Teach For India


Teach For India (TFI) is a non-profit and a movement of leaders that was founded by Shaheen Mistri in 2009. It is a part of the Teach For All network.[1] To build a growing movement of leaders, Teach For India runs a two-year Fellowship and supports an Alumni movement. The Fellowship recruits college graduates and working professionals to serve as full-time teachers in low-income schools for two years.[2] The mission of Teach For India is “one day all children will attain an excellent education.”[3][4][5]

Teach For India
TFI logo primary black.png
TypeEducation, Nonprofit organisation
FocusEliminating Educational Inequity in India
Area served
New Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Bangalore
Key people
Shaheen Mistri - Founder & Chief Executive Officer

The Fellowship is an opportunity for India's brightest and most promising youth, from the nation's best universities and workplaces, to serve as full-time teachers to children from low-income communities in under-resourced schools. Post the Fellowship, you join a network of leaders serving in various pathways known as the Alumni movement.[6]

The Teach For India model consists of a selective recruitment and selection process, which focuses on ongoing teacher trainings and leadership developments, measures the impact of students, the leadership growth of fellows and the impact the alumni has had on the education system.

The Education crisis in IndiaEdit

India with approximately 1 in 4 people below the age of 14 years, stands at an inflection point on the ability to provide equal opportunities for all children to attain an excellent education. More than 50% of students in Grade 5 cannot read a Grade 2 text or solve a simple subtraction problem. Teach For India believes that at the root of this crisis in Indian education lies a crisis of leadership. Teach For India's motive is precisely to fill this deficit of leadership in education.[7]


In 2006, the founder of Teach For India Shaheen Mistri, 17 years after starting the Akanksha Foundation felt compelled to address the issue of educational inequity at a larger scale. She believed that the solution was a people's movement that needed to come in unison to provide every Indian child with an outstanding education.

In 2007, Shaheen Mistri met with Wendy Kopp, the Founder of Teach For America, and the ideation process to keep ‘leadership’ at the core was ignited.

In 2009, Teach For India welcomed the first cohort, the Class of 2009, to the Fellowship. The 87 ‘Niners’ formed the beginning of a nationwide movement of diverse leaders.

In 2011, two years later, the Niners graduated from the Fellowship and became the first cohort in Teach For India's Alumni movement. The first cohort of Alumni then went on to work in several pathways such as teaching, teacher training, school leadership, and government policy solving the complex problem of educational equity.

Today, Teach For India has 900 Fellows working relentlessly to change the lives of Students in their classrooms and have become leaders driving change. Now, the organization has over 3400 Alumni who are collectively fuelling the larger movement towards their vision.

Geographical ReachEdit


In the year 2009, the first cohort of the Teach For India Fellowship began in Mumbai and Pune with 87 Fellows. In 2011, they graduated with 46 Fellows and 1122 Students.

In the year 2015, The Alumni movement grew bigger. The city of Mumbai started to steadily grow its Alumni network from 43 Alumni in 2011 to 280 in 2015. ‘321’ was Mumbai's first Alumni led organization.

In the year 2020, Teach For India Mumbai collaborated with MCGM. Teach For India's partnership with the government evolved over the years from being a mere service provider to reaching out to Teach for India for advice and collaborating on projects like training MCGM staff, Student Advisory Council, and best practice sharing.

The recent numbers for 2021 shows that 144 Fellows, 3500 Students, and 860 Alumni members are in the city of Mumbai.


In 2009, the first cohort began in Pune with 87 Fellows. In the year 2011, Pune's first cohort graduated with 32 Fellows and 1100 Students.

In 2018, Pune received Secondary Education Access to English-medium secondary classrooms, which was a huge challenge for Pune's kids. This issue was addressed through the PPP model partnerships with Aakanksha Foundation and iTeach Schools.

The recent numbers indicates that Pune has 145 Fellows, 6500 Students, and 840 Alumni members.


In the year 2014, Teach For India reached Ahmedabad and had its first cohort with 34 Fellows and 1,100 Students. The Samait Shala was founded by a 2014 Ahmedabad Fellow, Kushal Dattani. The organization, Samait Shala trains teachers directly to ensure that classrooms are inclusive of students who learn in different ways and at different paces.

