From Teaching Hindi in Japan to Founding a School in India: This Leader Fulfills a Purpose in Rural Uttarakhand

From Teaching Hindi in Japan to Founding a School in India: This Leader Fulfills a Purpose in Rural Uttarakhand

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Paras Public School, Shyampur Khadri, Uttarakhand

Ramratan Raturi, Paras Public School, Shyampur Khadri, Uttarakhand

Background

Ramratan Raturi is from a small village called Naagraaj in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. His journey showcases how perseverance can lead to success. In Naagraaj, fields stretch as far as the eye can see, with farming being the heart of their livelihood. In the morning, it’s common to catch sight of children working in the fields with their parents, instead of being in school.

Ramratan, too, comes from such a background. His father, who was a close friend of the village school teacher, greatly admired the teacher’s esteemed position in the community, a definite result of his education. Ramratan shares, “This admiration inspired my father to prioritize schooling over farming.”

Though Ramratan’s educational journey began in his village, completing the 8th standard, his quest for knowledge was far from over. Recognizing his son’s potential, Ramratan’s father sent him to Rishikesh for higher education. Reflecting on this, Ramratan says, “My father made the brave choice of educating his children, even if it meant managing the vast fields on his own.”

Inspiration

During his college days, Ramratan was fueled by a dream to join the army. However, after facing several challenges, he realized that sometimes life has different plans. Instead of seeing these setbacks as failures, Ramratan took a plunge into the hotel industry. With a glint in his eyes, he recollects, “I packed my bags for Bombay, started off a managerial role at a prominent hotel, and accumulated years of valuable experience.”

Life took another exciting turn when he moved to Israel. Ramratan ventured into the restaurant business alongside a close friend, running an Indian restaurant for two years. He says,”It was during this time in Israel that I crossed paths with a Japanese acquaintance who would change the course of my life. Together, we started another Indian restaurant in Japan, a decision that brought both cultural and financial rewards.”

“As we moved from Israel to Japan, my new Japanese partner presented an unexpected proposition. He owned a school and proposed I teach Hindi to young learners,” he recalls with a smile. 

“Though the world of teaching seemed galaxies away from hotel management, I found myself saying yes. Embracing this role of a teacher was a path I’d never imagined during my time in the hotel industry,” he shares, captivated.

Read More: One Advocate Is Committed To Bringing Education To Marginalized Students In Khopoli

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School’s Journey 

Moved by his experiences, Ramratan decided to establish a school in his new hometown of Shyampur Khadri. Upon his return, with determination in his heart, he secured a piece of land in Shyampur and, in 2008, started turning his “vision into reality.” They started humbly, with basic infrastructure, yet were forward-thinking enough to adopt online classes.

Come March 2009, Paras Public School opened its doors to its first batch, a group of three students and two dedicated staff members. 

In those early days, with only a few students enrolled, Ramratan’s deep commitment was evident — he personally drove students from their homes to school. 

This level of dedication did not go unnoticed. Word spread, and parents began to appreciate the passion and effort he invested in the school.

“With each passing day, our impact grew,” he says with unmistakable pride. “By the next year, our classrooms were lively with 70 enthusiastic students. Today, we stand proud as a vibrant community of 750 eager learners.”

 Also Read: How One School Leader Is Transforming Lives In Belthangady

Impact of the pandemic and Varthana’s support  

Like countless schools in India, Ramratan’s school faced many challenges during the pandemic. “Our students were falling behind,” Ramratan acknowledges. But instead of giving up, he started training teachers to take classes online. And when the time came for the school doors to open again, he claims, “With help from a Varthana representative, I decided to use the Lead School program to enhance learning in the classrooms.”

“With the valuable financial support of ₹50 lakhs obtained from Varthana,” he adds with gratitude, “we were not only able to reward our dedicated teachers but also enhance our  school’s infrastructure, setting us on a path towards brighter futures for our students.”

Future vision 

Ramratan’s  future goals involve offering career guidance to his students and setting up a football academy within the school grounds. This approach ensures the holistic development of students, balancing both academic achievements and physical well-being.

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