This School Leader Is Changing The Way Underprivileged Children Learn In Rural Chhattisgarh

This School Leader Is Changing The Way Underprivileged Children Learn In Rural Chhattisgarh

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This School Leader Is Changing The Way Underprivileged Children

Darasram Sahu, Chanakya Shishu Mandir, Mungeli, Chhattisgarh

Education, a prominent pillar in one’s life, lays the groundwork for a bright future. Regrettably, not all are bestowed with the opportunity for quality education, prompting Darasram Sahu, the visionary behind Chanakya Shishu Mandir, to embark on a journey to uplift and bridge the educational divide in our society.

Background

Upon earning his Master’s in English, a profound calling emerged within him to establish a local school. “My aim was clear — to provide quality education to the underprivileged, often overlooked by esteemed institutes,” Darasram shares. With extensive managerial experience as a school supervisor and leader in another local private school, this journey found its fulfillment in 2008 with the inception of Chanakya Shishu Mandir, starting with classes up to the 5th standard.

School Growth 

“In our humble beginnings, we occupied a rented space and gradually expanded, introducing more classes,” reflects Darasram on the school’s journey. He emphasizes, “The turning point came in 2015 when our school transitioned to a rent-free establishment, allowing us to elevate our offerings up to the 10th standard.” Demonstrating a commitment to quality education, the devoted teachers at Chanakya Shishu Mandir, each with a minimum of one year’s experience, hold BA and B.Ed qualifications tailored for every class. The school, accredited by the Chhattisgarh Education Board, proudly operates as a Hindi Medium institution.

Darasram Sahu, Chanakya Shishu Mandir, Mungeli, Chhattisgarh

Relationship with Varthana

In 2017, faced with the need for a new classroom and furniture, Darasram sought financial assistance from Varthana. He promptly contacted the sales team, experiencing a seamless loan process with funds disbursed in just 20 days.

During the lockdown, Varthana supported the school by sharing online study materials, aiding teaching operations and preventing a decline in student enrollment. 

The school, with fewer than 500 students up to the 10th standard before 2017, witnessed an increase to 650 students in 2019 with Varthana’s backing. Expressing his enthusiasm, Darasram states, “Connecting with Varthana was a fantastic experience. We could complete our pending infrastructure projects without delay with the loan amount. We look forward to future projects and expect the same cooperation from them.”

This School Leader Is Changing The Way Underprivileged Children

Impact of COVID-19

Facing several challenges from COVID-19, such as fee collection issues, student dropouts, migration, learning loss, staff retention, and other management-related concerns, Chanakya Shishu Mandir remained resilient by following safety guidelines from WHO and the state government. Emphasizing the school’s response to the epidemic, he says, “Our commitment extended throughout the lockdown with the operation of online classes for students. Additionally, our staff actively contributed to neighborhood classes organized by public schools.”

Vision

Chanakya Shishu Mandir, presently with 450 students and 21 teachers, had 650 students and 38 teachers before COVID-19. Planning for the upcoming academic session, the school aims for door-to-door marketing, calling, and enrollment drives. Looking ahead, if successful, the school plans to seek 12th board affiliation from the Chhattisgarh Board of Education. The school is also prioritizing the promotion of preparation for competitive exams like JNV, Army Public School, and state government scholarship programs.

With a commitment to growth, Darasram highlights, “Prioritizing community-driven enrollment strategies and emphasizing competitive exam preparation is integral to our holistic education approach. We are dedicated to laying a strong foundation for our students’ future success.”

“Our journey reflects perseverance and dedication to uplifting education,” adds Darasram, concluding, “With Varthana’s support, we’re empowered to overcome challenges and provide quality education to our students, shaping a brighter future.”

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