Health and education are the two most important needs of the society.
I was born and raised in the village of Nagauri. After coming to US for higher studies in 1969, and spending a couple of years in the highly developed society of this country, the thoughts of my childhood and a host of difficulties that I and my fellow students faced every day in getting our primary and secondary education in the Nagauri area, started to flash in my mind. I remembered that none of us wore shoes and walked couple of miles to the Noonikhera school on foot and it was painful, especially when the sand was very hot in April and May months. The educational standard of the school was very low and it offered only Liberal Arts in the high school curriculum. The Junior and High Schools in this area admitted only boys and the girls had no place to go beyond their elementary education. Being far away from the motherland and seeing the school system functioning so well in US, the idea of providing an educational institution for the rural folks of the Nagauri area took hold of my heart and I quickly came to the conclusion that the best way to help the rural area around the village of Nagauri was to establish a school. Deep down in my heart was the wish to see that the kids of that region may no longer face the same kind of problems that I and my classmates did. Since women education is vital to awaken the soul of any society, the perceived school had to be a coeducation facility so that girls could be given the same quality education as the boys. The idea was to bring an excellent quality school to the doorsteps of the rural kids so that they would not have to go to the cities which is expensive and unaffordable for most parents. In addition, it was recognized that the usual government education curriculum, even in the best scenario of having a school with an exceptionally high educational standard, cannot be expected to bring about the ethical, moral, and overall personal development of the students without which education may be meaningless or even self-destructive.
Historically, Nagauri has been, and still is, in the center of a noticeably underprivileged rural area educationally, economically, and culturally. High unemployment rate, social evils like alcohol and possibly drug abuse, lack of infrastructure, adult illiteracy, lack of awareness for social and political issues, and no motivation for learning to stand on their own feet, are some of the problems that must be addressed in order to effectively bring about the overall development of this population. The drowsing soul (consciousness) of this population must be awakened. With all that in mind, a charitable non-profit organization by the name of Sri Ram Gram Vikas Samiti was conceived and eventually established which, besides providing a high quality educational institution up to 12th grade, was chartered to provide vocational training to largely unemployed rural youth, some form of adult education, and a healthcare facility. In addition, providing guidance, consultation, and financial assistance to the desperately needy rural folks to promote economic development, was also conceived as an important part of this undertaking. The school, although a vital need of the population in itself, was perceived as only the first but very important step to eventually achieve the multi-faceted holistic development of the population. In other words, seeing this school as the starting point of an efficiently working center for educational, professional, and social development of the entire region is the vision and dream of the founder of this institution.
In light of the visionary perspective of this institution, the task of management is indeed very noble but at the same time very challenging. It will require a lot of creativity, wisdom, hard work, and life-long dedication of the folks volunteering their services in the management of the school. Let them realize that the real success of their lives may lie in putting a sound foundation underneath the ambitious “castle-in-the-air” of the founder’s dream. Working for this institution with absolutely pure intentions and dharma is nothing but doing God’s work and will amount to a spiritual sadhana of the highest kind in which only blessed individuals will be seen to participate. How their lives will be blessed in the form of peace of mind and joy in their hearts, could only be experienced by those doing it. Sri Ram (Divine residing in the hearts of all, “रमन्ति योगिन: यस्मिन सः रामः), who is the guiding deity (इष्टदेव) of this project, will make absolutely sure of that. It is my hope that the management will always make its best efforts to ensure that the boys and girls coming out of this school excel not only academically but also culturally and professionally and be a shining example to the other youths in the region. If the parents are able to see that the educational, professional, and overall developmental needs of their kids are being met beyond their expectations, I shall feel that the dream of the many NRIs, who support this school with their hearts and souls, would have been fulfilled.
We have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go. There are thousands of rural children waiting to get an education. Come be a part of our mission!
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