A Trailblazing Woman Empowers Children in Dehradun Through a Public Library

A Trailblazing Woman Empowers Children in Dehradun Through a Public Library

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Bharti Upadhyay, Doon Valley School, Dehradun

Schools typically offer education and resources to their students and staff, but Bharti Upadhyay takes a different approach. Ever since she was a child, she noticed that many children were deprived of a good education. These kids had to work to support their families, preventing them from enrolling in school. Bharti considered herself fortunate to have received a quality education while others struggled to access it.

This realization became her life’s mission: to provide underprivileged children in her community with access to quality education. As she progressed through her own education, excelling academically and becoming a top student, she received a lot of support from her family, particularly her father, who encouraged her to live life on her own terms. With her father’s guidance, Bharti completed her higher studies at DBS College Dehradun.

Motivated by her dream of making education accessible to all, Bharti pursued a B.Ed course and entered the education sector. During her preparations, she discovered the immense value of public libraries. The serene environment and abundant resources at the library fostered her concentration and exposed her to diverse knowledge. Bharti realized the library’s significance in a student’s life—it cultivates critical thinking, imagination, vocabulary, communication skills, and focus, contributing to the development of good character and responsible citizenship.

This realization led Bharti to extend the library’s benefits to her community. Opening a library had been her longstanding dream—a means of uplifting and transforming individuals. After completing her education, she took a step further and established her own school. Her locality lacked any institution providing quality education, so she discussed her vision with her father, and together they began working on it.

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Initially, the school operated under a modest shed with only three rooms and four students in 1991. Bharti’s advantage lay in opening the school in a rural area, where admission was relatively straightforward. Over time, the school flourished and now accommodates up to 400 students. Bharti ensured that the fees remained affordable, charging only Rs. 40 per child, to ensure access to quality education for all. Additionally, she enrolled several students under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, waiving their fees.

What sets Bharti’s school apart is its incorporation of a public library. This unique feature allows members of the community to read books without any charge, with the library offering 24/7 accessibility to parents. Bharti personally went door-to-door to raise awareness about the library’s importance. She believes in actively involving parents in their children’s education and considers it a top priority.

Read More: Empowering a small village in Jodhpur through education

Varthana’s support

“Varthana is providing a substantial fund of 50 lakhs to support our school’s construction of well-furnished buildings. Additionally, this amount will be used to upgrade the school library. One of my main priorities is to ensure that my school is equipped with modern technology,” Bharti expresses, confidently.

Achievements of the school

Doon Valley has achieved remarkable success in academics. In 2016, the CBSE recognized the school for its outstanding academic performance, achieving 100% results in the board exams. The following year, Yukti Verma, a student in 12th grade, received an award from CBSE for scoring a perfect 100 in English.

Future Vision

“My dream is to transform the library into a digital hub with reliable internet access. This vision aims to familiarize the community with technology and its benefits,” conclude Bharti.

Her inspiring journey has led her to establish an educational institution that surpasses traditional norms. Her commitment to providing quality education to underprivileged children, coupled with her vision of a public library, has profoundly impacted the lives of many in her community. Bharti’s ongoing efforts empower students, parents, and the entire community, fostering a brighter future for all.

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