Dear Neev Community,
We are on the move – in the last 2 months, our kids have travelled for exploration, sports, and MUN – to Aurangabad, Dhule, Hampi, Kolhapur, Hyderabad, Delhi, and Jaipur. And we aren’t done for the year. I am often asked 2 questions – why we travel so much and so long? And, why do we only travel in India? Writing this update, on the bus with our grade 8 and FB students from Ranthambore to Jaipur gives me the answer once again. We travel for the 3 reasons in our mission – to build knowledge, self-awareness, and relationships.
A 100 years ago, when Gokhale enticed Gandhiji back to India, he told him to first to see the real India. We create the opportunity for our children to see India in all its reality and grandeur, its urbanizing mega and meta cities and rapidly developing villages, unique business models and service, palaces, history, geography, dance, music, languages, food and much else. Just like reading is a form of travel, travel is a form of reading. We combine deep study with unique experiences to build lasting knowledge.
T.S.Eliot wrote, “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” As our kids get to know other places and people, they begin to see who they really are. It also helps children learn that to be modern we don’t need to be western because India offers a
unique, rich opportunity for learning and today’s challenges in India need solutions that are contextual and unique. On our Rajasthan trip, one of our students told me that the time for ‘me-too’ ideas is done, now only original ideas and innovation matters. I was delighted to agree; by the time they hit the work-force, what she says will be absolutely
true about India.
Our kids learn that the world is not about us vs them, but a shared planet that needs us to make thoughtful choices to protect our land, environment and make growth equitable for people. We recognize that we are 0.1% of the real India, and our choices must create unique solutions. Our kids need to think different because most will choose careers that don’t exist today. When they travel with their friends, kids also build strong relationships that will form the basis of trust for their whole lives.
Reflecting on the complexities of language and identity after a trip to Nagaland, one of our children asked, “What does it mean to be Indian?” Looking at watershed management in rural Maharashtra and Sabarmati riverfront in Ahmedabad, step wells in Rajasthan and Hampi, water tanks in the Harappan settlement of Dhloavira, many made the connection of what Bangalore needs today. Reflecting on the conservation of tigers and parks in Ranthambore, and the need for GDP growth of Rajasthan, another made the connection that growth and protection of our environment go together but prioritization is needed. Growth is needed now and environment can come later, but if we grow too fast there will be no environment left to save. The heart of global economics – right there in our grade 8 and FB.
Gokhale, that fateful day, told Gandhi one more thing – Make India proud of herself again. We choose to be a small school so that we spend time with our kids. We recognize that our children join the dots differently as a result of the time they spend with us, learning to question, reflect, articulate and make choices. I know that these kids will be the changemakers wherever they choose to live and whatever they choose to do. All our travel equips them and makes them worthy of a changing India.
Kavita Gupta Sabharwal, Head of School