Monday, October 31, 2011
On 17th October, I was invited to Diksha school's annual function in Hardwar. Its situated in an area which has a dense populated scheduled caste population, poor and almost on the margins of the so called mainstream of progress. The school has about six hundred students from class one to tenth. The fee is quite low, English is taught specially and the annual result is above average. Moreover, the owners of the school do not run it as a family business, as many of the so called top graded schools do. They are middle class family, and have projects to help poor and underprivileged in the vicinity. More than a quarter of students are unable to give fees and they are exempted from paying any amount. And remember its a private school. The enthusiasm of the little kids, who had gathered in quite a large number with their parents was refreshing and made me too happy to be with them. The parents belonged to middle income and low income strata, and were looking very happy to be seated honourably in a function that connected them with their ward's happiness and progress. I saw a distinct urge on their faces to learn more, earn more and move ahead . The plays, songs and skits that children presented showed their hidden aspirations . Shri Swadesh Pal Kumar, a veteran VHP leader and a dedicated swayamsewak was the guest of honour and a Swami ji , from a local Ashram, who is serving these 'Dalits' selflessly presided over the function. The Chauhans, who run the school were embodiments of simplicity and humility. More than attending a big function with huge gathering, this programme satisfied my soul and brought a sense of real happiness.