Textile Stories

August 27th, 2020

Celebrating a school that goes beyond mere literacy.

It is said that travel broadens one's horizons- geographically and hopefully intellectually also.This was proved during our trail at Pollachi yesterday.While a google search of the town will tell you that it the home of one of the oldest, and still functional, cotton ginning mills in South India and that it is the cradle for Appachi Eco-logic and Ethicus, what it will not be able to tell you is the story of Nachiar Vidyalayam -founded in 2000 and run by the Nachiar family.

Which other school do you know that has a duly elected 'government' with MLA's and Ministers- which can be removed from power if they fail to perform,Or where students are taught financial literacy as early as Grade 4.

Image Coutesy: Savitha Suri ( The School Bank)

Or a school where students earn 'credits' (for core values like neatness, responsible behaviour, diligence etc) the form of customised currency (the currency features images of the local birds and has been designed by students themselves) that they use to invest in bidding for the maintenance and upkeep of common property of the school-through their start-up 'businesses,

Image Coutesy: Savitha Suri ( The School Credits)

Where the students deposit credits earned and the one with maximum credits earned at the end of the year receives a scholarship for the next academic year, Where students write petitions to their elected representatives to resolve issues (ranging from a faulty fan to a classmate not returning a borrowed pencil) AND where student-related issues are addressed every Friday by the elected representatives, Where the class average is 83% and the student:teacher ratio 1:15 for a SSC Board,

Where the children turn out to be more aware, conscious and mindful citizens who while being responsible also demand accountability from their elected authorities. Where students grow up as individuals aware of their Duties AND Rights.

Where the purpose is NOT literacy as much as EDUCATION- in it's truest sense. Rarely does one find a school of their dreams and yesterday, We found one.

May their tribe increase.

About Author

Savitha Suri is a Communications professional whose keen interest in textiles and crafts led her to create ANVAYA- a social media platform to learn, share and explore textile and craft traditions from across the world. ANVAYA documents diverse traditions and histories of not just the textiles and crafts but also of the people and places that they belong to. Believing that the only way to keep traditional crafts alive is by making information about them, and wherever possible even the product,  available to the layperson, ANVAYA also works with small, independent weavers and artisans by teaching them digital literacy skills that help them access the online marketplace directly. ANVAYA believes that the route to developing sustainable livelihoods for artisans starts with mindful consumers and to this end, conducts workshops & trails that encourage exploration and understanding of socio-cultural contexts in which arts and crafts thrive, or perish.