The Third Eye is a feminist think tank working on the intersections of gender, sexuality, violence, technology and education. It owes its name to pioneering educator Jyotiba Phule’s analogy in Tritiya Ratan, of calling education the third eye through which one views the human condition.
It emerged as a response to the immense role technology plays in the spread of knowledge production, and the deep deficit of open source, bilingual resources to navigate the new parameters of knowledge and access.
The Third Eye takes Nirantar’s three decades of knowledge production for the rural and the marginalised into the digital sphere, to create a feminist learning platform for educators, teachers, grassroots workers, policy makers, researchers, youth and communities in rural, semi urban and urban India. It harnesses the potential of the digital for self-directed learning, continuous learning, and the building of public discourse through learning communities.
What we do
It creates pedagogies and intervention models suited to marginalised audiences newly entering the digital world.
Nirantar has consistently worked with learners mainstream education forgets; learners who dropped out, are out of school, are adult. It has consistently helped develop alternative physical spaces and centres for fostering a teacher-learner continuum, with progressive pedagogies. This, in turn, enabled girls and women to re-enter educational spaces, as well as the formal workforce in various capacities including leadership positions. The Third Eye is the next step to help scale thirty years of feminist education work in the field.
Nirantar’s vision of democratizing access to power through education has resulted in landmark initiatives like Khabar Lahariya, the only digital news channel run by Dalit women. Khabar Lahariya emerged from a recurring question – who creates knowledge? Today, it is a demonstrable, successful model of Dalit women journalists making local, alternative perspectives heard within mainstream digital vocabularies, with a viewership of ten million plus in rural India.
As part of the Mahila Shiksha Kendra, Nirantar created the first residential school for Dalit and tribal women and girls, and crafted the first curriculum for rural women and girls. This led to the formulation of the flagship government education program to bring drop out girls into the residential KBGV.
It drafted contextual and feminist curricula for its Parvaaz Centre for Education (PACE) programme in the resettlement colonies of Delhi, which has revitalised confidence, changed aspirations and led to the employment of adolescent girls who had dropped out/never enrolled.
Under their Applied Digital Literacy program, it has developed a digital curriculum as part of its evolving digital pedagogy for rural women in dairy cooperatives in Uttar Pradesh, to help them use technology and information in an empowered way.
Nirantar has influenced mainstream textbook writing, reimagined curricula, and impacted NCERT’s work since 2004, by bringing in feminist knowledge right into classroom teaching and the design and content of school textbooks. These textbooks are still in use, and continue the push for gender, caste and class perspective building from the National Curriculum Framework of 2005.
Nirantar was also known as the “Pitara-waale”, after the immensely popular bi-monthly magazine Pitara (1994-2010), which carried simply written articles, fiction and poetry for neo-literate and rural readers, on society, politics, health, law and environment.