I founded Reach to Teach back in 2003, shortly after leaving Yahoo. I had made a firm decision that I wanted to do something about education in rural India.
After travelling in the tribal districts of Southern Gujarat, I felt that many communities that lived in remote rural areas were very poorly served by schools. Many of those I did see were in poor condition, difficult to access for those children from the most remote communities and often teachers simply did not attend.
My initial thought was that this would be a one-off short-term project. I felt that a low cost, high impact model might be the best way forward. So, as a pilot scheme, I bought a bus, and with the help of my aunt, who was a Head Teacher in Mumbai, converted it into a mobile classroom and launched a mobile education programme serving five villages in Southern Gujarat.
Our approach has changed over time as our experience has grown. I now believe that the model we have developed could transform the teaching of primary education in remote, rural areas.
We have attracted leading primary educators to work in our education team along with experienced managers to lead our operations teams. They come from within the industry and also from the NGO sector.
Over the next three to five years we intend to expand the scope of our operations. This means establishing our schools and our teacher training programmes as a benchmark for excellence in education.
None of this would be possible without funding. We have been fortunate to receive strong personal backing from Larry Ellison since 2008. His advice, long-term commitment and generous funding have been instrumental to our growth.
Sanjeev Gandhi, Founder