SHIKSHAMITRA is a process for learning to live better. It is a space where one

learns to keep well and to help others keep well too. Shikshamitra has an address.

However, it goes beyond this – permeating into the lives of many, influencing

one’s choices in life and ways of life. To be associated with Shikshamitra is to assume

the responsibility of trying to live better. It is a continuous attempt to search for

activities that inspire life and build trust, or, it is an attempt to keep away from

anything to the contrary. Shikshamitra is a means toward becoming aware of

how much one can be and knowing exactly what one’s limitations are.

August 30, 2008

Shikshamitra Gift Shop

Did you know that Shikshamitra now has a small gift shop that is stocked with items made in the Learn and Earn Project? Some of our most popular items are the hand-stitched coasters, the eco-tote bags with brightly painted and stitched patches on front, unique terracotta ornaments, and our latest hand-bound diaries! If you visit, be sure to have a look. Many of the products make nice gift items. We hope to expand the space a bit so that we can help to sell some products for other like-minded organizations as well.

August 20, 2008


We are deep in the midst of the monsoon season here in Kolkata.

Upon seeing the wall paintings that Shikshamitra art students did on our principal's walls at her home, a well wisher made a request for posters to be painted for framing. The posters would be for a new baby's room – the theme was Sun, after the baby's name.

I liked the idea of bringing the sunshine into our class on this particularly dark day.

I chose square paper since we have never really used this shape before and it had a certain appeal and would be nice for framing. With the help of Sudeshna, I introduced the task and the theme, briefly, so as not to cap up any possible inspirations. Once the materials were set out and paper was in hand, I put on Beethoven's Greatest Hits and let the kids take it away:

- Maura

August 04, 2008

Kalighat Bridge Clay Workers Studio

Last week during our clay class period we walked to the Kalighat Bridge Clay Workers Studio to see where the ornaments, lockets and tiles we have been working on are fired.

Sajahan wrote a report on this trip in English:

We went to bharty in Gopalnagar.
We went on 29th July.
We left at 12 O’clock in the morning.
We walked to bharty from Shikshamitra.
We took 20 minutes reach to bharty.
We went with Nandita Aunty, Maura Aunty and Daniela Aunty.
We went to see clay wheel and cups
We see how did make those cups burn.
Mohan-sir helps to us.
If there not come to Mohan-sir then we did not see that, because
Mohan-sir and potter are friends.
Thank you Mohan-sir.

I think our photos tell the story of this outing. There are so many of these little bhar tea cups around us in our daily lives – and it was nice to see that behind each one, is a person with two skilled hands. As for anything, it is important to attach a face, and make the connections between the maker and the objects we use everyday, often without giving them much thought. I think that's mainly what the students got out of this wonderful local excursion.

- Maura