As I enter the grounds and the building of Laurels – the School, I feel that all 48 years of patience and struggle have been well worth it!
Daughter of an Army Colonel, educated at Mayo College, Ajmer and Loreto Convent, I have been serving the education sector for a long span now. After being widowed at the age of 21, I began my career as a Nursery teacher in 1974. Having had the pleasure of teaching toddlers, teenagers and young adults, I finally decided to establish my own school in 1986. I co-founded ‘Study Hall’ – a school with a difference, now a CBSE K-12 school in Lucknow, India. After Study Hall celebrated its Silver Jubilee, I decided to extend my quest to impart quality education to the rural and under-served areas. In 2011, ‘Amaltaas Foundation’ was established with a vision to bridge the rural-urban divide by providing value-based, future-oriented, English-medium education to boys and girls in the villages of Uttar Pradesh.
‘Laurels’ is situated in the rural heartland of Barabanki district. The first-phase of the school building was constructed with generous contributions of family and friends, a hefty bank loan, and all of my life-savings! Emerging from the Pandemic we started with 13 underprivileged children, and now we are 91 and growing!
The children come from surrounding villages - some are dropped and picked by their parents, some are ferried up and down by a single school van, some ride cycles, while most cover the entire way on foot, on narrow, potholed paths in the name of roads. They are largely children of daily wagers, who were adversely affected by the Lockdown and subsist on rations given by the Government.
Girls’ education is not a priority in these villages, with only 33 girls out of 100 students, in our school. We provide a 50% concession in fees to encourage more girls to attend school. We try to find sponsors for them at a rate of 25,000/- INR annually.
The electric supply in these villages is erratic. We have an electricity connection, but no electric supply from 8:00 A.M. to 1:30 P.M., which are the school working hours. We run fans using a generator which burns diesel and severely pollutes the environment.
More importantly, we believe in the advancing technology and the changing teaching methods. In order to produce Nadellas and Pichais, we want the children to have access to computers and be trained in the use of new technologies. We have a small computer lab, with limited computer screens, but without electricity, they are just boxes on a desk. We have planned to install solar-powered electricity for running water, basic lights and fans and to power technology through stored electricity. This project itself will require an estimated 12 lacs.
As you see, the problems are uncountable, but so are the solutions if you extend a helping hand! I seek your help, in guaranteeing a better tomorrow for these aspiring young minds!
With heartfelt gratitude.
- Amaltaas Foundation has been registered under Sections 12AA and 80G of the Income Tax Act
- CSR - 1 Certificate accredited