Gubbachi – A Community of Learners

Gubbachi Learning Community was established by APU Alumni in mid-2015 to (i) enable the educational inclusion of the disadvantaged out of school children, typically from migrant and deprived families, in collaboration with the public education system (ii) facilitate empowerment of the family and community in which the children are located and (iii) through evidence and engagement, influence policies and practices among key stakeholders (e.g. construction companies, contracting middlemen, education system, other social safety providers – health, child and women welfare, and so on) to adopt humane and inclusive approaches to issues of education and development of labour.


Morning Stories                                                                        – Preethy (M A Education, 2012-14)

At Gubbachi, every morning starts in a circle –teachers and students share and reconnect sitting in a circle. This is a time when we get a glimpse of the children’s lives and hear about the many real and make believe moments (sometimes hard to tell apart) that make up their eventful childhoods.

Here is a bagful of anecdotes that we have heard :

  • Shashikant was once married to a stone by his sister during play. Another time, attempts were made to marry Shashikant to a dog, but when it was time to tie the ‘tali’ the dog ran away (at the altar)! (Playing ‘marriage’ is common. ‘Marrying’ means tying a make believe ‘tali’ (mangalsutra) made out of any old string and a piece of turmeric tied to it.)

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Learning to be Literate                                                             – Nomita (M A Education, 2011-13)

7-year old Samanya lives in the middle of a field under a tarpaulin sheet, insignificantly tucked away from all the urban action. Samanya’s mother is a scavenger. Three months ago, Samanya wandered into our learning centre, not far away from her little home. Her hair was uncombed and matted, framing her beautiful face that quickly broke into a smile! The sparkling black eyes, the dangling earrings and nose-pin added to her charm. She invited herself into the classroom and sat down, her thick silver anklets tinkling musically. Thus began Gubbachi’s engagement with Samanya!

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My Role as a Facilitator of Learning                                     – Deyone (M A Education, 2011-13)

This post is a collection of highs of my experience at the centre while I struggle to facilitate learning of some sort…learning which is meaningful and relevant to the set of learners entrusted to me…

One of the happiest moments for me is a 7 year old girl playing at the ‘see- saw’ at the end of the day after the classes are over without worrying about taking care of her two younger siblings who are 4 years and 2 years old. All through the day she has been religiously catering to the needs of the two siblings as she engaged with the learning experiences of the day. It seems to be her time to let her hair loose …similar to a mum …a role that this little mum is truly true to.

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Start of a Journey                                                                       – Somya (M A Education, 2012-14)

Unbelievable 4 months since we started the Learning Centre…and almost a year since we started to put the idea together. Literally, piece-by-piece, person-by-person, organisation-by-organisation!

It helped that we, as individuals in the founding team, had wet our toes in the space of education and development, in the past at various organisations, in various roles. And, mostly in the underserved space. We were already committed to the cause of the underserved and did not want to stand in the fringes and critique other efforts. We wanted to BE the effort.

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For more information write to them @ info(dot)gubbachi(at)gmail(dot)com.

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