‘Enrichment and Knowledge beyond the classroom’ is the mantra of Leading to Light. Founded by Mrs. Swati Chitalia, it is one of its kind institution spreading awareness about Indian mythologies, cultural values, and traditions amongst children from a young age. Unique story-telling, thoughtfully designed courses, and fun Yoga techniques are sure to get the kids all excited to attend a class at Leading to Light.
Leading to Light is a small venture I started out in 2016 with a purpose to bring Indian mythology and value education to the kids which are missing in today’s world. The name was coined by my father-in-law, we didn’t want the cliché Sanskrit name such as Sanskriti. I have individual classes at Leading to Light, which is the masti-series. We start off by Masti Mumma ke sath which is for babies then we have Masti ki Pathshala for 3-4-year-old kids then we have Masti ka Pithara and then Masti ki Udaan, different classes for different age groups. We start with babies from 1 and half years of age to 11 years old because after that the kids get too busy and there’s a lot of other schoolwork, they don’t have time for these activities. Till March 2020 it was only in-person teaching but because of the current pandemic, we started conducting all the classes online.
When we teach yoga we don’t do it the way we adults do. I have made stories around the Yoga asanas to make it interesting for the kids like it could be a trip to the zoo or a trip to the garden or a trip in outer space and there are different asanas involved in each. They are getting the benefits out of yoga in a fun way. There are some peppy songs composed by my family, my husband sings and we add music to it. They are all very interesting songs, they all have very good meanings and values. Also, I use a very unique style of story-telling that captures the kids’ attention.
KYE: What was your motivation behind starting this venture?
Swati: I’ll put it in three points:
Love: My love for kids which got me to start this.
Purpose: I really wanted to spread the knowledge of Indian mythology which I felt was missing.
Skill: I’m very happy to say I do have that skill to attract the kids, they sit through the class and they really enjoy it.
These three things together motivated me to start Leading to Light.
KYE: What in this venture gives you a sense of accomplishment?
Swati: In very simple words, it’s the feedback from the mothers which gives me a sense of satisfaction. When we had physical classes, the moms would come to pick their kids up and they would tell me their kids are saying the prayers daily or that the kid is doing his/her work on her own. Basically putting into action what I teach them in class when I hear that it definitely gives a good feeling. When I see the children involved in the class walking in happily, laughing, and enjoying the 1-hour class.
KYE: What were the barriers/challenges you faced on this entrepreneurial journey?
Swati: I think because this is something which is related to mythology and spirituality, by God’s grace there were no major obstacles. However, there were small things such as venue, admin work, designing the course content, and making sure it is interesting for each age group without repetitions. These were some small barriers that were very easily overcome by regular reading. That’s it no major barriers.
KYE: At this point, what is required to reach your business aspirations?
Swati: I would actually not call it as a business, it’s more like my passion that I am following. To take it to a higher level I think the continuous focus on the purpose is very important. And to ensure that I maintain the quality, not compromise on it at any point in time. And to keep on improving, by reading or attending lectures and making it more interesting for the kids. I think if these things are taken care of Leading to Light will keep growing.
KYE: How has Leading to Light changed you as a person?
Swati: So the only interaction I have with mothers is during filling the registration form and the payments, otherwise I’m always surrounded by kids. Kids are a bundle of joy who has a lot of innocence in them and because I’m constantly around them, their positivity and innocence reflect on me. I feel very proud that I’m also still like a child, very young at heart and all the credit goes to the young ones who are bubbling with energy. I think they like to be around me because of this quality that I’ve taken from them, trying to be one of them n not a teacher around them. A lot of time kids tell me even about the things they don’t talk to their parents about, they feel absolutely comfortable opening up in front of me.
KYE: What are the Words of Wisdom you’d like to share with the budding entrepreneurs out there?
Swati: While we say that passion is very important, I myself am following my passion but I feel along with passion grit is also very very essential. Just by saying I’m doing something I am passionate about is not enough, hard work is also very important. My simple message to everybody would be that follow your passion but make sure you are putting enough hard work and don’t lose your focus, your grit.
Watch the entire interview here-