Adharshila

An educational initiative by the Goodearth Foundation

A Non-Residential Bridge Course (NRBC)
Affiliated to Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan
at Alwar Public School, Alwar

The Story So Far

The Beginning It was the 26th of January, 2006. Republic Day celebrations were underway at Alwar Public School – the students were marching in well-ordered columns, the drums were playing their marching beat, the Indian flag was waving freely in the sky – when a curious sight arrested attention.

Young children – a small group of them – were observing the proceedings with deep interest from behind the school boundary wall. Such children were often seen in the neighbouring fields, either tending to cattle or helping their families out during the harvest season. That day, however, these children were invited inside the campus and were made to feel like a part of the festivities. They were even given sweets and chocolates to their delight!

That was the day the seed was sown for an endeavour that would grow up to be Adharshila – an effort to educate underprivileged children at Alwar Public School through the medium of a Non-Residential Bridge Course affiliated to the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan (SSA) – coming into existence in August 2008.

Through the efforts of Mrs. Saroj (Shuchi) Gupta of Alwar Public School this idea gradually took shape and with the support of various organisations like the Rotary Organisation, Prayas, Inner Wheel, Bharat Vikas Prashad (BVP) and the RDNC Mittal Foundation, and the encouragement from several people like the alumni and faculty members of APS, members of the school committee, parents of kids, dignitaries et al, it has become a beautiful reality for these kids who would otherwise have had no access to education.

Students and Teachers

Village-wise Distribution of Students
The students are drawn from the surrounding villages of Kesarpur, Burja, Dadar, Livari and Mahua. Regular efforts are made to inform the families residing in villages about the importance of education for their children and, thanks to such efforts, awareness about this initiative and its benefits has increased amongst the local population. Parent-Teacher meetings are conducted on a regular basis to discuss the performance of enrolled students with their parents and to identify the strengths and areas of improvement for all of them.

Faculty Profile
Of the present ten faculty members the following five have been affiliated with Adharshila for the longest duration:

Activities at Adharshila

School Trips
Excursions to nearby cities and places of interest have now become a regular part of the annual schedule of activities for these children and they have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of these trips. Through them they have had the chance to fully enjoy the experience while, at the same time, learning something about our rich national culture and abundant natural beauty.

Trip Highlights:

  • Jaipur – The students got a chance to visit the Jantar Mantar, the planetarium, the city museum, Birla Mandir, the zoo and even the magnificent Hawaa Mahal.
  • Delhi – The students got to see a wide variety of attractions including places of historical interest like the famed Qutub Minar and the majestic India Gate, national establishments such as the Trimurti Bhavan and the Presidential House, and the fun-filled yet informative Rail Museum where the kids also got the chance to enjoy a ride on the toy-train. One of the most memorable experiences for all the members was getting to experience the pleasure of taking a ride on the Delhi Metro too!
  • Nainital – This was a 9-day long trip in which the students stayed at Aurobindo Ashram and got to see places in and around Nainital which are famous for their pristine natural beauty and are favourite tourist hotspots.
  • Bharatpur – While the biggest highlight of this trip was, naturally, the visit to the beautiful bird sanctuary – the flocking ground of birds from practically all over the world – the students also got a chance to spend some time in the holy Fatehpur Sikri and the impressive Deeg Fort.

The children have also been to places of interest in and around the city of Alwar like Company Bagh, Nehru Garden, Saras Dairy, Jayanti Cold Drinks Manufacturing Facility, Pandavpol, Vijay Mandir et al and have loved every minute of it!

Cultural festivals and celebrations
Be it the colourful fun of Holi or the radiant splendour of Diwali, the students of Adharshila celebrate every festival with gaiety and merriment. They take part in all the activities organized by the school like Sports Day, Republic Day, and Independence Day and, in fact, often end up doing better than some of the regular students!

Accolades & Achievements

The biggest joy in running this initiative is seeing these young kids keep that spirit of competition alive within them by participating in all activities eagerly, be it in academics or in extra-curriculars.

There have been several academic distinctions garnered by the Adharshila students amongst which the more notable one was the mainstreaming of four students – Shakeel, Shabnam, Aditya and Imrahan – who, on the basis of their outstanding academic performance, were shifted to the corresponding class in Alwar Public School. An additional achievement was the students of Class VII securing more than 70% marks in their annual examinations – a terrific achievement for someone who began their academic efforts from the grassroots level.

Even when it comes to sports and extra-curricular activities the students have time and again proven themselves second to none. Vishal Saini grabbed the winning spot in the district level High Jump competition – no mean feat this! And during the marathon race in Bharatpur the kids proved their mettle as they actually performed better than the students of all other schools!

About the Founders

Mr. Arjun Joshi – Director Eicher Group of Schools has been instrumental in setting up this endeavour. The degree of motivation he brought into this project right from its inception has been one of the single most important factors behind its present-day success.

Mrs. Saroj (Shuchi) Gupta has been an integral part of the Alwar Public School family since 1982 and has seen almost 30 batches of students pass out with her blessings. In fact she is someone who has even taught the children of alumni students!

She describes her exhausting personal battle with, and eventual victory over, cancer as a turning point in life. It was soon after her recovery that the idea of Adharshila came to her and she immediately began sincere efforts towards the same. Through her conscientious work in this sphere she managed to establish this NRBC and nurture it into a growing concern. What has been an uphill task – convincing the various stakeholders, liaisoning with members of the government, arranging for educational materials and miscellaneous articles for the children – has been made possible through her tireless efforts.

She continues her stellar work in Adharshila and cannot be prouder of all that her pupils have achieved and, of course, continue to achieve.

The Kids Who Wanted to Study
Once upon a time,
There were many little children in the world.
Who wanted to read, write and learn,
Make sense of thoughts that, in their head, swirled.
But alas they had no place to go to,
They had to work on the farm.
They had to look after their siblings,
So that the little ones would come to no harm.
So they kept on at it,
Dreaming about the day they could get to read.
So that they could grow up to make their parents proud,
By learning to inspire, motivate and lead.
Then one day the chance arrived,
Which they all had hoped for.
Through Adharshila they got the chance to learn!
And they wanted to know more and more.
Today these kids are ready for the world,
Their sights set on the stars and the skies.
So let us help them and cheer them on,
To ensure that they grow up to lead wonderful, beautiful lives.