In 2016, they started operations in 20 schools in Ahmedabad with 80 Fellows and 2,000 Students. The elementary Students in the state were known to outperform on every single metric when it came to the mastery of basic operations and reading. Teach For India was above the state and city averages for both the learning techniques.

The recent data for 2021 have indicated 47 Fellows, 1800 Students, and 230 Alumni members in Ahmedabad.


In the year 2015, Teach For India had its first cohort with 57 Fellows and 2,182 Students in Bengaluru.

In 2016, The community centers emerged. To solve contextual challenges, Fellows across the city set up community centers to facilitate additional learning time and Student-run community interventions.

The recent data for 2021 have indicated 120 Fellows, 3500 Students, and 270 Alumni members in Bengaluru.


In 2012 Teach For India had its first cohort with 32 Fellows and 660 Students in Chennai.

In 2017, Teach For India focused on Student leadership opportunities in Chennai. Students visited NASA, participated in Young Entrepreneurs Academy and TEDx.

In 2018, Teach For India partnered up with the government of Tamil Nadu. The Alumni worked as consultants for the Tamil Nadu Education Department to develop the state Education Information Management System and Digital Content Platforms for all teachers and students in the state.

The recent numbers for 2021 show that there are 110 Fellows, 3600 Students, and 370 Alumni members in Chennai.


In 2011, Teach For India had its first cohort in Delhi with 65 Fellows and 2000 students.

In the year 2016, 1000+ student leaders started driving change in the city. A Student leader Jyoti started project Gurukul inviting Students to conduct workshops in art and spoken word poetry for other students, hoping to build respect for arts and artists in the community.

By the year 2017, 30+ Delhi organizations were founded by Teach For India Alumni in the sectors of early childhood education and parent empowerment.

The recent numbers for 2021 have indicated 260 Fellows, 9000 Students, and 880 Alumni members in Delhi. Delhi is Teach For India's biggest regional operation.


In 2012, Teach For India had its first cohort in the city of Hyderabad with 46 Fellows and 1800 Students.

In the years between 2014 and 2015, the Fellow Durbar was inaugurated. The Fellow Durbar initiative is an organic space for people to come together and share their experiences and is now an integral part of Teach For India's ecosystem across 7 cities.

The recent numbers for 2021 have indicated 87 Fellows, 3250 Students, and 430 Alumni members in Hyderabad.

Teach For India ModelEdit

Teach For India has a short term theory of change and a long term theory of change. In the short term, Teach For India follows a two-year Fellowship model. Their Fellows’ through the course of two years of teaching and working with key education stakeholders, are exposed to the realities of India's education system. The Fellows, in these years, cultivate the knowledge, skills, and mindsets required to achieve positions of leadership in and beyond education. In the long term theory of change, Fellows who graduate from the Fellowship join the Alumni movement.

The model for the Fellowship starts with a selective recruitment and selection process, followed by an ongoing teacher training and leadership development, after which Teach For India measures the impact of Students and the leadership growth of Fellows.

Each Fellow is assigned a classroom in one of Teach For India's placement cities to teach academics, values, mindsets and to give Students the access and exposure they require to reach their personal, long-term visions. Post-Fellowship, they join the Alumni movement that's working across various pathways for a more equitable India.

The long-term vision for Teach For India’s FellowsEdit

  • The Commitment to Personal Transformation: Exploring who you are, your purpose, and striving to be a better person.
  • The Commitment to Collective Action: Building relationships and organizing partners to multiply and deepen our impact.
  • The Commitment to Educational Equity: Deepening our understanding of educational equity and committing to attaining it.

Fellows work on these commitments in and beyond the full-time lab of their classroom, where they relentlessly focus on moving their Students towards “path-changing” learning, the highest level of our Student Vision Scale. By growing in the 3 commitments, and embedded with real-life leadership experiences in the classroom and communities, Fellows are ready to be lifelong learners and leaders for greater impact on children.

In the next stage, Fellows either start their organizations or hold key positions of leadership, both within and beyond the education sector.

Teach For India InnovationsEdit


TFIx is a year-long incubation program and lifelong learning circle, for passionate entrepreneurs who want to adopt Teach For India's Fellowship model into their context.

