Gloria De Souza

Founder of Parisar Asha Environmental Education Centre


Gloria de Souza is Director, Parisar Asha Environment Education Centre, Mumbai, instituted in 1982. “Parisar” in Sanskrit means “the environment intimately experienced”.  “Asha” is “Hope”.  

Parisar Asha is an education mission (a Registered Trust since 1990), committed to serving India’s multi-cultural diversity of human communities, through an environment-related learning system. The system works to transform the government-designed standardized learning menu for government-aided schools.  Parisar Asha’s approach translates the government-mandated curriculum into an experiential learning system, for intelligent internalization of concepts, skill development for applied learning, sensitive growth in attitudes and values that make the learner a conscientious conserver of our global “parisar”.  Parisar Asha’s major challenge lies in the “how-to”, with a prevailing Teacher/Pupil Ratio of 1:60, or more.    

In 1982, with the Ashoka Foundation’s Fellowship, Gloria de Souza quit her co-ordinating position in a prestigious Jesuit School. Active support from the St. Xavier’s Institute of Education (Mumbai), UNICEF, the Aga Khan Foundation, and the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust gave wings to the fledgling Parisar Asha.  

As a social entrepreneur, Gloria has made the Environmental Approach Parisar Asha’s USP, by adapting the curriculum and methods to suit the living conditions of a preponderance of urban poor, rural, tribal first-generationlearners. Currently, Parisar Asha is collaborating with Naandi, a corporate NGO with a mission to introduce quality English-Medium Education in 28 Municipal Corporation Schools. The demand for English-Medium Education by the economically marginalized is growing rapidly in all Indian States. The Naandi-Parisar Asha collaboration aspires to answer this need, through taking to scale a system of proven efficacy.  

Gloria de Souza is on the Board of Directors, Ashoka Foundation. Since 1987, Parisar Asha’s work has attracted awards for outstanding service in the cause of: “Education for Good-Citizenship”, “the Advancement of Learning”, “Significant Service to the Nation”, “Exceptional Work in Relevant Education for India”.