Dear Friends and Family,
In the Indian tradition they have an ancient saying “Vasudeva kutumbhakam” – the whole world is one family. It is a truth that if realized would solve a lot of problems. I write openly to anyone who is interested to listen with what is, in my eyes not an appeal, but an invitation to join me in being part of the amazing development unfolding here in Rajasthan.
To introduce myself I have spent the last 14 or so years in
In 2001 we started a school for the local village children. The school started with 140 students and went up to 5th class. It was makeshift and bodgy but it fulfilled our aim which was to give the children a better education than they get in the village. The idea of starting a school stemmed from the realization of the poor standard of education available locally. Consider that:
o In some local schools there are 250 students and two teachers. Classes are from KG till 8th!
o In most Government schools the teachers have an actual attendance rate of 50%. Of course in the books they are marked present all the time.
o The Government doesn’t allow a child in a Government school to be failed in the exams until class eighth. Which means there are students in 8th class who can’t write their name!! It serves the purpose of giving better figures to UNESCO (looks good when everyone studies till 7th – on paper). Children in our school pass on merit.
o In many villages around us there are parents who are completely illiterate and sign with a thumbprint.
o For a lot of villages there is no school facilities after 8th class and to study further they have to travel by bicycle more than 10km. It’s a tough ask in the Indian summer when temperatures reach 48 degrees.
Now in 2009 thanks to the help of our Guruji, His Ashrams throughout the world and a host of generous donors from all corners of the globe we have a school that has 1350 students going up till class 12th. In November 2007 we opened a new school building where we can fit 900 students and in 2008 had to extend it! It is the only school offering science and commerce subjects in 12th class within a 20km radius with fully equipped labs and a great teaching staff.
What has been beautiful to watch over the last years is the development of the students and teachers. The standard of education has increased dramatically. The staff have become not just employees but part of the movement, offering their time and hearts for the students. But most of all the beauty is seeing students who came with nothing blossoming and succeeding. I can only share an example:
There are two girls who joined the school in 2001. They came from a village with 4 houses, no electricity and a family that was completely illiterate. Neither of them could write their name and they joined 4th class. In May 2007 they completed 8th class and sat the examinations of the Government board (8th class examinations are the first “big” examinations held across the whole state of Rajasthan, similar to the school certificate of 10th class in
There are so many stories and experiences that one would like to share but your time is short and I have to go to school! As I said in the beginning this is an invitation to be part of the experience.
We are constantly fighting to try and fulfill the demands of the local community. Everyone is welcome to join us on the journey. For example you can help with fundraising for buses or for construction works, by donating to pay for a child's education, for new computers, a new bus, playground equipment, supply of fresh water or with any other idea or opportunity which you may think will be helpful.
If anyone is interested to help please be in touch on my email email@example.com and I will give you details of how to send donations to our charitable society in
They say “Bund bund se talab bhar jate he”. Drop by drop the dam becomes full. Our school is a drop in the
Lots of love
Swami Jasraj Puri