Kids Education RevolutionEdit

The Kids Education Revolution is a collective of schools and educational organisations that are working towards reimagining education at scale and are driven by a profound belief in the power of student leadership.


Firki is an online teacher's training portal. It is an open-source, learning program for teachers across India to use and transform their teaching methods.

Innovation CellEdit


InnovatED is Teach For India's national incubator for entrepreneurs looking to build impactful organizations in the education space.

The ImpactEdit

Teach For India in a decade has seen more than 120,000 young people applying to the Fellowship Program. Currently, the non-profit organization has 900+ Fellows impacting over 3,2000 students in 260 under-resourced schools in India. They have 5,200 Student Alumni. Since Teach For India's inception, they have infused the system with more than 3,400+ Alumni who are running their own schools, organizations, training teachers, designing policy, and continuing to serve within classrooms, non-profits, and corporate institutions.[8]

The Teach For India Alumni is serving more than 33 million children; 1 in 10 Indian children is now reached by a Teach For India Alumni. More than 77% of their Alumni continue to serve in the social sector. A recent study shows that Teach For India's community has founded more than 150+ organizations.

Teach For India has built a national focus on repairing India's educational crisis through their Innovation Cell programs that equip teachers, students, and entrepreneurs to spark long-term change in education.[9] Through social and print media- Teach For India has garnered the support of thousands of people from a wide range of sectors, all of whom are invested in the vision of an excellent education for all children.[10]

Academic ImpactEdit

Teach For India has graduated 3 cohorts of 5,200 students from 10th grade in Mumbai, Pune, and Delhi till 2019 with a graduation rate that is consistently better than the Government schools’ average. Their 4th cohort graduated in 2020 with a passing rate of 94-98% across these three cities Mumbai, Pune, and Delhi.[11]


Teach For India's students are learning to recall, apply knowledge and skills appropriate to their level. This has led to 36% grade-level mastery of Math at the end of the year versus 20% at the beginning of the year in 2018–19.

Reading ComprehensionEdit

Teach For India students showed a record of 0.6 years of growth in their reading level in 2018–19, achieving a higher level of reading.


