training, etc. in order to polish the skills which are required in every being in today’s world. To support this idea among the underprivileged category, we take workshops and sessions on spoken english, computer literacy, art, etc. under our initiative Project Emerge.
What are your plans of scaling up?
In the last two years we’ve managed to gain a strong foothold in University of Delhi, IP University and others, with nearly 300 volunteers helping us to carry out the various initiatives at the university level. Inkling on the same ideology, it becomes imperative to strengthen the presence at the lower levels with designing specific and skill based modules that would cater to the needs at the school level. The initiatives at the school level would focus on enabling creative thinking and sensitivity of minds, with a broader aim of developing a sound education system inclusive of co scholastics.
Furthermore, we plan to rope in support for our campaigns for Women Safety across India. Working on those lines, the Jo Mera Hai Wo Mera Hai campaign has already garnered efforts of the youth of cities like Guwahati, Nagapur, Ajmer, etc.
Our basic aim remains to build up an ocean through these drops of water, therefore, scaling up our efforts with small steps.