Our Founder, Mdme Kira Banasinska, a legend in her lifetime, played an important role
in the implementation of Montessori Education in our country, since she began the manufacturing of Montessori
Materials and other Educational Equipment way back in 1953! She did so in a very careful way in close
co-operation with Dr.Maria Montessori and Mr.Mario Montessori. Later with Mr.A.M.Joosten ,
Dr.Maria Montessori’s Personal Representative
of the AMI (The Netherlands) in India.
Kira - a woman of great calibre, had witnessed both World War I and II. The suffering that was wrought in its wake, especially for the children and their torn families, had further deepened her commitment to champion their cause and it was with this humane idea that Kaybee School Equipment Manufacturing Company was born!
The year 1973 pioneered her Business Partner-Mr.Reginald Olencio Sequeira
(Capt.Sequeira as he was fondly called). Together they championed the cause of “the Universal child!
”The boundless zeal and dynamism which were their mutual ideals, has caused KAYBEE’s to flourish and
produce “Premium Quality Montessori Apparatus and other educational aids in India” that are renowned the world over and is still
in operations today!
The stamp of individuality is evident on each crafted product!
We take pride in presenting you the opportunity to know the persona of Mrs. Kira Banasinska:
Born in a well-to-do Polish family in the year 1899 on October 1st, lived in the Urals. Kira’s mother fled with her to Siberia when she was just 19, She took up a job as an interpreter with the American Red Cross. When the Soviets arrived in Siberia in pursuit of the Americans, Kira wanting to be among her own kind, fled to Harbin, in Manchuria where there was a large congregation of Polish refugees. She had traversed different parts of the world, having had to flee from the place of her origin to Siberia, China, Japan then again to Poland and eventually to India, where she finally settled down!”
She met and married Dr.Eugene Banasinski, who was a student revolutionary, they then returned to Poland. Thereafter, he joined the Diplomatic Service in Japan. During their stay in Japan, she was professionally trained in Japanese art and music. When her husband was on various diplomatic assignments, she held several exhibitions there too, apart from Tokyo.
In the year 1933, they came to Bombay - India, since her husband was posted as the First Polish Consul General for India. Kira had then volunteered to look after thousands of refugees mostly children (who fled Poland in the wake of upraisals) with the support of the Polish Red Cross and in collaboration with the Indian Government. In 1945, after the end of World War II they decided to embrace India as their home since they already spent eleven years here and were firm believers of freedom and democracy. They hence sought and obtained Indian Citizenship in the year 1961.
Mdme Kira Banasinska, now 45 yrs, had to make a new beginning all over again. She decided to make toys for a living. Being an acclaimed master of Japanese art, a perfectionist by nature - Kira’s creative ingenuity and insight led her to producing self-educative aids for the normal, the blind and the handicapped children. Kira switched over from toys to making educational toys in the year 1953 and thus entered the World of Montessori!
She stuck steadfastly to producing Precision Montessori Materials with the active support from Mr. Joosten, the personal representative of Dr.Maria Montessori in India and the Association Montessori Internationalè with its Head Quarters in Holland.
She was instrumental in setting up a permanent center for Montessori Training - presently called Montessori Training and Research Trust at Hyderabad. After a prolonged period of struggle with various government and non-governmental organisations to get land and other formalities failed, this project of hers finally took shape due to the active support lent by her associates. The project bears the same name to date – The Montessori Training and Research Trust (MTRT) and is operating today from the original proposed address at Jeedimetla, Hyderabad, Telangana.
Kira was also a very good cosmetologist. She inherited from her mother the art of making creams and lotions and used to market them directly to the beauty clinics all over the country.
Shortly after her husband’s demise in the year 1964, she suffered a major fire outbreak at her manufacturing
unit in Bombay. She was determined not to give up. After getting herself together and struggling with picking
up from scratch, she bounced back with help from Bombay State Financial Corporation. A few years later,
she chanced upon an advertisement about MoulaAli Industrial Estate, Hyderabad,encouraging Entrepreneurs to
set-up business here, she thus shifted to Hyderabad in 1967. Her struggles hadn’t ended here, she was faced
with heavy financial setbacks and was now forced to search for a like-minded Business Partner who would have
the same empathy and calibre to further her endeavour and champion the cause of assisting the
In 1973, in the wake of mounting financial burdens and turbulent labour problems at the factory, Kira had finally sought the assistance of an able Business Partner Capt. Reginald.Sequeira, a retd., Pilot Trainer of Indian Airlines who was a self-effacing, endearing personality and an excellent Administrator. Together, they set the tradition and precedence of producing “Premium quality Montessori apparatus/materials in INDIA!” As Kira was closing in on her 90th decade, thereon it was Capt Reginald Sequeira, our Co-founder who zealously continued to steer Kaybee’s out of the several setbacks and brought it forward to normalcy. Today, the factory still exists, with a loyal and esteemed clients.
Mdme Kira, a centenarian, was still very actively associated in the research and development of the materials. She lived to be a 102!
Kira was honoured and decorated by the Polish Government with Poland’s highest civilian award, “ The Commander’s Cross of The Order of The Rebirth of Poland”, (Polonia Restituta), for her remarkable services rendered during the war torn days. With the co-operation of the Polish Consulate in Mumbai, she is laid to rest beside her late husband Dr.Eugene Banasinski, in Mumbai.
We at Kaybee’s, salute Madam Kira Banasinska for her courage, grit and determination with which she dedicated her best years of life for humanitarian causes, particularly Children.