Explain your project in details:
Raising children in a world that respects diversity and one that is free from any bias is becoming more important than ever. Mass media is one of the easiest ways to communicate with people and it is not uncommon to see ways in which narratives offer a gendered vision of communities and societies around us. And the best way to teach children about diversity, equality, and break free from society's preconceived notion of what it means to be a boy or a girl is with engaging storylines and visually captivating illustrations. Our activities are as follows: Writing Tales: Through simple conversations, colorful illustrations and powerful characters, we aim at creating tales that inspire children and create a more inclusive learning space. Our tales help children understand identities and take pride in what they do, what they want to be and not feel limited by their gender (race, ethnicity or any other social construct). Collaborating with schools and community centers: In terms of community engagement, we will be looking at collaborating with schools and community centers and use our stories to engage with children.
Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development
Tale Weavers was officially launched on 8th March 2017. We have received an overwhelming response from parents and teachers. They strongly feel that through short and visually engaging narratives, our tales break the stereotypes and offer a fresh perspective of people and the world around. Given that the program was only launched recently, the success/ impact measured have been anecdotal in nature. We have put together a robust impact to measure the program's success which is as follows: Measuring the impact: Students will be encouraged to offer expositions of their learning and their experience, and their behavioral patterns will be tracked using indicators and evaluation methods to see how they internalize and act on the messages shared in the stories. In particular, the indicators include but are not limited to: 1) Impact assessment studies 2) Critique evaluation studies through tests and situation analyses - where students can be made to assess films and stories to see critique them for packaging propaganda-driven information 3) Pay Forward and Ambassador Programs where children can be made storytellers for younger ones or for their immediate peers to inculcate a sense of stakeholding. The system will have an accretion of milestones whereby the youngest in the hierarchy will be a champion, and the highest rung will be an ambassador.
Sustainability and future plans
Vision: Weaving tales, breaking stereotypes Opportunities for the project: At the moment, there is no single organization or platform where teachers can access stories that celebrate diversity and break stereotypes for children. The storylines and illustrations will be created in a way that can be easily adapted globally thus making it possible for us to scale the program through collaborations across geographies. Implementation: We will be exploring partnerships with schools and community centers to conduct story-telling workshops and sessions using our stories as the main curriculum. We will also work with the youth and train them to deliver workshops and training sessions. Through partnerships with other organizations working in this domain, we will collaborate and train their trainers to use our stories as they engage with children and the youth. Operational aspects: We will be registering Tale Weavers as a social enterprise with a nonprofit model so as to maximize our social value and impact.
Your profile as an entrepreneur
A development sector professional, having worked in areas as diverse as urban planning, governance, gender empowerment and social enterprise, Sharda has been nominated as the Empower Women Champion for Change 2016-17. Sharda is passionate about using the digital space for empowering the society and improving citizen participation at varied levels. She strongly believes in the power to of education and the ways in which it can act as a catalyst in empowering communities. It is this belief that was instrumental in her choice of working within the education domain. Her recent employment was with Aidha, a Singapore-based not-for-profit organization that provides financial literacy and management skills to foreign domestic workers and lower-income women in Singapore so that they can create sustainable futures for themselves through financial education. Prior to that, she has worked with funding organizations and social enterprises in India. In December 2016, she was invited to the Global Entrepreneurship Community 2016 organized by the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre to be part of the (ALT)Ed- Alternative Education cluster and propose solutions towards making education more holistic and expanding learning opportunities for students across Malaysia. Sharda is extremely passionate about using technology to empower people at varied levels. Its this passion that has shaped her career- from working on crowd-sourced maps to designing games to address issues around education, gender equality and governance. Sharda has a Masters in Gender, Media and Culture from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Master's in Ancient History from Jawaharlal Nehru University.