Not very long ago, two weary travellers, after a long day on horseback sat under the stars by the big banyan tree staring at a piece of wood.

Without warning, a white flash of light from the firmament, in the shape of a PY motif, fell on their backs and a celestial voice asked them to start the movement.

And so was born Prajayatna.

We wish such a legend were true but our reality is a lot more organic. Like most things, our process from being to becoming has been a slow steady process of evolution.

Truth be told, Prajayatna evolved in 2000 out of the earlier experiences of working with the issue of child labour and it was a matter of time before we realised that the issue of child labour was deeply connected with the value that schools had in people’s lives.

Once we started our work with schools, we realized that the problem was not localized to “a certain school in a certain place”. Schools were not providing any real learning to young people nor did they impart skills that could make the quality of their lives better. The interventions to address this issue of quality education needed to go beyond the local and specific manifestations that treat the symptoms towards addressing the structural dimensions of the problem. The change, we realized, needed to be systemic.