‘School Chale Hum’ was a famous song back in the 90s which was been telecast on Doordarshan and Akashvani. Made for the ‘Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan’, the video shows the efforts of the Government put in to make sure that millions of children, who were deprived of school education, finally get to sit in a classroom and have access to knowledge.
The video’s simplicity and lyrics are what make it very close to our hearts even today. Gouri’s efforts towards providing education to the needy remind us of this song after decades.
Born and brought up in Belagavi, Mrs. Gouri Gajbar was a practicing interior designer and her husband is also from the same field. At the same time, she used to visit many orphanages and old age homes to offer some voluntarily help.
From the past 3 years, she started focusing on government schools and surveyed many of them regarding education been provided there. She wanted to join some government school and serve as a teacher. She quit her profession and joined school no. 5 and school no. 20 as a teacher and teaches here every day for one hour voluntarily.
Simultaneously she started a small school (or call it a playgroup) at her own residence in Tilakwadi. She named it ‘Second Home’ and what’s very unique about this school is that she teaches the underprivileged children of masons, domestic helpers, watchman, maids, auto drivers and children of nearby construction site workers. The children are been taught Basic English and motor skill activities.
There is also counseling held on many topics. There is a fun day every month where the children are taken outdoors to play games and have snacks. Heath and dental awareness checkup camps were conducted recently. The school has indoor games and also a small gym for the kids to play around after study. Presently there are 26 boys and girls from the age group of 4 to 12 years who come daily for the classes. The education is free for the students here and Gouri bears all the expenses on her own.
Gouri appeals to the people in society to do visit government schools regularly and serve as a teacher if possible. Ladies can also join her in their daily free time to teach the underprivileged children at her playgroup.
If School Chale Hum was a song for the children, we can now have a song ‘School Chalaye Hum’ for people like Gouri who are standing out of the box and running a school for the underprivileged.
Written by Mandar Kolhapure as narrated by Gouri Gajbar.