Notable Teach For India alumniEdit

  • Ashish Srivastava, 2009 Cohort, Shiksharth
  • Aniket Thukral 2009 Cohort, Director of Programs, Global School Leaders
  • Daniel Lobo, 2009 Cohort, Director, Leaders’ Quest
  • Madhukar Banuri, 2009 Cohort, Leadership For Equity
  • Charag Krishnan, 2009 Cohort, Partner, McKinsey and Company
  • Yash Kumar, 2009 Cohort, GenYMedium
  • Gaurav Singh, 2009 Cohort, 321 Education Foundation
  • Rahul Gupta, 2009 Cohort, Pune Children's Zone
  • Namita Goel, 2009 Cohort, Lead School
  • Shalini Datta, 2010 Cohort, AfterTaste
  • Mayank Lodha, 2010 Cohort, KPMG India
  • Sriram Chemuturi, 2010 Cohort, Principal, Matshori English Medium School
  • Divya Behl, 2010 Cohort, Programme Manager, Global Schools Forum
  • Aniket Doegar, 2010 Cohort, co-founder and CEO, Haqdarshak
  • Kaushik Ananthanarayana, 2010 Cohort, Analytical Lead and Industry Manager, Google India
  • Nisha Subramaniam, 2010 Cohort, Kanavu
  • Alpana Mallick, 2011 Cohort, Director, Training and Impact, Teach For India
  • Lewitt Somarajan, 2011 Cohort, CEO, Life Lab
  • Jagnoor Grewal, 2011 Cohort, Punjab Civil Services, Govt. of Punjab
  • Kimberly Fernandes, 2011 Cohort, Joint Ph.D. in Human Development/Quantitative Methods (Education) and Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania
  • Kimberly Fernandes, 2011 Cohort, Ph.D. Candidate, Education (Human Development) and Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania
  • Hemakshi Meghani, 2011 Cohort, Indian School of Democracy
  • Arja Dayal, 2012 Cohort, Former Country Director of Sierra Leone and Liberia, Innovations for Poverty Action
  • Dipti Balwani, 2012 Cohort, Program Lead, Saturday Art Class; Transformational Teaching Fellowship Fellow
  • Aaditya Tiwari, 2012 Cohort, Officer on Special Duty to the CM of Arunachal Pradesh
  • Nathaniel Seelan, 2013 Cohort, ASL, Vidyaniketan, Chennai
  • Ankita Nayak, 2013 Cohort, JP Morgan and Chase
  • Jasmine Sachdev, 2013 Cohort, Shiv Nadar School, Aagaaz Theatre Trust
  • Sarthak Satapathy, 2013 Cohort, Former Team Lead, DIKSHA-PMU, Central Square Foundation
  • Anurag Kundu, 2013 Cohort, Senior Officer, Govt. of Delhi
  • Jasmeet Walia, 2013 Cohort, Creatnet Education
  • Priyanka Agrawal, 2013 Cohort, Engagement Manager, McKinsey and Company
  • Ananya Shekar, 2013 Cohort, Thrive Foundation
  • Varun Prasad, 2013 Cohort, For A Smarter Tomorrow Foundation
  • Pooja Chopra, 2013 Cohort, Khwaab
  • Abhiram Natarajan, 2014 Cohort, Lead, 1M1B
  • Mahesh Medlari, 2014 Cohort, People & Culture, Openhouse
  • Aditya Krishnan, 2014 Cohort, Teach For India
  • Kushal Dattani, 2014 Cohort, Founder, Samait Shala
  • Hari Haran, 2014 Cohort, MBA, INSEAD
  • Rahul Balakrishnan, 2014 Cohort, co-founder, Arthan
  • Dhruv Gupta, 2014 Cohort, Consultant - Global Education Practice, The World Bank
  • Surabhi Venkatesh, 2014 Cohort, Director, People & Culture, Heads Up For Tails
  • Prasanna Sundaram, 2014 Cohort, Augmented Understanding
  • Piyush Gupta, 2015 Cohort, Manager, Policy Support, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology
  • Sharmili Phulgirkar, 2015 Cohort, Vice President, Citi, Singapore
  • Shefali Mishra, 2015 Cohort, Manager, Partnerships, Harappa Education
  • Ramya Krishnan, 2015 Cohort, Team Lead, Central Square Foundation
  • Tanvi Metre, 2015 Cohort, Founding Team Member and Manager, iTeach Schools
  • Jahnavi Reddy, 2015 Cohort, The News Minute
  • Mrinalika Rathore Project Lead, Sashaktikaran Foundation, 2015 Cohort
  • Aaran Patel, 2015 Cohort, Master of Public Policy, Social and Urban Policy, Harvard Kennedy School
  • Leena Bhattacharya, 2015 Cohort, Ph.D. in economics, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai
  • Ankita Nawalakha, 2015 Cohort, The New Education Project
  • Abhijit Thakur, 2016 Cohort, MBA, Indian School of Business
  • Leeja Pillai, 2016 Cohort, Campaign Strategy, Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC)
  • Satyam Gupta, 2016 Cohort, VP, Untangle
  • Sruti Sriram, 2016 Cohort, Teacher, Avasara Academy
  • Vishal Sharma, 2016 Cohort, Founder, SMILES in Life Foundation
  • Atul Sahu, 2016 Cohort, General Manager, Aditya Birla Chemicals
  • Ketaki Patil, 2016 Cohort, Ummeed
  • Sana Sohoni, 2017 Cohort, Avasara Academy
  • Benoy Stephen, 2016 Cohort, Y-Ultimate
  • Alamelu Kathiresan, 2016 Cohort, Math Love
  • Vatsala Misra Sharma, 2017 Cohort, Masters of Education in Human Development and Psychology, Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • Manu Gupta, 2017 Cohort, MBA, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford
  • Shekar Hariharan, 2017 Cohort, Founder, Shifting Orbits Foundation
  • Shreya Krishnan, 2017 Cohort, co-founder, The Better Design Foundation
  • Sivaram Renganathan, 2017 Cohort, City Director, Reap Benefit
  • Sneha Shetty, 2017 Cohort, Avasara Academy
  • Sowmya Lakshminarayanan, 2017 Cohort, Founder, Lead by Design
  • Shitanshu Maurya, 2017 Cohort, Business Analyst, Egon Zehnder

