Shikshantar, which began its journey as an alternative to the traditional examination oriented system of education in the year 2003, was founded by a core team of three members - Ms. Minoti Bahri, Mr. Sanjay Prakash and Mr. Sunil Batra. It continues to be led and directed by Ms. Minoti Bahri, Chairperson and Director Education and Mr. Sanjay Prakash, Team Director.
Hospitality Management (IHM, Pusa, Delhi). Trained and practiced as a family counsellor at Sanjivini Society for Mental Health, New Delhi and as a Facilitator in Integral Education at Mirambika, New Delhi. Minoti’s formal journey with education sector started in 1996 when she facilitated children’s workshop at Rajghat-The Krishnamurthi School-Benaras & soon thereafter joined Mirambika, New Delhi as a teacher facilitator where she extensively trained and practiced principles of Integral Education, Human Values and Free Progress.
Currently engaged in areas of curriculum development, innovative evaluation systems, teacher education, parent and child counselling and systems design for school. Minoti has established a viable learning culture that is progressive, guided by an inner faith in the learner, sensitive to environmental needs and all beings. As an entrepreneur in hospitality and education sectors, nurturance, inclusiveness, detailing, new possibilities, organic growth, aesthetics and humour are her tools as she works towards creating learning environments that are simple, real, thoughtful and meaningful for children, parents, educational leaders and teachers. In the hospitality sector her focus has been on recognizing and developing individual strengths to dovetail them with organizational needs. Hence creating units where service is warm, personal, moving towards innovative, progressive standards of excellence. Minoti is also a keen photographer and pursues active parallel interests in Indian classical dance (Odissi), building landscape / horticulture development, buddhist studies and poetry writing.
B. Arch., A.I.I.A. Principal Consultant of his design firm, SHiFt: Studio for Habitat Futures (www.shift.org.in) with a commitment to energy-conscious architecture, eco-friendly design, people’s participation in planning, music and production design. Over the years, Mr. Prakash has integrated all his work with the practice of new urbanism and sustainability in his professional and personal life.His area of practice and research over the last four decades includes passive and low energy architecture and planning, hybrid air-conditioning, autonomous energy and water systems, bamboo and earth construction, community-based design of common property, and computer-aided design. Under his guidance, hundreds of people have developed capabilities in performing design, conceptual or management work in these areas.
Mr. Prakash’s participative and community managed architecture work includes rural schools in Rajasthan (Lok Jumbish), Andhra Pradesh, Haryana and Orissa. His architectural work in the field of education includes a research center cum school (Mirambika), an ashram hostel (Tapasya), children’s home for juvenile justice (Prayas), large engineering campuses and higher secondary schools, a hotel management college, and various other building projects. Mr. Prakash also worked on distance education and rural connectivity for TARAhaat (https://www.devalt.org/newsletter/jun00/lead.htm). He was on the managing committee of Mirambika Free Progress School and on the advisory board of Deepayan Vidya Niketan. Mr. Prakash has planned/designed a number of public engineering Institutes, such as IIT Jodhpur, IIIT Delhi, Delhi Technological University, Delhi. His name and work is mentioned in the twentieth edition of one of the main reference works in architectural history, A History of Architecture by Sir R. Bannister Fletcher.
M.A., Child Psychology and Education (Erikson Institute, Chicago) Continued to be a part of core team till the year 2016. He facilitated learner-friendly education for more than two decades as a practitioner, academic and researcher, specialising in nurturing institutional practices from Nursery to Class XII. Sunil was also the Founder Director Education of Deepayan Vidya Niketan in North Delhi. As an advisor, he engaged in restructuring low fee paying and high income aided and unaided schools. Sunil was instrumental in designing and teaching courses on Education Leadership at three universities in India – Delhi University, TISS Mumbai and Ambedkar University, Delhi where he was Adjunct Faculty. He was also a Mentor for the National Centre for School Leadership initiated by the National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA). Sunil was a resource person for multilateral funding agencies, government programmes and NGOs at various state and central levels.