At TEDx IIM Ranchi

Samina Bano, the director/founder of RightWalk Foundation is an IIM, Bangalore graduate, who in order to stand for children from the economically weaker sections and disadvantaged groups, left a comfortable lifestyle in the United States, where she was working as a management consultant in a leading consulting firm. She used the Right to Education (RTE) Act, passed in 2009 but not implemented, to build an inclusive education system giving equal access to quality education to all children by creating an interface between UP Government, leading educationists and education think tanks.

In 2012, she started BAF (Bharat Abhyudaya Foundation), a non-profit organization committed to the cause of elementary education reform at institutional level. The vision of BAF was carried forward to RightWalk Foundation (RWF), a section 8, not-for-profit company, in a major organizational restructuring effort by Samina in 2017, as they grew bigger. The system Samina built enabled 52,000 children to be admitted in private schools and study there for free, across 75 districts of Uttar Pradesh in three years from 2015-17, creating history. Simultaneously, she helped government in capacity building by training government officials in the education department, district administration and over 1700 school administration representatives from different districts across the state on Social Inclusion within classrooms. She also institutionalized the admission process by building an online digital system (rte25.upsdc.gov.in) that requires minimum human intervention for better scaling and transparency, with the help of UP Govt. and NIC. After successful implementation of the online portal, Uttar Pradesh witnessed a huge success with 30,754 allotments in 5,000+ school across 58 districts. Among numerous awards and honors achieved by her, World Women Super Achiever Award (2015), Ashoka Fellow (2015) and Kalam Innovation in Governance Award (2016) stand out.

She was recently invited as TEDx speaker at TEDx IIM Ranchi for a talk, where she spoke about Social Inclusion in Education and shared her experiences. She believes that When all children, regardless of their socioeconomic differences are educated together, everyone benefits. Since education is a great equalizer, RTE 12(1)(C) provides equal access to quality education irrespective of socioeconomic differences, thus helping reduce societal inequity. In her talk, Samina spoke about Social Inclusion in Education, Its importance, status in Uttar Pradesh, RightWalk’s intervention, socioeconomic integration in classrooms and Equity in education through Right To Education Act, her struggles for the cause, impact, success stories and the Future of education.

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