Falgun Sheth

Ashoka Fellow
Bhavnagar, Gujarat, India
Fellow Since 2002


This profile was prepared when Falgun Sheth was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2002.
The New Idea
Parul and Falgun Sheth are teaching communities how to invest in the generations to come. Collaborating with the municipal school system, parents, and children themselves, Parul and Falgun's program is working to end child labor. The organization Shaishav–meaning "childhood"–trains local teachers, offers innovative support for schools, and involves the community in all aspects of education.
The varied strategy trains local women and men to work with children likely to join the ranks of child labor. Balwadi (preschool) teachers set up centers anywhere they can and teach young children skills that will help them enter and complete school more successfully. Education activists, lokshikshaks, bring working children and potential child laborers up to an appropriate school level and then provide extra support so the children can enter school and continue in their studies.
Shaishav also enhances education as a whole, providing schools with low-cost teaching aids, an interesting curriculum suited to children's needs, and other interactive enterprizes like balmela (educational theme fairs managed and attended by children.) Most importantly, Parul and Falgun's model will create and train a core group of teachers committed to carry on the work even after a particular Shaishav program has withdrawn from a school.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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