Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse picture books and online curriculum with the mission to empower over a million kids to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, and Changemakers who are advancing the UN SDGs.
Hello! My name is Spiffy, I’m an interplanetary journalist. I’ve been speaking with innovators from around the world who are working on education. One of those people is Dr. Revathi Srinivasan, director—education and dean of the Singhania Group of Schools and the principal of Smt. Sulochanadevi Singhania School. Let’s learn what’s happening at Smt. Sulochanadevi Singhania School and how Revathi is making a positive impact in the world.
Spiffy: It’s wonderful to meet you, Revathi. I’m curious about the challenges Smt. Sulochanadevi Singhania School is addressing. What can you tell me?
Revathi: Thanks for having me, Spiffy! Being an educationist for three decades and spearheading eight educational institutions, my spectrum of work is not only confined to academics, curriculum design, and development but also to social outreach initiatives and empowerment programs. The focal point of all my work is addressing quality and equity in education. The challenge today is to make students, parents, and teachers go beyond textbook learning and help them become thinkers. We have been running since 2015 a Rural Immersion Program to educate underprivileged children. It will result in the literacy rate increasing, a broadening of the mentality, and independent livelihood, and will also cause an attitude change and raise a responsible generation.
Spiffy: These are really big problems to solve. What motivates you to tackle them?
Revathi: I believe that every individual, regardless of their socioeconomic background, deserves equal opportunities to receive quality education. I view education as a powerful tool for breaking the cycle of poverty and creating a more just society. Witnessing the transformative power of education and seeing students thrive academically and personally is highly rewarding. The opportunity and ability to contribute to the intellectual and personal growth of underprivileged students is what makes me truly happy. The smiles and the pride in the eyes of students and their family members are how I measure my personal success. The prospect of contributing to lasting social change motivates me.
Spiffy: Those are powerful motivations indeed—thank you for sharing. What would you say is the impact of your work?
Revathi: Access to quality education transforms individuals, breaks the cycle of poverty, contributes to social and economic development, inspires others, and lays the foundation for long-term social transformation. By investing in quality education for the underprivileged, I believe that we are building a more inclusive and prosperous future for our country and its people. Under our different initiatives, we are providing free education to over 5,200 underprivileged children. We are also training around 5,000 street boys in mobile repairs, motor mechanics, electronics, etc. which helps them gain employment and makes them a minimum of INR 8,000 per month. We are educating 15,000 students in real time and another 75,000 in our virtual classrooms.
Spiffy: Tell me about a recent organizational milestone or initiative. What impact does it make on your audience/community?
Revathi: In July last year, we adopted Sri Venkateswara High School, Andhra Pradesh—a rural school—to revamp their education system and provide quality education. When we adopted the school, we undertook extensive teacher training programs, curriculum revamping, infrastructure, and technological development of the campus. As a result, now 4,600 students have access to updated education in English who were essentially speaking and exposed only to the regional language. This has also generated employment for around 160 people who are all now earning a minimum of INR 240,000 per annum. To me, this is not just providing education to underprivileged students but upliftment of society to improve well-being and better quality of life.
Spiffy: Is there anything else you would love to tell our audience?
Revathi: As important as education is for an individual, I would like to emphasize the importance of mental health and well-being. We as educationists and parents should provide emotional guidance and support to our children so that they are well equipped to steer through life’s ups and downs. Mental well-being significantly contributes to overall life satisfaction for students. When students feel mentally healthy, they experience greater happiness, fulfillment, and enjoyment in their academic and personal lives. This sense of well-being extends beyond the classroom and positively impacts their overall quality of life.
Spiffy: Thanks for speaking with me today, Revathi—it’s been an honor!
Dr. Revathi Srinivasan is a visionary in education and is renowned for her exemplary contributions to the field of education. Her spectrum of work is not only confined to pedagogical innovations, curriculum design, and development but also innovative international exchanges, social outreach initiatives, and empowerment programs. Dr. Revathi scans the external environments looking for opportunities and creative solutions to complex educational issues. (First published on the Ladderworks website on August 28, 2023.)
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect those of Ladderworks LLC.
© 2023 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Sujit Kunte. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Launchpad: Creative Entrepreneurship Workshops for K-3 Kids and their caregivers here.