Pick Me Click Me, Educate Me!

Pick Me, Click Me, Educate Me! is an endeavor to use digital photography as a social reform tool to create awareness of the existing educational situations in rural Bihar. This project also aims to spread the joy of education and building communities for collaborative learning in rural Bihar.

This project serves to provide a platform to people from different backgrounds (photographers, writers, educationists, social workers, donors etc) to collaborate. It allows to utilize the work done by one group (like photographers who go to these locations and shoot), for discussion with the others who are not able to.It therefore allows aims for promoting , discussing, writing about, and finally donating (again not the prime focus) for , the issue of child education.

It has been an evolving process. I started out with visiting schools in Rural Bihar, and interacting with children. Along the way I took photographs. The camera became an interesting entry point into their lives. The more time I spent, the more motivated I got. What started out in one school, increased to 3 and then to 5 as of now. Everytime I am there, I visit these schools and just spend time with the kids. I use it to allow them to get their questions answered. At times I use the opportunity to get them introduced to creative learning exercise, or at times just having a fun session of photography.

It is a lot about making them realize the value of education, keeping themselves motivated and also ensuring that the society supports it. So now I am working towards a community learning system, where the actors are many. There is the human side of it, in the children, teachers and parents and society, who play a major role in this system. Then there is the technology side of it that a lot of them seem to be influenced by. This at times acts as the facilitators for propagating education amongst society (though we can go on for hours discussing about the pros and cons of technology usage). There is the education outside the classroom side of it. Again in education there is a different learning strategies, ways of learning etc. And then in the later stages I am looking to build the system for a completion in their education and doing things worthwhile. (more on that part later).
So, basically it's an ongoing process and I refine onto it whenever I get a chance I present it at schools, conferences and talks. I am not really trying a new technology. I am just trying to evaluate existing solutions like usage of mobile phones, or usage of videos, different learning strategies and learning methodologies in the context of rural education.

When looking at rural education, (which is a large part of my interest in Design for Social Impact), the issues are much more and I am constantly trying to find solutions that would work.