The story

The story

sanjayIt was July 2002 when Sanjay (with over 10 years of experience as a primary school teacher in SIDH) decided to have his own school and choose Ghati for that purpose as villagers were demanding school there. Community also responded with over whelming support and provided everything needed for running the school i.e. rooms, mats, teaching material expenses, food and room for Sanjay and Vikram (another local youth who joined as a teacher). 35 kids enrolled within a week. Right from the initial days, it has been a struggle to make ends meet. Yet, though the school has always had a hand-to-mouth existence, the teachers and the community have never let resources become a real hindrance in the learning of children.

With time, the school's reputation began to grow. Children began to come from the other proximate villages of Takarna, Bichchu and Pujaldi. In 2004, a social organization, Zindagi India, donated Rs. 3.8 Lakhs for the construction of a dedicated school structure. This again brought all the neighbouring communities together - Bhoomi daan (gift of land) by village Takarna and of a few members of village Thapla; six months of Shram daan (gift of labour) by older students from the next-door government school - under the supervision of Sanjay, who himself learnt the skills of a mason, and worked on constructing the buildings. This collective effort meant that a six-room structure - with classrooms, an assembly hall, teachers' lodgings and a guest room - was built at a fraction of the real cost. This community support has continued with same enthusiasm over the years.

Today, Swajan Shiksha Samiti (renamed in 2006) is a well-established primary school with six teachers and 93 children from seven villages.


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