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Education is the possibility of building something better—a better future, a better community, a better society, a better world. But what really is education? What does it mean to build a better future? And how does one build this future—beyond the metropolitan cities and the schools for the elite?
Anurag Behar’s A Matter of the Heart is a book on the state of education in India beyond the main cities and an ode to educators who are shaping the future of our country.
In this collection of essays, Anurag Behar takes us to schools in remote villages of India. He gives us an insight into where our nation stands on education and, through that lens, into the nation itself. He shows us an India that is waiting for better infrastructure and one where the right to education is in constant struggle with the need for survival. But what emerges is the heart-warming and life-affirming story of how people and communities, energised from within, are changing lives—of individuals and the nation. This book is testimony to the essence of education: “The heart of the matter is that it is a matter of the heart.”
Anurag Behar is one of India’s leading educationists and social-sector leaders. For over twenty years, he has led efforts to improve education in India—from the grassroots level to national policies. A deep commitment to building a just, equitable and humane society motivates his work. Anurag derives his understanding of India’s realities from spending almost half the year, every year, in some of India’s most remote regions, with some of its most vulnerable communities. Bringing his expertise and experience to bear, he was key to drafting India’s National Education Policy 2020. Anurag is the Chief Executive Officer of the Azim Premji Foundation, one of the world’s biggest philanthropic institutions. He was the founding Vice Chancellor of Azim Premji University. In an earlier life, he led a successful global business in precision engineering. He is a regular columnist for Mint, Hindustan Times and other publications.
Uma Mahadevan is a civil servant currently posted as Additional Chief Secretary, Panchayat Raj in the Government of Karnataka. She has worked in diverse sectors including women and child development. She has recently served as a member of the Taskforce on Early Childhood Care and Education. She was a member of the working group that produced Karnataka’s first Human Development Report. She has written extensively on culture and development issues.