The idea of Bhavya was born in Kochi, Kerala, in the year 1991, when Sita Nayar was asked to set up an alternative preschool program for one of the existing schools there. Three years into the program, she began to feel the need to create her own space where she would have a freer hand to run her program without diluting its basic essence. At this point, the parents decided to come together to help her begin Bhavya as an independent institution in Kochi.
Thus, Bhavya began in the year 1994 in Vytilla, Kochi, with sixteen children and three staff members, as a non-graded and totally child-centred space, based on the practice of total respect for all children. It was a place where children were free to learn and grow, each at his own pace. In the four years spent at Bhavya, she was able to refine her ideas further, and in application, discovered the true potential of such an approach to education. This was a deeply satisfying experience with regard to both the children and their parents who, having been part of the whole experience, were enthusiastic about the ideas practised at Bhavya. The numbers grew over the years, until 1998 which saw thirty-two children and 6 staff members in the space.
By this time, however, Sita began to face the difficulty of finding committed staff who shared the same convictions. This was further compounded by financial difficulties. Thus Sita began to feel the need to move Bhavya from Kochi to a place where she could garner the kind of acceptance and support which she needed in order to sustain the program. Thus, Bhavya in Kochi was shut down.
From 1998 to 2001, Sita tried to find a space in Bangalore where she could set up Bhavya. Meeting with no success at that point she decided to move to Chennai. There, she took up consultancy work with the TVS group of schools at Aviyur, Tumkur and Hosur. In the year 2001, she signed a one-year contract with Abacus Montessori School in Chennai to set up the Bhavya program with the 7-8-year-old group. In June 2002, Sita was offered the opportunity to set up the Bhavya program at Poorna Learning Centre in Bangalore.
In the year 2005, she separated from Poorna in order to begin an independent set-up at Virupakshapura, Bangalore.
In 2005, The Bhavya Trust was set up and Bhavya began functioning as an independent unit in Virupakshapura where Bhavya was finally able to take children through from three to seventeen years. Sita’s desire to bring Bhavya close to Nature in a total sense, led to an active search at this time for a larger space on which to begin a deeper relationship between the Bhavya community and the earth, through Natural farming.
The uniqueness of Bhavya’s experience has been the close bond shared with Bhavya’s parents and children, both past and present, which is the reason for Bhavya’s existence and success. The steady growth of acceptance and support from the parents of Bhavya both financially and physically, has enabled Bhavya to stay alive and blossom in a truly gratifying way.
The steady growth of acceptance and support from the parents of Bhavya both financially and physically, has enabled Bhavya to stay alive and blossom in a truly gratifying way.