Son Honors His Father’s Memory By Educating Unprivileged Kids In Chamba

Son Honors His Father’s Memory By Educating Unprivileged Kids In Chamba

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LCM Bright School, Chamba, Uttarakhand

Maneesh Bahuguna, LCM Bright School, Chamba, Uttarakhand

Maneesh Bahuguna hails from the small village of Chamba in the state of Uttarakhand. His father, a dedicated government teacher, encouraged and supported him in both academics and personal life lessons, instilling in him a strong desire to learn from a young age. Life was tough during his childhood. He recalls, “I used to walk long distances to attend school because our village had few schools, and it was located in a hilly terrain.”

He received his primary education at his village’s government school but went to Dehradun for higher education. After earning his undergraduate and graduate degrees from a college in Dehradun, he realized that teaching was his passion and decided to follow in his father’s footsteps.

“As a teacher in the school, I noticed stark disparities between urban and rural education — differences in English learning, extracurricular activities, infrastructure, computer literacy, and more,” he reveals. Inspired by his father, he was motivated to bridge these gaps and provide the children in his village with the same opportunities.

How the school started

The idea of opening an English-medium school in their community was a shared dream between Maneesh and his father. After his father’s retirement, they translated this vision into reality by registering a school society in 2002. Maneesh proudly states, “Our own land in Rani Chauri village, Tihri, became the home to LCM Bright Academy, initially starting with just a few rooms.”

“From the beginning, my father oversaw all school operations,” recounts Maneesh. He introduced innovative concepts into the school’s approach, drawing on his experience from urban teaching. Starting modestly with just six students, the turning point came when he suggested that his father promote the school’s emphasis on English education within the village. “The outcome was positive; enrollment rose to 50 students,” he claims.

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“Progress was promising until fate took an unexpected turn,” he reveals. A few years into the school’s establishment, Maneesh’s father passed away, plunging him into profound grief and leaving him to cope without his primary pillar of support.

Challenges

Even with a stable job in hand, the school stood as a testament to his father’s last legacy. Feeling a sense of responsibility, Maneesh decided to leave his job and return to the village to breathe life into the school’s operations.

“In honor of my father’s memory, I chose to walk his path,” he declares with conviction.

Recognizing areas that needed improvement, Maneesh passionately delved into upgrading the school’s infrastructure. after realizing the need for improvement. “Yet, such noble causes came with their own set of financial challenges.”

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

Varthana’s support

“In need of funds, Maneesh swiftly received assistance from Varthana. He recalls their immediate visit to his school on that very day as a pivotal moment. The representative detailed the company’s financing scheme, assuring him it would address his financial worries.

“Varthana became a ray of hope for realizing my father’s unfinished dream,” he muses.  Channeling relentless efforts, Maneesh then continuously worked towards advancing the school. This commitment led him to secure another 10 lakh rupees in financial support from Varthana, culminating in the construction of well-furnished school buildings.

School amidst the pandemic

Like many schools in India, Maneesh’s school wasn’t immune to the disruptions caused by the pandemic. However, he skillfully navigated these challenges by empowering his teachers with a crucial task – designing online lectures for the students.

Future vision

“Looking ahead, I aspire to elevate the school to a senior secondary level, offering a range of streams, with a special emphasis on the sciences,” shares Maneesh. His primary goal is to stem the tide of education-related migration from his village. “Empowering our students is at the heart of our vision,” he emphasizes. Furthermore, the school is committed to fostering a strong sports culture, allowing students to consider careers in that domain.

As Maneesh looks to the future, he adds, “Our path involves a comprehensive shift to online classes and enhancing educational quality through innovative approaches.”

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