Suchita Kumar is an education entrepreneur and passionate educator. Growing up in a deeply patriarchal society, she intimately understands the complexities of the process of getting a woman educated. It is perhaps those experiences that serve as a fuel to her desires.
Suchita runs ‘Wonderkids,’ a pre-school and daycare facility intended to serve those with limited economic means. Interestingly, this facility also offers opportunities to other educated women who are housewives or are from underprivileged backgrounds to run separate facilities under the Wonderkids umbrella. This endeavor is aimed at having doubly positive effects – it provides for quality services for childcare and basic education to those parents in urban centers who might not be able to afford it elsewhere. At the same time, it has the wonderful ancillary effect of providing able women who are shackled with restrictive social diktats, with a reasonable path towards financial independence.
My dream is to set educated homemakers and underprivileged educated women free from financial dependency by creating sustainable and respectable careers for them, in turn, contributing towards the education sector of the country.
From a simple idea born out of her experiences to being an educator in a K-12 school, to experimenting with a simple concept with her own kid and his peers, Suchita has approached techniques and methods of teaching with an uncanny entrepreneurial discipline. Yet there is always an unmissable sense of passion whenever she talks about her enterprise. She is deeply passionate about education, and religiously believes in and espouses the transformative effects it can have on a society when it is practically available to all. The techniques that she uses in her schools are also indicative of that mindset.
While teaching at K-12 grade school, I found that there were some learning gaps because of the traditional techniques, and while researching newer methods for closing those learning gaps, I was drawn to play way techniques, which yielded good results and great feedback from children and parents alike.
The market that she seeks to serve is also one created by the social diktats she is fighting against – as she observed time and time again, it would always be the woman of the household who would bear disproportionate burden and discomfort, or outright take a sabbatical, to take care of infants. This was major because of a lack of an economical option of daycare and primary education facilities for these families. Suchita is painfully aware of how common this phenomenon is, and of how it has a negative effect on these women’s careers. In her approach to solving these problems, Suchita exhibits her grounded nature; she clearly understands the rigors of life in the city as well as the rigidity of a life constrained by social dogmas. The results she produces are absolutely inspiring, and accurately encapsulates her admiration for people like APJ Abdul Kalam.
Many educated women are forced to quit or take a sabbatical from work due to lack of affordable options for their infants. This prompted me to spot the opportunity in early childhood education sector to bridge the gap between work-life balance, quality and affordable care, and career choices for enterprising individuals.
Her efforts have not gone in vain. Various branches have been opened under the Wonderkids umbrella, and her endeavors have also been recognized by the Early Childhood Association, which felicitated Suchita and her organization with an award for the top 50 non-franchised pre-schools in Asia in 2018. She is spearheading a revolution in education techniques that will long outlast her, and for that alone, she is a real educator.