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The story of Learning Space goes back to the year 2002 when Mumbai based Mr. Nitin Orayan, a professional in Communications and Promotion of Pharma Products, decided to spend a quality 2 months in seclusion at the Tansa riverside skirting the village Savroli (6 kms from Vajreshwari Temple). His purpose of this get-away from the city was to be able to pen his deep-seated impressions on self-development, for which this countryside rendezvous was best suited. Little did he know that in these 2 months spanning July-August 2002, he would touch upon rare moments of life that gifted him with an innate calling - enriching little village children's lives with enjoyable methods of teaching through story-telling, games and others.


In 2004 September, Mr. Nitin Orayan returned to the same village he had been to a couple years before. This simply had happened because he had never been able to forget those special moments with village children that his life had gifted to him. At this point, he was led to a school in the vicinity where there was a serious need for an English teacher. Soon he was leading training programmes for the local teachers and also helping 10th std. students prepare for their Board exams. This 8 months stint with a full-fledged school gave him the understanding what was actually lacking in village schools, and surely the experience of being a school teacher. In April 2005, he was invited by the Principal of an Arts college in Vajreshwari town to hold a vacation program for their students to enhance their English language skills and personal development. 35 students enrolled in this month-long skill enhancement program run over the months of April-May 2005. This was much of a breakthrough for him and the students who had received a unique experience of their lives in learning communication skills with an open perception to constructivism and self-development. Some of the students in this program, soon joined Nitin Orayan in consolidating an idea of an educational social service program for bettering teaching methods and standards to enrich lives of village children, and as they had experienced .a unique space coming together. and .learning. truly the meaning of communication as self-expression, they decided to call the program .Learning Space..


Although the purpose at the start was a broad spectrum where .Learning Space. meant communicating for self-expression, especially in village children. This actually manifested as an English learning before-school and after-school program at the spiritual small town of Ganeshpuri known for its temples and hot spring baths, (16 kms inroad from the Virar Junction on the Western Express Highway connecting Mumbai with Ahmedabad). On August 15th 2005, Nitin Orayan got some of his students and local supporters together for the inaugural ceremony of Learning Space in a rented hall of a village house, only 200 sq.ft in size. Here, children from nearby primary schools found a mentor in him, who would be telling them stories and help them learn to communicate in the English language. The children grew in number and soon many visitors to the Ganeshpuri town became friends and supporters of this program. In less than a year.s time, Nitin Orayan expressed the need to form a Charitable Trust to support the increasing number of activities and children enrolled in the Learning Space project. And in July 2006, an application was submitted to the Asst. Charity Commissioner.s Office in Thane for becoming an educational support foundation for village children and rural marginalized communities as beneficiaries.


Rural Education and Village Life Transformed through
Social Intervention


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