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22 Nov 2015
Spruha Mehta Spearheads ‘The History Project’ in India

Spruha (on l) and colleague at  Rajkot School

Session with the students

Spruha S. Mehta is one of the leading members of a team that has initiated activities of ‘The History Project’ in India. As one of the first steps, she along with another volunteer recently led the introductory session of the pilot launched at The Galaxy School in Rajkot. Spruha is the daugther of Nikita and Satish Nanalal Mehta and is currently working as an Asst Manager with Citibank in Mumbai.

The History Project is an independent initiative set up by people from different social and professional backgrounds. Based on their understanding that there are multiple perspectives from which the past can be viewed, they aim to encourage students to go beyond the prescribed textbooks and access various global sources before forming their opinion. They say that the concept of critical thinking would eventually enable the student to analyse every situation with an open mind, a critical mind, a thinking mind.

Spruha says that her involvement with the project can be traced back to her participation in the activities of the not for profit Seeds of Peace, which she joined while she was in school in 2006. Spruha represented India at an international camp where she interacted with selected students from conflicting countries like India-Pakistan-Afghanistan, Israel-Palestine-Jordan, over a period of three weeks. She continues to be associated with its activities.

Says Spruha, “While discussing serious issues with our friends from Lahore, we had discovered that the history we were taught sounded different on either side of the border. This made us realise that often we think the way we do because of what we are taught.”

The volunteers have started visiting schools in India and Pakistan and offer a textbook they have compiled which has Indian and Pakistani versions of select chapters from Pre-Partition History. “The textbook has direct excerpts from textbooks and does not have our personal opinion to do away with our own bias,” explains Spruha, adding that a free copy can be downloaded from www.thehistory-project.org.

Last month they launched the pilot project at the Galaxy School in Rajkot which will be using this textbook to teach history to the 8th Grade in the IB section. “We have added lesson plans and suggested activities,” says Spruha, who conducted an introductory session for 40 students doing five activities in a span of about two hours.

“It helps us to understand how the students respond to our material,” she adds.

Currently, Spruha is looking for other schools which can be involved in this project.

For more details: www.facebook.com/thehistoryproject/  


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