Board Members and Leadership TeamEdit

Board MembersEdit

Shaheen Mistri, CEO, Founder, Trustee, Teach For IndiaEdit

Shaheen Mistri the CEO and Trustee of Teach For India grew up in 5 countries around the world and returned to India when she was 18 to start Akanksha. For 17 years, Shaheen worked with Teachers and Students, building Akanksha to provide children from low-income communities the kind of education that would maximize their greatest potential. Today, Akanksha serves 9300 children through their School Project and after-school centers in Mumbai and Pune. Shaheen founded Teach For India in 2008, with a vision of providing an excellent education to all children across India through building a pipeline of leaders committed to ending educational inequity in India. Today, Teach For India directly impacts approximately 32,000 children across seven regions in India. Shaheen has also created projects like the Maya Musical, the Kid's Education Revolution which explore student leadership, creating platforms for student voice and partnership, and TFIx, which is a year-long incubator program for passionate entrepreneurs who are willing to adapt Teach For India's model to their context and region in rural areas. Shaheen serves on the boards of Akanksha Foundation, and Simple Education Foundation.

Nisaba Godrej, Chairperson, Trustee, Teach For IndiaEdit

Nisaba alongside being the key architect of GCPL's strategy and transformation in the last decade is also the Chairperson of Teach For India. She sits on the board of Godrej Agrovet, Mahindra and Mahindra and VIP Industries.

Arnavaz Aga, Founder, Trustee, Teach For IndiaEdit

Arnavaz retired as Chairperson of Thermax Limited, an engineering company providing systems and solutions in the areas of energy and environment, and currently serves as a director on their board. Since her retirement in 2004, Anu has been focusing on social causes and is closely associated with the Thermax Foundation. Her area of interest is education and she is keenly involved with the Akanksha Foundation, an NGO promoting education for underprivileged children in Mumbai and Pune and Teach For India.

Nandita Dugar, Founder, Trustee, Teach For IndiaEdit

Nandita has over 15 years of work experience in the nonprofit education sector. She is currently on the board of the Akanksha Foundation. She was a part of the core founding team at Teach For India and was involved in creating the strategic blueprint for its launch in India. Nandita has also served as the interim-CEO of Akanksha in 2008. Her prior experience includes working in the UK and India at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Unilever, and HDFC Bank.

Neel Shahani, Founder, Trustee, Teach For IndiaEdit

Neel was a former banker with J.P.Morgan and Barclays. Before moving to Barclays, he led Sales Trading at CLSA and IIFL and has more than 25 years of experience in the industry. He is currently on the Boards of Teach To Lead and Akanksha Foundation.

Zia Mody, Trustee, Teach For IndiaEdit

Zia is the Founder and senior partner of AZB & Partners. She previously worked as a corporate associate at Baker & McKenzie in New York for five years and returned to India to establish the Chambers of Zia Mody in 1984, which then became AZB & Partners in 2004. She is the deputy chairman and non-executive director of the HSBC Asia Pacific Board, a member of the governing board of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA), foreign arbitrator on the Panel of Arbitrators of the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC), a member of the World Bank Administrative Tribunal, Washington, D.C. (2008-2013), and a vice president and member of the London Court of International Arbitration (2010-2013).

Meher Pudumjee, trustee, Teach For IndiaEdit

Meher is the chairperson of Thermax Ltd. Meher served as the chairperson of Pune Zonal Council of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and represented India at the Asian Business Women's Conference in Osaka in 2006. In 2008, the World Economic Forum selected her as a Young Global Leader for her professional accomplishments, commitment to society and potential to contribute to shaping the future of the world. In 2009, she was selected CEO of the Year by Business Standard. She also serves on the boards of Imperial College India Foundation, Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation and Pune City Connect Development Foundation. She is on the board of Akanksha Foundation and is a trustee of Teach to Lead, Mumbai.

