About Us

Palluyir Trust for Nature Education and Research was started with the intention of making place-based, nature-based and outdoor education a mainstream practice in schools, colleges and for the public in Chennai. We believe and have seen through our work, that these alternative pedagogies far outperform traditional modes of instruction in schools – for the personal development of the child, in developing human and ecological values and even for academic performance.

Palluyir is steered by a team of passionate naturalists, and we work with learners and educators from all social backgrounds. One of our core educational beliefs is that ecological justice and social justice are deeply intertwined. We hope to be a haven for all young people who are passionate about nature-education, conservation, ecological issues, especially in Chennai. 

From a lot of growing research and literature, it is clear that mainstream education practices, adopted from India’s colonial past, have wide-ranging detrimental impacts on human beings and are an important contributor to the crises of climate and biodiversity. Its interests are market driven, towards largely the creation of employees for global corporations. This impacts the culture and values people hold and live by in modern society. We believe that this model needs to radically change. In our vision for learning, the central value is ‘wellbeing’ – of Earth, Child/Human being, and Community – all three of which are deeply entangled with one another. Education systems – their curricula, values and processes – have to be reimagined for a cultural shift based on human and ecological values. The value wheel below shows the three central aspects of education, and the various spokes within them.

From our own work, and from visionary educators like Richard Louv, Maria Montessori, Gail Melson, Peter Kahn and others, we find that the child’s need for connection with the real and immediate natural world is essential for their deep psychological, physical and cognitive growth and wellbeing. This need evolves and changes in its nature as the human being crosses different developmental planes. But when denied, it manifests as various dysfunctions which is also reflected at the collective and societal level. In counter-voice to this, the core of nature-based learning philosophy is that all meaningful learning and living is relational – and that we discover our profound interconnectedness with all other things and living beings, and apply this realisation in our daily practices and living.

Board Of Trustees

Yuvan Aves (Founder - Managing Trustee)

Yuvan is an award-winning writer, naturalist, educator and activist based in Chennai. His interests include reimagining an Earth-centric and child-centric education, the reciprocity between languages and ecologies,  and ground-up processes of change and politics. He writes on topics at the intersection of ecology, education, and human/more-than-human consciousness. He is the author of four books, recipient of the M.Krishnan Memorial Nature Writing Award, the Sanctuary Asia Green Teacher Award and Young People for Politics Champion Award. He loves working with children and consults for a number of alternative educational institutions across India.

Vijay Kumar (Trustee)

An independent social worker since 2005, Vijay is engaged with empowering 12,000 families belonging to the conservancy and footwear-making communities in the areas of education, skill development, livelihood and health through a Vocational Training Centre, an After-School Tuition Centre and the 5 local Anganwadis. He has also worked with the tribal communities in Gudalur, Nilgiris, assisting in initiatives to create direct-producer-consumer linkages and alternate livelihoods. Nature and its conservation is his passion.  He is the Hon. Secretary of the 43-year old Chennai-based nature conservation body called Madras Naturalists’ Society (MNS).

L Margaret (Trustee - Legal Advisor)

L. Margaret is a senior advocate at the Madras Highcourt with over 30 years of practice in civil, criminal, writs and family law. She has been a long time activist of women’s rights, child rights and gender justice.

Our Team

Premnathan. A

Premnathan. A(B.Com,LLB) is our legal consultant with eight years of Exclusive Experience as a Consultant in setting up of Digital Library for School’s and College’s.


Kanishka is a postgraduate of Environmental Sciences who is a nature lover and more interested in conserving the environment. She has been involved in many plantation programs in and around her hometown in the motive of creating a pollution less environment. She’s also involved in making crafts as her hobby. And now she’s involved in facilitating nature education sessions in schools with the goal of creating awareness for conserving the environment.

Aravind Selvam

Passionate outdoors person who enjoys working with children. Spent most of his adult years outdoors, climbing, hiking and bikepacking. After a long stint in the outdoor gear manufacturing sector, he has moved to working with children which has always given him immense joy.

Charumathi J B

Charumathi  is a graduate of Zoology and currently pursuing PG in Bioinformatics. A philomath whose interests range from nucleotide sequences to greek mythology, her love for nature started at an early age walking through the paddy fields holding her Grandpa’s hands. As an intern for the Urban Wilderness Walk program she has conducted walks for children in her neighbourhood. She is an avid reader and likes to pen down lines to express her love for nature. She is currently involved in nature content creation and Tamil translation.


Hemavathy is heartful part of Palluyir trust . She has completed her Masters in Business Administration and is also certified with Diploma in Montessori education which makes her an apt person to be one among this service oriented educational forum.

She is so sure in making learning enjoyable in all ways possible!! Happy learning all!!

Jomi Jose

Jomi Jose is a postgraduate student of Zoology who is a Nature enthusiast, specifically fascinated by butterflies and moths. She has been involved in conducting nature themed walks in and around Chennai and has also conducted birdwatching workshops at Dakshinachitra. She hopes to contribute her part to conserve nature for a sustainable future and believes that the way to do this is through the hearts of children. She is now actively involved in facilitating nature-education sessions in government schools and other organizations.

Gowtham M

Gowtham is a B.Com graduate, an aspiring naturalist and wildlife photographer. He has been a Youth Climate Intern and has a deep love for nature-based education and working with children. He is an ultimate frisbee athlete and loves going on turtle walks, birdwatching, and is a crafty person. He has learnt traditional art forms like Silambam and Parai, and also has a passion for reading everything related to wildlife and history. He is now involved with facilitating nature-based programs for kids of Urur kuppam and sessions at various schools in Chennai.

Claudia Pinheiro

Claudia Pinheiro is a postgraduate student of Zoology and has a D El Ed from Church Park Institute. She likes getting connected to nature and enjoys activities such as travelling, painting and observing flora and fauna. Being a member of YNN and an intern of UWW has given her a chance to interact with people, conduct nature walks and participate in conservation related activities. She is now actively involved in facilitating nature-education sessions in government schools and other organizations.

V Jayanandhini

Nandhini is an advocate at the Madras High Court and has been practicing for over 3 years. She has a degree in law, computer science and a masters in business administration.


Sri holds a Bachelor’s degree in Advanced Zoology and Biotechnology from Stella Maris College, Chennai. She’s an ardent birdwatcher, wildlife buff, reader, illustrator and a stargazer, among other things. Sri has a strong penchant for all things wild and is incredibly nerdy about Nature. She seeks solace in the Natural world, using Nature education as a guiding lens through which to perceive and decode the cosmic significance of everything around her. Despite her Nature expedition being in its infancy, Sri hopes to do her bit and broaden her horizons in the realm of Nature Conservation. Ever so fascinated by the mysteries of the Universe and the wonders of Nature, she leverages her profound kinship with Nature to enrich the mundane happenings of her day-to-day life.