Avaniti Education and Training Foundation

Partner From


Research in neurosciences has confirmed that early childhood is a critical stage in the development of the brain. This period influences the pathways of physical, and mental health and behavior throughout the life cycle. More than 80% of human brain development takes place during this stage provided that the child is exposed to a stimulating and caring environment. 

However, in India, more than 40% of children belonging to the ages of 3 to 6 years are not enrolled in any kind of preschool (Kaul and Shanker, 2009) and more than 30% of these children belong to ST and SC communities (Centre for budget and policy). 30% of Children enrolled in government Anganwadis and preschools do not have desirable cognitive and emotional skills, as per the ASER 2018 ECE report. 

The district of Dhamtari, where Avaniti is currently present, is the microcosm of the situation above explained. Dhamtari is a tribal-dominated district and from our earlier work experience in similar geographies we found out that children belonging to one of the tribal communities called the Kamar, a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG) do not have access to Early Childhood Education and Care for generations. We also witnessed that the early childhood education provided in the existing government Anganwadis in this district significantly needs to be upgraded and organized. 

Providing context-based and child-centric education will help children belonging to such communities to maximize their age-appropriate potential and will also be the key to solving problems of dropout in later stages (the dropout rate in the Kamar community is more than 90% at the primary level itself). This has already been proven by the research that chances of a child completing further education will go up to 30% after receiving early childhood education (NCERT Position Paper on ECE, 2005).   

About Avaniti

Avaniti Education and Training Foundation (or Avaniti) works towards providing access to early childhood education to children devoid of any preschool and come from the most disadvantaged sections of our society such as PVTG. Avaniti also works with the government Anganwadis of tribal and rural belts of Chhattisgarh to improve the quality of early childhood education through play-based projects following Context-Based and Child-Led pedagogies. 

We believe in collaboration with children, teachers, parents, and other stakeholders at various levels to develop and promote a quality learning environment for children in their early age groups (3 to 8 years). Our work includes developing sustainable teaching-learning materials, specific to the learner’s context and culture, and offering courses on various issues of early childhood education for teachers, supervisors, and other stakeholders working in the domain of early education; along with promoting research and case studies relevant to early childhood education. 


Vision and Mission

Avaniti has a vision of a society where every child’s voice and ways of learning are respected which it believes to fulfil by working on both access and quality aspects of the foundational stage of education as suggested in the National Education Policy 2020. 

Our mission is towards a society where no children are devoid of their fundamental rights of education irrespective of their caste, creed, and geography. And, an education system where teachers are educated, and empowered to develop and nurture a child-led and context-based learning environment.


Current location:  Dhamtari, Chhattisgarh

About Dhamtari

Dhamtari district of Chhattisgarh is situated at a distance of 80 kilometres from the state capital Raipur and was formed in 1998. It has four blocks- Dhamtari, Kurud, Magarlod, and Nagri with a total population of around 8 lakhs (Census 2011) with more than 81% population residing in rural areas. 

26% of the total population of Dhamtari belongs to the Scheduled Tribe communities and the district is also home to one of the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG) communities called the Kamar with a population of around four and a half thousand. The overall literacy rate of the district is 76% but is only 47% in the case of the Kamar community with a dropout rate of more than 90% at the primary level itself.

Scope of work

To solve the above problem Avaniti works on developing a context-based and child-centric classroom environment by working on pedagogical aspects, perspectives, and material development. Our work is focused on:

  • Providing access to education to those children who are devoid of it through community-based intervention
  • Developing awareness about the need and importance of the foundational stage of education among the stakeholders (teachers, parents, functionaries) through capacity building and on-site support
  • Developing perspectives and pedagogical understanding of teachers of government Anganwadis as per the Curricular framework of nation and state, NEP 2020, and NIPUN Bharat guidelines
  • Building a learning environment where pedagogy is play and exploration-based following Context-Based and Child-Led (CBCL) processes


Learning and Challenges

Some of our learning and challenges from past years are:

  • Project-based learning where these projects are designed according to the context, interest, and time of relevance with the surroundings of the child helped us to engage her qualitatively in our centers
  • Open-ended conversation in children’s language, respect for the voice and culture of children, and freedom to explore and make their theories have provided children the space to develop stories and nurture imaginations
  • Creating awareness among the PVTG community takes more time than expected and needs evidence-based work to convince them about the importance and utility of education in life
  • The planned third center this year could not be opened due to a lack of resources including finding a suitable member to run the operations in the village 
  • Malnutrition is a major challenge in the villages we are working with and found that providing ready-to-eat edibles to fight it is not enough
  • Along with big villages, there are also some small hamlets with children populations between 3 to 7 which are devoid of Anganwadis and we are yet to find ways to cater to them
  • Sector meetings can be utilized to capacitate the AWC teachers more effectively and create an academic environment that can motivate them to develop the classroom environment and bring their attention toward early childhood education-related issues
  • One and A month’s strike by AWC teachers affected some parts of our plan in the last quarter of this academic year. We were not able to organize the district-level workshop for the supervisors due to some system-related issues. However, we ensured meeting with supervisors of Nagri block in every quarter with the objective of liaising and collaboration
  • The MWCD department’s focus is still majorly on nutrition, health, and other tasks assigned by the system and therefore convincing AWC teachers to focus more on ECE in a planned and continuous manner becomes difficult for us
  • Finding and sustaining qualified and experienced human resources in small remuneration is a big challenge and investment in capacity building of members needs more time and resources


Plans for the next 1-3 years 

In the next three years, Avaniti has planned to increase its outreach to the 1,102 Anganwadis of the entire Dhamtari district through large-scale programs, workshops, and courses. We will increase our continuous engagement through sector meetings and visits to 12 sectors from the existing 3. Our PHOOLBATI program will cater to 200 children from the PVTG community by the end of three years. 

We will develop capacity-building programs for our team members to strengthen their perspective and pedagogical understanding of education and design a structure to deliver the same. Our project theme booklet will be ready and can be used to engage with the children in direct mode. More focus on research and reflective practice-related documentation and developing case studies.

We will document the policies and guiding documents for the organization and develop certain processes to make tasks easy with the use of technology, for example- a comprehensive package for managing finance and human resources. Converting our provisional certificates of 12A and 80G into final ones.

In the next year, we have planned to increase one more community center in collaboration with primary schools by making the total three. We will increase our outreach from 3 to 7 sectors through sector meetings and start exploring possibilities to work with the Balwadis. 

Recruiting more and maintaining the team size of 8-10 members and developing their capacity, working on developing a second line of leadership. 

Application to convert our 12A and 80G provisional certificates into final ones. We will also work on strengthening our finances and look for more institutional funding support. 

Capacity Building  

Avaniti has a plan to build the capacity of the team members continuously by focusing on developing the perspectives and pedagogical understanding of education. This plan follows the curriculum developed by Avaniti along with strengthening the understanding of the other issues faced from time to time. We also plan to use the existing capacity-building platforms provided by other organizations that are aligned with our vision and mission.