About Us

Our Team

We come with varied experiences. Interestingly, each one of us in our own personal journeys has been moving towards similar realizations. We have come together as a group with a common understanding that it takes courage to question ourselves, our own motives, our thinking and everything we do. It is in this questioning, we believe, that we really set ourselves free. We feel strongly, that only when we, as adults, work towards freeing ourselves, are we able to give the space to every child to develop spontaneously, at the pace dictated by his nature and with respect and empathy for his position.

Sita has had a varied and intense teaching career which began in a first grade classroom in a primary school in Nigeria. Her journey as a teacher took her to Friend’s Seminary, an independent Quaker school in New York City, and then to Kodaikanal International school, in India. This was followed by a very brief stint at Rishi Valley School, also in India. After fourteen years in the field of education came a period of reflection in her life. Her experiences until that time had led to a certain amount of uneasiness about the educational system and the things that were happening to children in the name of education. The cumulative impact of these years led to the search for the meaning of “education” and, finally, to the setting up of Bhavya, in Kochi in 1994, as a non-graded and totally child-centred space, based on the practice of total respect for all children.

  • B.A. (Hons) in Economics (Delhi University)
  • M.S.T. (Master of Science in Teaching) – Elementary Education - Fordham University at Lincoln Center, New York)

Full-time staff and Parent Volunteers

All adults who serve in Bhavya are selected with care on the basis of their ability to be patient, sensitive, respectful, and gentle, and also on the basis of their willingness to grow with the children. We have found that some people are naturally drawn to Bhavya as a result of their own search and life experiences. This enables them to accept the philosophy with ease and, thus, become more effective in practice.

Before joining Bhavya, Mamatha worked in Bharath Electronics as a graduate trainee in the engineering department. In 2002 she began her search for the right school for her three year old son. Fascinated by her neighbour’s daughter who seemed to be a happy, relaxed and confident child, she decided to approach her neighbor to find out which school she attended. Thus, in 2003, when her son was four, she walked into Poorna Learning Centre seeking admission for him. Here, she discovered that learning can indeed be a joyful, and meaningful experience for children. Intrigued by the Bhavya program in Poorna and the philosophy behind it, she decided to explore it as a volunteer for a period of 2 months before joining as a full-time staff member. Since then, she has committed her energy and time to Bhavya where she works now, largely with children between three and twelve years of age. In addition she takes on a considerable amount of administrative responsibility in the space.

  • B.E. in Electronics and Communication, SJC Institute of Technology at Chikkaballapur.

Vidya worked for two years at NCBS (TIFR), Bangalore, as a Junior Research Fellow, after having completed her Master’s Programme in Bio-Technology. During these two years she came to the realization that this was not her true calling and she decided to take a break to find out what would give her the sense of fulfillment that she sought. The two words that kept surfacing in her mind were “children” and “nature”. This took her to an NGO-run school for underprivileged children for a period of two years. While she learned a great deal in her work with the children, the conventional set up with its rigid, competitive and punitive approach stirred up the seeds of discontent within her, yet again. At this point she resigned and took a year off to explore her talents. As the year wore on she started to miss her interactions with children. Her search for a place where children could learn freely without fear, competition, and externally imposed discipline led her to Bhavya in the year 2015. Currently, Vidya works mainly with the older age groups enabling learning to happen as an easy, flowing experience, while also encouraging the children to develop independent learning skills.

  • B.Sc. in Botany, St.Teresa’s College, Ernakulam
  • M.Sc. in Biotechnology, Cochin University of Science and Technology

Vinitha’s first opportunity to work with children came during the course of her Bachelors’ programme in Sociology, when she enrolled for the NSS (National Service Scheme) and volunteered time at the Spastic Society of India, Chennai. It was at this time that she began to feel a deep connection with children. She later enrolled in a Montessori Training programme. In the academic year 2001- 2002, Vinitha worked at Abacus Montessori School, Chennai. During this time, she assisted Sita Nayar in setting up the Bhavya program for the 7-8 year old group. Impressed by the Bhavya philosophy and its effects on the children, Vinitha was eager to learn more about the programme. When Sita moved to Bangalore, in the year 2002, Vinitha decided to join her to set up the Bhavya program at Poorna Learning Centre. From 2002 – 2004 she worked with children in the age group of 3 - 9 years at Bhavya, in Poorna. In 2004 she left for Chennai to get married and start a family. From 2009 till 2013, she spent the most satisfying years of her ‘working career’ as a full-time mother to her daughter, Aanya. In 2013, she rejoined Bhavya as a parent with her three-and-a-half year old daughter where she has continued till date. While at Bhavya as a parent, when time permitted, she would contribute to the programme especially at the earlier levels. She has been a source of strength and support to all the new families who have chosen to begin their journey with Bhavya.

  • B.A. in Sociology at Stella Maris College, Chennai
  • Montessori Training at CMTC (Centre for Montessori Training, Chennai)

After fourteen years of work in the Corporate Arena, culminating in the position of Project Manager in HCL, Bangalore, Ashwath Narayan decided to make a complete turn-around in his life journey. Ashwath’s exposure to the Bhavya philosophy came through his wife, Vinitha Mathew, who has worked in the Bhavya system since the year 2001. He has always supported the Bhavya approach and has been keen to learn and apply it in his personal as well as in his professional life. When his daughter, Aanya, turned three, he decided that Bhavya was the environment in which he wanted his daughter to grow. Thus, the family relocated to Bangalore where he has been totally committed to raising his daughter in accordance with the Bhavya philosophy. His quest over the years for a simple and more meaningful existence has led him to make a firm decision to quit his Corporate career, and join Bhavya’s staff team to breathe Life into Bhavya’s Natural Farming Project.

  • MBA in Project Management, Sikkim Manipal University
  • PMP (Project Management Professional), Project Management Institute

Parent Volunteers

The Bhavya program derives its strength and sustenance from the active support and involvement of the parents. Parents are involved in the Bhavya program in various capacities on a day-to-day basis, as well as in the organizing of specific events as the need arises.
The initial years that parents spend in Bhavya with their own children enables them to acquire an understanding of the Bhavya philosophy, the language of empathy and the importance of it in Bhavya’s learning programme.

Parents volunteer their time to work with children above ten years of age, in the areas of Language, Mathematics, Art, and so on. Parents are trained on-the-job rendering them ideal candidates to work with our children as they are able to work in a manner which is in keeping with the Bhavya approach.

Over the years we have had many Bhavya parents give of themselves and their valuable time to help with the children’s learning programme and this has contributed greatly to the success of the programme.