Nashy Chauhan, Anand Niketan Group: Inspirational Leader 2020
Selected as WCRCINT India’s Inspirational Leaders in education, Nashy Chauhan of the Anand Niketan Group is an innovative and inspirational educator, who succeeds cultivating strong relationships with unparalleled faith and beliefs.
Years of working in the industry, your contribution reflects versatility and volubility. What has influenced your decision making process at various stages?
My 40 plus years of experience in the education sector has not only nurtured my versatility and experience as an educator but also compassion and respect for children as individuals. My decision making process at all stages has been influenced primarily by my strong belief and faith in the innate capacity and potential of each child. Akin to a seed which has the potential to grow into a huge tree, every child has enormous capacity to bloom and grow according to their own strengths, interests and capabilities. Their minds are sparks that can be ignited through the right approach unleashing the power hidden within them.
An accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career?
Every little effort made towards the progress/success of every single child counts and brings satisfaction but according to me, my most significant accomplishment has been creating curriculums. It is routinely observed that simply board guidelines and textbooks are followed in schools and I strongly feel the need of a structured curriculum. Thus, keeping in mind the different needs of every age group, I designed an adaptable and holistic curriculum for the different key stages, giving more weightage to their lifelong understanding and conceptual application. This curriculum encompasses and encourages differentiated instructions for the level 3 students as well as hand holding the level 1 students along with giving the required rigour to the level 2 students. I feel curriculum designing is my forte and my experience with children strengthens my ability to expose them to a module appropriate for them, in terms of both age and skills.
How do you integrate corporate philanthropy or corporate social responsibility as a part of your business strategies?
Education, in itself brings with it the essence of philanthropy or social responsibility as it is the birthright and privilege of each child on this planet. As the leader of a group of schools and an educator at heart, I attempt to include in all my schools as many differently abled children as well as under privileged. I also endeavor to support and scaffold education of many other children through various NGO’s by lending them a helping hand through sharing of educational resources, educators, personality development sessions and skill based courses.
What has been your driving force or philosophy in life?
The driving force of my entire life has always been cultivating and nurturing strong relationships as they are the bedrock of every social interaction and exchange in life. Our happiness, peace and progress in life depends on the relationships that we share with others. The goal of my life is to create good human beings, not just successful people- and give them knowledge to apply their learning throughout their life.
What are the other philanthropic works you are involved in?
I would prefer not to term my projects as ‘Philanthropy’ as I consider all these efforts be integral to my capacity as an educator. I am involved with a variety of organization like Visamo ( under privileged children ), Yuva Unstoppable ( Working for the youth), Samvedna and Laddoo Foundation Abhisaar ( a municipal school ) and Aproach. I do my little bit in supporting these organizations through buddy interactions where students of my schools become buddies with the underprivileged students and scaffold their learning and social interactions, encouraging students to teach basic reading and writing to the maids and ground staff, collecting and donating milk bottles for the young children in the anganwadis and children of workers at construction sites and creating happy streets for children with freedom of choice and voice. I also continuously support free education for children from needy families, children under the RTE Act and holistic skill development including vocational as well as social skills like table etiquettes etc.
How do you define success and how do you measure up to your own definition?
I define ‘success’ , not as any achievement or respect or fame but as an intention to always give one’s best and excel in whatever we do. I endeavor hard to balance my work with passion, overcoming fear and giving my best shot at what I believe in.
We are constantly making things better, faster, smarter or less expensive. In other words, we strive to do more with less. Tell me about a recent project or solution to a problem that you have made better, faster, smarter or less expensive?
I have the fortune of juggling many hats at a given time-functioning as an educator, administrator, mentor as well as a counselor at the same time though the job that takes up most of my time is that of a problem solver. This problem solving includes saving of resources being used in the school, time management ideas and creating smart workers and teachers. A recent project that encompasses all this is the introduction of a ‘File system’ in classrooms by me, wherein students bags become lighter, teachers burden of corrections become lesser and time is saved.
In your opinion what is the most significant aspect of leadership?
The most significant aspect of leadership is being an integral part of the team and forging ahead on the path of excellence, creating a win-win situation for all team members.
Your perception of an empowered society. How far your industry has/can contribute for the same?
An empowered society is one which is completely independent and self-sufficient, acting individually as well as collectively for the benefit of all. An educational institution, like mine, is a perfect example of the same as all the involved stakeholders- parents, teachers, school management and students- work together, focusing on the same goal of a value based education aimed at creating good human beings.
One thing you wish to change and one thing you wish to retain about your industry?
I feel educators are taking this as any other job but a lot of dedication is needed- go back to the same attitude- wish if this can be changed. Retaining relationships between students and teachers and the unconditional love of students for their teachers is something we need to prioritize.
One thing you have to let go off as an entrepreneur/leader?
One thing I want to let go off as a leader is that young generation has a mind of their own, are more exposed- don’t expect them to take advice they should be left to take their own decisions.
Whom do you owe your success to?
I owe my success to myself, entered career as a stop gap- but got involved completely.
Best thing about your job?
Children, Teachers, management and all I work with are the best of what anyone can have. We all work as one family with no negativity and have the same vision.