Kiran Bir Sethi

Ashoka Fellow
Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
Fellow Since 2008


This profile was prepared when Kiran Bir Sethi was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2008.
The New Idea
Kiran has developed an innovative educational environment at Riverside School that focuses on “nurturing a spirit of curiosity and…opportunities for exploration in a safe space within the spirit of community.” Riverside offers a curriculum and experiences of engagement with the city that enables children to better understand their skills, potential, and responsibilities as citizens. Kiran is also developing social intervention initiatives in the city, community quality-of-life and after-school programs to provide a wide array of activities (cultural, instructional, and recreational) to synchronize with the regular school curriculum.

Children at Riverside and as part of Kiran’s A Protagonist in every Child (aProCh) campaign learn how to be protagonists in their environment, to exercise full citizenship, and to find affirmation for their needs and ideas. Kiran promotes children’s rights to move independently and safely from home, choose their friends, and experiment. With the assumption that a child-friendly, welcoming society breeds socially-oriented, responsible caring citizens, Kiran has created systems of learning, campaigns, and initiatives that enable children to socially interact in their community. Her curriculum in the classroom hones individual potential which, paired with the experience of engaging their city and community, prepares them to become active stakeholders in society. Kiran believes by making children visible and active members of communities, they will later understand the importance of citizenship as adults.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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