From yoga to education, these women-led startups will help you provide the best to your little ones
It is a universal fact that parents want the best for their children. It is extremely important to recognise that the early years of a child can have a huge bearing on a person’s growth, especially in today’s fast-paced environment.
From forming habits to making them eco-conscious, and cherishing their heritage, language, and culture, parents can provide a childhood rich in experience.
These four women-led startups can help script their little ones’ journey.
Sabrina Merchant, Li’l Yogi
Sabrina Merchant vouches for the calming benefits of yoga and when her daughter started showing interest at the age of five, she looked for yoga classes for children but with no success.
The former chartered accountant then decided to take matters into her own hands on ways to involve children in yoga practices. She started combining yoga and storytelling sessions. Based on the characters in the story, children would practice yoga poses of a tiger, a butterfly, and other animals.
When her daughter started bringing her friends along for these sessions, Sabrina went through 200 hours of skill training from the Yoga Institute.
In 2018, Sabrina founded Li’l Yogi and has taught yoga to more than 5,000 children with famed Bollywood star child Taimur Ali Khan among her students. The entrepreneur has also collaborated with children’s brands like Pampers, Hamleys, Parapets, Pegasus, Firstcry, and P&G as well.
Madhurata Deshmukh and Shikha Dalmia, Spin A Yarn India
To ensure children stay connected to their roots, Madhurata Deshmukh and her daughter-in-law Shikha Dalmia founded Spin A Yarn India in 2018.
It is now a thriving voluntary-based community of 120 narrators, mostly elderly people. Their recorded storytelling sessions are available on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.
The Mumbai-based platform partnered with UNESCO in observing 2019 as the international year of indigenous languages. With the government of India’s Bhasha Sangam Initiative, its Read Aloud project is now implemented in over 600 schools.
More recently, her eight-year-old daughter introduced a series Daughters of India, throwing light on women whose achievements go unheard.
A jewellery designer and entrepreneur by profession, Shikha says the platform is too close to their heart sto make it profit-driven.
Amishi Parasrampuria, Upcycler’s Lab
Climate education is more important than ever today and Amishi Parasrampuria aims to instill the right attitude and behaviour towards acknowledging and correcting climate change among children through her social enterprise, Upcycler’s Lab.
Founded in 2018, the startup designs collaborative board games, puzzles, storybooks, and eco alphabet flash cards, based on environment-related topics for children between two and nine years old. In board games, children team up to play against an environmental threat in a limited time.
The entrepreneur says a person develops most of their inherent habits by the age of nine and learning and incorporating eco-friendly habits can make a huge difference.
Priced between Rs 400 and Rs 1,000, it operates on B2C models in India and B2B models in overseas markets like Germany. It has attracted interest from the Singapore and Kuwait governments as well. The latter even introduced Upcycler’s Lab products as part of Green School programmes.
Shraddha Himatsingka, Raising Superstars
It is natural that parents want the best for their children. For Shraddha Himatsingka and her husband Raghav Himatsingka, this parental wish eventually paved the way for their venture, Raising Superstars.
The couple learned about synaptic pruning, a process where babies start shedding extra neurons (information receiving nerves) in the brain. The duo read and researched for 2,000 hours about early learning and development and designed activities for their son.
This gained popularity among their friends and family and soon spread through word-of-mouth. Their flagship product, The Prodigy Baby is a framework that handholds parents to conduct activities to enhance their mental and physical intelligence.
From guiding parents individually over the phone to launching online in August this year, the startup has helped over 12,000 parents so far.
Edited by Rekha Balakrishnan