Fellow Since 2000
Sutradhar Educational Resource Centre
This profile was prepared when Mandira Kumar was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2000.
The New Idea
Mandira facilitates the exchange and sharing of educational strategies developed among educators who, whether they are in government, civil society organizations, or academia, are pursuing new methods of teaching and learning. Her work addressed a simple but major problem in so broad a field as education: there are many decentralized actors tackling a variety of topics and they are unaware of each other's work. Mandira's organization, Sutradhar, collects toys, visual aids, books, audio tapes, and video cassettes from various groups working at the pre-primary and primary levels. It then markets and sells these products to citizen organizations, government agencies, educators of mentally handicapped children, schools, teacher training institutes, parents, and the general public. As she collects, Mandira is also surveying the field and identifying where new work and new resources are needed. Not only does she seek out the materials to fill these gaps, but where none exist she has Sutradhar create them.