Photos from a trip to Shirpur, Maharashtra. LeapForWord (LFW), started by Pranil Naik, an Ashoka fellow, is working its way up to crack the challenge that is English in our country. Their model is evolving each day – it accounts heavily for ground realities and aims to be self sustainable and scalable i.e. reachable to the many poor children across India’s villages in the years to come. The two big bottle-necks in learning English in our country are lack of an English speaking environment for most, and the lack of English speaking teachers. One can argue and say that intern at a Starbucks for six months, and you will pick up the language -the immersion method. How then do you take this solution to a very large population of young and energized youth, that is working very hard towards getting an education or learning a job skill, but falters in confidence and in climbing the work ladder as fast as his/her potential may allow, because of the inability to communicate well in English. Especially if you want to grow an organization that is self sustainable, hence needs to be cost effective.
A stat Pranil told me: an accountant who knows English in India gets paid approx. 24% higher than his peer who doesn’t.
The photos below are credited to my mom. They don’t speak about LFW’s model, but simply shine light on the curiosity that exists in the eyes and minds of children.