Agastya International Foundation
Agastya International Foundationwas established in 1999. It is education trust based in Bangalore and runs one of the largest hands-on science education programs in the world. Its works mainly withchildren and teachers in rural Government schools spread across the southern Indian states of KarnatakaandAndhra Pradesh.
The Agastya project occupies 172 acres of forest land in an area which is ranked among the lowest in Indias literacy rates. With Agastyas help, this region is now emerging as a center for creativity-based education. The project site is visited by approximately 500 children everyday. Both national and international visitors also visit it. With a discovery center, model making, art, dance and ecology it has created a one-of-a-kind environment conducive to learning about the environment. Agastya also runs mobile vans with exhibits to villages, where the rural population also learns about climate change, and other environmental issues.
Agastya says it aims at transforming attitudes to learning -
'Yes' to 'Why'; 'Looking' to 'Observing'; 'Passiveness' to 'Exploring'; 'Textbook-bound' to 'Hands-on'; 'Fear' to 'Confidence'
The Agastya model has been recommended by the Prime Ministers NationalKnowledge Commission as a model for replication in other parts of India well.