Children’s Hope India (CHI) recently inaugurated its first all-girls English medium secondary school in Bhopal India on Monday, March 5, 2018: the Children’s Hope India Girls School (CHIGS). The school will be a game-changer for the girl child in Gandhinagar and surrounding villages. The opening was attended by supporters from several cities, well-wishers, the children and families from the community, and distinguished guests, including the Mayor of Bhopal, CHI Advisory Board Member Dr. Bhushan Khashu, Dr. Margaret Busch, and many CHI board members.
While India can claim improvements in recent years in terms of enrollment in its schools, girls are still underrepresented proportionally. After primary schooling, which is provided free by the government, many girls give up their education due to limited resources, household chores, having to babysit siblings, or even an early marriage. Gandhinagar in particular, where the school is located, is home to many middle- and lower-income families, for whom a quality education may not have been within reach. The goal of CHIGS is to provide these rural students with the highest quality education and a level playing field to face the job market and the future. CHIGS satisfies a need for girls’ higher education – and the way to access it.
CHIGS is recognized by the Government of Madhya Pradesh and affiliated to the board of secondary education in Bhopal. The school is a partnership between two like-minded organizations: Children’s Hope India and Jeev Sewa Sansthan (JSS), with similar vision and goals. Under the leadership of Rev. Siddh Bhauji, they are running many schools and colleges in Bhopal. This school will be run by their Laxmidevi Vikyomal Shroff Educational Society in Gandhinagar, Bhopal, as per the vision of Children’s Hope India. This collaboration between CHI and JSS will provide 800 young girls a quality education at affordable fees in English medium from Standard VI to XII (Grades 6 – 12), and a chance for a wonderful future.
Dr. Dina Pahlajani, President of Children’s Hope India, noted, “We are so fortunate to have this collaboration with Jeev Sewa Sansthan. Their spirit of volunteerism and dedication is inspirational. They are educating over 10,000 children through schools and colleges, and are starting construction on a massive eye hospital now.” Pahlajani added, “Children’s Hope India has a core belief that every child counts, that every child is important. To this we would like to add Every Girl child is important, and Every Girl child counts. When you educate a girl, you empower the entire family, and therein lies the importance of Children’s Hope India’s first school for girls.”
CHIGS, with its affordable fees and scholarships, was built in less than ten months under the expert supervision of seasoned developer Nari Pohani, and makes education possible for these needy families. It offers state-of-the-art facilities and education in English medium with a quality faculty. There are 16 large classrooms, a library, and a Closed Circuit TV system for the campus.
The many defining attributes of the school include a well-equipped computer lab, and physics, chemistry and biology labs, as well as a recreation room for sports and extra-curricular activities. Other facilities include a seminary hall for internal growth and a playground for physical activities, as well as a large assembly hall. The second phase will include smart classrooms with digital interactive boards for teaching and learning. Yellow school buses will bring the village girls every day from their rural homes to the school, making education much more accessible. Funds for the buses, as well as the school, were raised at a CHI fundraiser in New York, thanks to the organization’s generous donors.
“It was truly gratifying to see the Children’s Hope India Girls School in Bhopal open its doors to the underprivileged girls of the surrounding communities,” said CHI Advisory Board Member Dr. Bhushan Khashu, who is a prominent physician and philanthropist in New York. “The impressive structure was constructed in less than a year, a testament to the enthusiasm and hard work of the ground crew. I have no doubt that CHI, jointly with Jeev Sewa, will set up a standard against which our future projects will be measured.”
With a topnotch faculty, innovative teaching, dedicated advisors, supporters on two continents, and students excited to start in April, the Children’s Hope India Girls School is, as Pahlajani said, “a diamond in the rough, with so much potential to change girls’ lives forever.”