Twenty-six years ago, when the Shiksha Karmi Project was launched in Rajasthan, there was a hope of transforming an indifferent educational system with its dysfunctional schools, absent teachers and poor community reach, to deliver quality education to disadvantaged children in remote areas of the state. The National Policy on Education 1986 provided the policy backdrop to launch this innovative intervention. The beginnings were small, but the project experience demonstrated that a dysfunctional education system could be revived and made to work through appropriate institutional responses, sensitive to the needs of the children.