Mr Padmanabh Kelkar
Padmanabh has worked with us for about four years. He is a research engineer by profession, and whilst working for Yerala Project Society (an Indian NGO), Padmananbh helped set up Science Curiosity Centres based on the famous Nimo Centre in Amsterdam. After initial training with us, Padmanabh worked to build on the Science Centre 'open-ended thinking development' approach and also started working with a group of secondary students in philosophical enquiry. He subsequently worked with us on other occasions and helped train teachers in the basic approach to P4C. He currently is working with a group of student nurses at a training college in Pune, helping develop their critical thinking and emotional intelligence. We are working to support Padmanabh and assist in this project.
Mrs Anuradha Kunte
Anuradha has also worked with us for four years. She works for Yerala Project Society with the sponsorship of Yojana Projecthulp in the Netherlands. Following the same introduction to our training as Padmanabh, Anuradha has applied and adapted the approach and method to those areas in which she works. She has worked with us in joint training of teachers on several occasions, most recently in January 2014. Examples of projects where a philosophical enquiry has been used include training of social workers working in rural areas to address the problem of infanticide. Anuradha says 'All training was conducted through philosophical enquiry dialogue and this enabled the women to open up easily and come up with ideas for handling such sensitive issues in their villages'. Working with adolescent girls with issues such as the stigma related to being a girl child, gender discrimination, the role of education and child marriage was another project where Mrs Kunte successfully employed philosophical dialogue. Creatively, she also employed the method working with destitute women who are HIV positive. Given employment in an electronics unit, they have used a philosophical enquiry approach for more than a year to share problems, bring problems and tensions into the open and build harmony in the unit.
Zsuzsanna (Suzy) has had an interest in philosophy for more than ten years and for the past four years has worked with Alma Mater School in Budapest to develop philosophical enquiry. Besides working with us in training teachers at the school, Suzy has translated the 'Thinking Through Philosophy' books into Hungarian for their use. She meets regularly with teachers to mentor them and monitor progress, and on a visit to the school, Doris and I observed a very good P4C session. Suzy is currently researching some materials from the Hungarian tradition and culture to add to the Hungarian edition of 'Thinking Through Philosophy - A Teachers Toolkit' as it is developed.