Ashish Dhawan, Trustee, Teach For IndiaEdit

Ashish is the Founder and Chairman of the Central Square Foundation (CSF). Prior to this, he worked for twenty years in the investment management business and managed ChrysCapital, one of India's leading private equity funds. In June 2012, he left his full-time role at ChrysCapital to start CSF. His passion for education led him to spearhead the founding of Ashoka University. Ashish holds a place on the India Advisory Board of Harvard and the Yale Development Council. He serves on the boards of several non-profits including the Akanksha Foundation, 3.2.1 Education Foundation, Teach For India, Centre for Civil Society, India School Leadership Institute and Bharti Foundation.

Ramesh Srinivasan, Trustee, Teach For IndiaEdit

Ramesh is a senior partner at McKinsey & Company, and an established leader in Pharmaceutical and Organization practices. He is a Dean of the Bower Forum, McKinsey's program for CEO learning. Ramesh has extensive experience working on a broad range of strategy and organizational topics across healthcare, private equity, high-tech, banking and industrial sectors.

Leadership TeamEdit

  • Shaheen Mistri, CEO, Founder, Trustee, Teach For India
  • Aakansha Gulati, Chief Program Officer, Teach For India
  • Sandeep Rai, Chief of City Operations, Teach For India[12]
  • Manasi Jain, Chief of Staff, Teach For India
  • Tanya Arora, Director, Human Resources, Teach For India
  • Hitesh Rawtani, Director Technology, Teach For India
  • Payoshni Saraf, Director, Alumni Impact, Teach For India
  • Alpana Mallick, Director, Training, and Impact, Teach For India
  • Sara Khan, Director Development, Teach For India
  • Devangana Mishra, Director, Recruitment, Teach For India
  • Abhik Bhattacherji, Director, Marketing and Communication, Teach For India
  • Aloma Rego, Director, Fellowship Selection, Teach For India
  • Aditya Mallya, City Director, Mumbai, Teach For India
  • Nalika Braganza, Program Director, Training and Impact, Teach For India
  • Mansi Joshi, City Director, Delhi, Teach For India
  • Dakshinamoorthy Visweswaran, City Director, Chennai, Teach For India
  • Tulika Verma, City Director, Bangalore, Teach For India
  • Keshar Mohka, City Director, Pune, Teach For India
  • Apoorv Shah, City Director, Ahmedabad, Teach For India
  • Vignesh Krishnan, City Director, Hyderabad, Teach For India
  • Rajshree Doshi, Director, TFIX, Teach For India
  • Ashwath Bharath, Director, FIRKI, Teach For India
  • Kritika Rawat, Coach, Kids Education Revolution, Teach For India
  • Pramod Pujari, Manager, Administration, Teach For India
  • Shivani Agrawal, Director, Strategy, and Learning, Teach For India

Published worksEdit


  1. ^ "Teach For All". teachforall.org. Archived from the original on 8 June 2017. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
  2. ^ "Home | TeachforIndia". www.teachforindia.org. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  3. ^ "Invest in teacher training for better quality of education: TFI chairperson". The Indian Express. 29 July 2018. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  4. ^ "Teach For India now reaches Kolkata". The Times of India. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  5. ^ "The Crisis | TeachforIndia". www.teachforindia.org. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  6. ^ "Education in pandemic: Expectations for education sector in 2021". India Today. 30 January 2021. Retrieved 11 March 2021.
  7. ^ ""When We Reimagine Education, We Must Imagine It For Everyone", Dr Shashi Tharoor Shares His Vision At inspirED 2020". BW Education. Retrieved 11 March 2021.
  8. ^ Building leadership skills in women: Teach for India, archived from the original on 20 December 2021, retrieved 11 March 2021
  9. ^ Gupta, Boshika (18 March 2020). "How Indian Educators Are Teaching Students Amid the Coronavirus Shut Down". Re:Set. Retrieved 11 March 2021.
  10. ^ "In 4 Years, 31-YO Helps 3 Lakh Needy People Avail Government Schemes Worth Crores". The Better India. 9 December 2020. Retrieved 11 March 2021.
  11. ^ "Dia Mirza teaches kids key ideas on environment protection - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 11 March 2021.
  12. ^ "Grim, moving stories. It's time to light a candle, says Sandeep Rai". Hindustan Times. 19 October 2019. Retrieved 11 March 2021.