It’s a lazy Saturday in Kottayam town. The pitter-patter of the rain and the gentle breeze makes it a perfect setting for an afternoon siesta. But sleep is the last thing on the minds of the twenty-odd government school teachers who are huddled together in a conference room in the Malayala Manorama building. Their trainer has given them a task in lesson planning, and together, they are on a mission to make their classrooms as engaging as possible.
“This is the fourth training programme these teachers are attending. They only have two free Saturdays a month. They have to attend a government training session on one Saturday, and while on the other, they choose to come here,” says Ashika Mathew, co-Founder of The Tiny Seed, a Kottayam-based non-profit organisation.
In 2013, Ashika and her sisters-in-law Malini Mathew Varughese and Mariam Mammen Mathew decided to put their resources and connections to good use and start this organisation to improve the quality of public education in schools in Kerala. Though it started by addressing infrastructural gaps in government schools, The Tiny Seed has evolved into a crowdfunding platform. The three of them are aiding the government in a sense, by taking on the works that don’t get funded.