This is our first Annual Report. Considering it’s happening just when we are on our 20th year, I am realizing that it would be almost impossible to contain my jottings here for the current year. It’s a nostalgic moment for me, as its strongly focused around the people that have been part of this journey with wide array of talents or simply to serve!
My first memory is about meeting a very sensitive, extremely talented and passionate young student of Fine Arts in 1998, when CLT was just born. Avi was our first volunteer and over the next few months, through his drive and passion, CLT had gained many young people with so much to give and wanted an opportunity to serve. They became the core of CLT - the brick and mortar of the organization for the next 4-5 years. This became a pattern and many more bubbles of volunteer groups started emerging, with each owning a piece of CLT’s dream to create equal learning opportunities for all children! Women volunteers to run ‘Food Bank’, friends in U.S. doing fundraising and the young artists helping me to build an organization! This was before a Mission statement or a website or a blog and definitely before we had any money to have a paid staff. Their sense of giving was so contagious and complete, it became a hub for spreading joy!
‘Come Share our Joy’, created as a bi-line by these youngsters became a guiding compass for the rest of us and still is today!
And, so the journey begins, by gradually realizing that while our efforts to serve the children in underserved communities were sincere, to amplify it into a more impactful, sustainable outcome, we needed to bring in a more organized, well thought-out structures and systems. We had also zeroed in on one thing we wanted to focus on by year 2002, that was to address the missed learning opportunities of children in government schools, where the acute shortage of teachers was daunting. We were also becoming aware that the region-specific complexities were beyond the scope of heads of these schools; and hence our norms, as a country, were adjusted to the unavailability of teachers and lack of resources and had become a way of life. Consequently, our children’s aspirations for quality education was compromised.
While reaching 1 million students is a target for many organisations serving in the education space, for CLT it is the starting point of an entirely new journey. In keeping with the power of One - summarising the Organisation’s accomplishments in the last 20 years, here is how the future spells out -
O - Omni channel presence: rich pedagogy based digital content available at arms reach of every student in geographies where CLT is present,
N - New geographies being charted for strategic organic and non organic growth,
E - Empowering the internal skill and technology capacities to meet the challenges in the years ahead.
Last three years have seen immense internal focus on making sure that the platform, hardware and data analytics are integrated seamlessly such that classrooms running CLT’s flagship program, e-Patashale, deliver on creating an engaging and rewarding experience for students and teachers in the undeserved space. This platform has taken flight to two other states other than Karnataka - Rajasthan and Maharashtra. CLT is working closely with state governments across the country to extend its underserved footprint.
It has been a pleasure to be a member of the Board of Directors of CLT India and to see the substantial progress that the organization has made over the last 20 years. CLT India continues to be focused, as it has been from the beginning, on providing significant educational content using technology as a tool to benefit thousands of students and teachers across India. I look forward to working to expand CLT India's presence and impact across the subcontinent and improving the lives and futures of so many
Twelve years ago, Ms. Bhagya Rangachar, founder and CEO of CLT India, walked into my office at Microsoft Research India where I was at the time to seek opportunities for collaboration. I was deeply impressed with her work with midday meals and computer clubs for children. I would never have guessed then that that was all just a prelude to the incredible work that CLT India has accomplished since then with carefully crafted teaching aids and workshops for government school teachers. I look forward to another dozen years of even greater impact!