The Next Billion Indians – No Formal Education, 4800 Books Make Them Smart

I recently attended a 2 day conference at the Godrej India Culture Lab, Mumbai. The Lab is a place for all kinds of people to meet, share, inspire, amaze, thrill and cause valuable collisions that make this world a better place.

4800 books, first generation English language speakers and a debate on GM crops!

One of the speakers showed a story of a small private school somewhere in Coimbatore (India) where he was invited to judge a debate competition.

He assumed the debate will be another one of those usual topics (because the eldest student was class 10th). To his surprise the students were discussing GM crops and deliberated with strong facts from published reports/ papers in the US.

Ref to speaker: P Sainath from PARI

What’s so special in the paragraph above?

The students were from lesser fortunate background. Most of them couldn’t afford a private education outside their village. None if their families have ever spoken English. They don’t have proper access to Internet. To top it all, all of what they know is thanks to the 4800+ books that are part of their library. Its these books that have shaped their senses, understanding of the world and a deep sense of fact based argument making.

The library, the books

The next billion Indians across Tier 2&3 cities are learning in many different ways. The usual education system that most of us have been through is no longer the only standard that’s driving India forward.

Education and literacy is an incredibly opportunity (for Bharat) if you were to create a billion dollar business while creating valuable impact for your customers.

If you are keen to understand the next layer of connected users across Tier 2&3 cities in India, reach me:

Reach me at: paritosh(at)paritoshsharma.com/ facebook / twitter / Linkedin

Featured Image Credit: Glen Noble