VKV Sonpura

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We left Tezu at about 5.30 am and headed for Roing. The drive was for most parts very scenic - cloudy, rice fields and very green even though road was very bad in parts. Sky throughout Arunachal had a different color and something special about it as you see.

After about two hours drove past school Vivekanand Kendra School at Sonpura. A stop over was not part of original plan so we saw the school from outside and drove ahead. Do not know what I liked about the school but something pulled me back. Thank Ishwar for it because just loved the place. U see overview of school - lush green campus.

School campus. Left is hostel. It had rained so whole area was very green. VKV Sonpura was started in 1981. It is a extremely backward area - cell phone signal comes in one corner of the school, people close by are not very well off and electricity supply is erratic. Today it is a co-education school. Most girls stay in hostel while all boys are day scholar.

Entrance to school office, girls hostel and prayer hall. There is something special about this school - very positive vibrations, cannot pin point exactly. Visited school in September 2013.

School is affiliated to C.B.S.E., has 300 children of which 184 live in hostel and balance day scholars. Total nos of girl students 240 - was happy to note that. School has class from 1-10. U see young students in their hostel.

Was in the school on a Sunday so no classrooms but got a different experience as you shall see. Pic of the computer room, recently renovated. Students are taught how to work on a computer but absence of broadband connectivity limits their access to the world. Even telephone landline is a problem. Since over 180 girls live in hostel, having unreliable telephone connectivity could pose a security hazard. How do you establish contact with the Police in the case of a untoward incident.

Pic in Chemistry laboratory. School has 14 teachers, non teaching staff and wardens plus a Primary Health Centre. Since the school is in a backward and poor area, VKV sponsors 26 students. Cost of sponsoring education for a girl child is Rs 12,000/ p.a. If you like to help mail Jayshri Moni. Her id is jayashri@vkvapt.org. Nos is 9401555508, 9833825381.

Next went to the Hall where children eat. An overview of the hall. Found all children to be very well behaved and courteous. The problem here is lack of schools to study after the 10th standard. Thus students are forced to study out of Sonpura, something that many can ill afford or do not like.

Sunday is cleaning day. U see girls cleaning the eating hall area. Most farmers in the area grow rice. VKV has tried to make farmers grow vegetables but with not much success. When successful it would be a win win for both - farmer gets higher realizations for produce and school a reliable ready made source of supply.

A typical classroom. Since it was Sunday no students. Classroom is like what we had back home in Mumbai. Women folk here like in other parts of Arunachal work very hard. Problem is that mother and father drink a lot with its harmful effects. Drink is Rice Beer locally called APONG.

Hostel of senior girls - doing homework and studying on a Sunday morning. School follows a strict and disciplined way of working. When students go home they let loose. Amongst other things they love having junk food - in this case Branded Chips.

Pic of Principal Smt Ranjana Srivastava. She is from Uttar Pradesh - Azamgarh district and has been teaching at VKV schools for the last 23 years. Admire teachers like Smt Srivastava who have dedicated their lives to teaching the children of Arunachal Pradesh.

Younger students cleaning the walk way in hostel. Loved to see this, taught dignity of labor from a young age. To see pics of Tawang War Memorial Click here

Paddy fields enroute from Sonpura to our next destination, Roing. To see pics of Children of Arunachal Pradesh Click Here

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