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Nation-Building Towards Equity Will Demand Transformational Change

Gandhi and Nehru, more than 70 years ago, envisioned an India that would be built on a more empowered republic – one that would be rooted in a social contract that worked for all of India’s citizens. Today, unfortunately, the institutions that underlie those promises are broken. Transforming India’s educational system – and therefore rewriting the social contract that defines our moral commitment to India’s poor, who were at the heart of that original vision – will demand leadership that is transformational, at every level of the system. As I’ve gotten closer, over the years, to the issues plaguing our country’s neediest citizens, I’ve found myself growing on the realization that transformational change – one rooted in progress that is dramatic and far-reaching enough to change our country – will demand something far from ordinary.

Fulfilling that original tryst with destiny, I believe, will demand leadership that is relentlessly committed, unabashedly courageous, and unwaveringly compassionate. Transforming India, I believe, will demand leadership that is audacious enough to dream for a better tomorrow. Anything less will fall short will fall short of the radical transformation our founders first hoped for.

Over the past ten years, Teach For India has infused this country with 3600 such leaders. As I write this, those Alumni are building schools, training teachers, reworking institutions, and mobilizing coalitions. They’re impacting hundreds of thousands of low-income children – fighting to equip them with opportunity. They’re working to do right by the children and people that need us the most.

As we commemorate our tenth anniversary, I am inspired and fueled by all the great strides our community has made. I’m also humbled by how far we have left to go. These last ten years are therefore only our first step.

We must keep marching – towards equity.

-Sandeep Rai, Chief of City Operations

This is the second part of a series where 10 inspirational leaders from Teach For India share their thoughts on leadership and a decade long journey of creating education equity in India.

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