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NIRMAN
Education · Research · Arts

July 2020
Dear readers, 

It's been 4 months since all of us have been under a lockdown. As we prepare ourselves for a few more months of uncertainty with schooling, we bring to you stories of the ongoing work at NIRMAN. From environmental work: farming and planting, artistic: film and video, and education, we are all busy working and learning. Read along!
Our new labour of love!
Meraki Educational Videos by Vidyashram - The Southpoint School (Episode 1.1)
Over the last few weeks, we have all been engaged with our new educational video series created for ages 2 to 10. We decided to call it Meraki a Greek word of Greek/Turkish origin, meaning ‘labour of love’. Two videos are already out on our YouTube channel as we work on the third video!

Our aim with these Meraki videos is to keep them artistic and funny, intellectual and sophisticated. We cover the key topics for one unit for each of the first seven classes: Kindergarten to Class 5, through music, theatre, and puppets. We choose a theme that has meaning for children across the board and link all our topics to that theme. With these educational videos, we believe children will be much more interested in studying than with regular, familiar, written materials and teachers’ explanations. We are also able to integrate subjects, thus adding to the learning.

Our theme for this unit is Health. The topic for the first video was ‘Hands’ and we integrated responsibility as a value for the first episode. Our second episode is about ‘Nose’. We explore the theme of ‘discrimination’ along with it. Our school students are provided with accompanying worksheets and materials. We are aiming at improving curriculum for pre- and primary- school children in India by providing a model and also building a team of artist-educators (and filmmakers!).

Do watch our first two videos. Your feedback and ideas are always welcome. 
Meraki Educational Videos by Vidyashram - The Southpoint School (Episode 1.2)
With the Meraki videos being shot on campus and online classes happening simultaneously, our teachers are now on their way to becoming actors, content creators, script writers, production managers, sound and lighting experts and more! We're running a tight ship on campus. In the morning hours, you'll find teachers sitting in various corners conducting online classes and towards the afternoon you'll find them donning colourful noses and acting their hearts out. In the evenings they are back to planning & making resources for the next day. It's been a challenge to juggle between different tasks but where's the fun without a little challenge! 

Speaking of our artist-educators and actor-teachers...
Here they are, behind the scenes!
Behind the Scenes 1
Behind the Scenes 3
Behind the Scenes 4
As a token of appreciation towards our untiring and dedicated staff and teachers, do consider supporting us on our Milaap Fundraiser.
Virtual Guru-Purnima Greetings!
On 5th July 2020, many celebrated Guru Purnima, one of the most auspicious days, observed to pay respect and remember one's guru or teacher. Art work by Navya (Nursery)
A small glimpse of our students
[Left] Saumya (Class 2) makes an Elephant Nose for herself.
[Right] Pradyumna (Nursery) makes a family tree. 
Filmmaking at NIRMAN:
"Shankar's Fairies" Goes to Cannes
We are pleased to announce that our in-house production, "Shankar's Fairies" is one of the five films from India that was pitched at the Marché du Film at Cannes this month. 

Directed by Irfana Majumdar and written and produced by Nita Kumar, the film is set in 1960s Lucknow and explores the world of a nine year old girl and the social situation of those around her. 

The film is currently in post-production and will be available in a few months. We are very proud of Irfana ma'am, Nita ma'am and the other members of the NIRMAN family involved!

Read more about this exciting news here and watch a making-of video below. 
Watch the Making-of Shankar's Fairies 
Meet Ravi: the newest member of the NIRMAN family!
Ravi joined us recently as the Estate Manager. Hear what he has to say about his journey so far at NIRMAN!
"After joining here, my experience is really awesome, the staff are very helpful and nature-loving. Every one is very aware of planting trees and farming along with running the school. My first work was to complete the school's front courtyard renovation, tree plantation, and farming. Farming is new task for me but with the help of staff and management it's completed in a smooth way. I have learned a lot of new things and I am really enjoying the work. I am really thankful to Nita Madam to give me this great opportunity to work with this organization."
We contacted the forest department to help us with plantations. A group of labourers employed under MNREGA scheme assisted us.
CALL FOR SUPPORT

As a school, we believe in making our classrooms welcome to children from all backgrounds. We work for all children to become lifelong learners. Our teaching designs include spaces and techniques for students to be independent as well as work in groups. Our philosophy teaches children to be critical and holistic thinkers who respect hands-on and community-oriented work. In over thirty years, we have impacted roughly 5000 children and their families. We have over a hundred children waiting for a scholarship. By choosing to sponsor a child, you help break the cycle of poverty that arises from a low skill level: the fate of millions in our country. Your sponsorship will enable children from lower-income households to access quality education. 

 
Sponsor-a-Child at NIRMAN
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NIRMAN · N-1/70 Nagwa · Varanasi 221005 · India

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