The education system as it functions today has resulted in many types of disparities along the lines of gender, urban-rural location and other dimensions. Stereotypical gender narratives in textbooks create impressions that are passed on in the formative years of children and eventually lead to hackneyed constructs in the adult’s ways of thought and being. Lack of localised context based content further hampers a child’s ability to make meaning of the world around them.

In India, the National Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) policy articulates the guidelines for pre-primary education, besides encompassing elements of health, nutrition, and care. It is targeted towards children below the age of six. It is implemented through three channels: public, private, and non-governmental agencies. As a part of the scope of this project, the public (Anganwadis) and non-governmental route were investigated at length (in the context of Ahmedabad).
Various workshops were conducted during the course of this project in collaboration with Samvedana, an NGO focusing on the education, nutrition and skill development of socially and economically deprived children. It is currently working with 76 Anganwadis across Ahmedabad as a partner with the government. Samvedana is developing a curriculum for the Anganwadis; the deliverables from this project would be a part of a pilot study for the same. Consolidated research and interventions will then be proposed to the local ICDS branch, the government body which overlooks the functioning of the Anganwadi centres.

The intent of this project is to identify design opportunities within the pre-primary education system, particularly in the context of Anganwadis in Ahmedabad, and create meaningful design artefacts through active engagement with major stakeholders.

A picture book created as one of the tangible outcomes of the project.

Stakeholder map:
Scope of research: 
Snippets from the Anganwadi worker's workshop
Poster made as a part of the workshop with children at Thaltej Municipality School
Identified gender stereotypes propagated within the classroom:
Identified design opportunities through consolidating research:
Consolidated themes for visual narratives: 
The Illustrations
Visual elements for the alphabet book:
Proposed book:
The entire thesis can be found here.
This project was featured in Times of India.​​​​​​​
2019, National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad
Guide: Dr. Shilpa Das

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