The Khushwant Singh Foundation supports the Higher Secondary School in Ganol village outside Kasauli. From providing shoes to students who walk two hours each way to school and back home, to creating a library of English books. Scholarships are given across the board for art, sport, music, personality development, as well as studies.

Khushwant SIngh believed that knowledge stemmed from curiosity. But the most valuable learnings were from life. Living in India taught him that the girl child in the country was neglected and needed nurturing. Some of this spirit of nurturing the young has been infused into KSLF. Annual scholarships are given to daughters of poor landless laborers from around Kasauli.

Scholarships were handed out to students of Ganol Higher Secondary School after KSLF 2019 by the persons who conducted the “Joy of Learning” program on behalf of the Khushwant Singh Foundation, Lila Kutty, Rachna Sharma, Tilak Mukherjee, Supriya Mukherjee, Rahul Singh, Niloufer Bilimoria.

Ganga, the daughter of a landless farmer, struck a chord with each of us at the KS Foundation. She walked barefoot more than two hours each way to attend classes in English at the Government High School in Ganol. The scholarships initiated by the Foundation helped Ganga get her first pair of shoes. In the last 10 years many aspiring  and determined little girls like Ganga now have access to an extensive school library that has opened up their imaginations to the likes of Enid Blyton and Harry Potter, amongst many others. What started as a small project aimed at a few children, now with the involvement of the Himachal Government and the enterprising Mr. Rakesh Kanwar has extended its reach to over ten thousand students from over a thousand schools in the state. Students participate in various competitions including spell bee, essay writing, crossword and art.

Since water is such a scarce resource in the hills of Kasauli, the Sir Sobha Sir Trust too has been involved in setting up a sophisticated rainwater harvesting system. Initially this will help the school in Ganol have access to a clean water source and eventually this project is designed to benefit the entire village.

Moving along into it’s decennial year, the KS Foundation is happy to have their main objectives achieved – that of supporting the girl child and preserving the ecology of the region

A man with KS’ heart.

On the occasion of #InternationalDayOfTheGirlChild, KSLF wanted to take the opportunity to celebrate the exemplary vision of the Second Headmaster of the Government High School, Ganol, a school adopted by the KS Foundation at the very inception of the LitFest in Kasauli. Please do listen to the video he shared with KSLF, his conviction and pride is uplifting. Mr. Nishi Kant Uniyal was instrumental in changing the teaching medium at his school from Hindi to English, keeping in mind the tremendous opportunities this would open up for his students. In breaking social barriers that stunt the education of girls, he has encouraged his female students to strive harder and reach for the stars, while instilling in them a lifelong love for learning. KS Foundation salutes his enterprising spirit and his work in channelling the financial assistance that the Foundation provides into meaningful and effective scholarships, through which these young girls have blossomed. Their self-belief and confidence is testament to everything the Foundation stands for. In recognition of Nishi Kant Uniyal’s endeavours, the then Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, honourable Veerbhadra Singh upgraded the school from Middle to High School.And showered praise on the school that was widely published in newspapers.

Success Story of Govt. High School Ganol Distt Solan HP

Govt. High School Ganol was established in1999 and is situated near the well known hill station of Kasauli, in the pine tree foothills of the Himalayas. The majority of the people around the school are from a rural background and most of them are agriculturist farmers. The wards (students) of these villagers are Hindi language learners and are from low economic backgrounds. Some of the middle class residents of the area send their wards to a private English medium school situated 5km away, with a fee structure affordable to them. There is another Govt. run Middle School 1.5 km. from the Ganol High School.

There has been an upsurge in people wishing to educate their children in English medium schools, irrespective of their educational and economic status. For the Ganol High School poor learning outcomes and distinction between English medium versus Hindi medium learners created an inferiority complex amongst the pupils studying at the school and became a serious concern for the school administration to address; and ultimately led to a rethink. What to do and how to improve academic standards? How to wash away the inferiority complex amongst the students despite every facility provided by the school under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and the HP State Govt.

New Program Implementation

  1. Introduction of English medium teaching: the school authority introduced English as medium of instruction, in all subjects, from 2011, with the full support of teachers, School Management Committee (SMC) and the community of the surrounding villages. 
  2. Introduction of new uniform : the school introduced a new school uniform – grey trousers, light sky-blue shirt, tie, belt and navy blue cardigan (Monday to Friday); white trousers & white shirt (on Saturdays). Note : The school uses Atal Uniforms provided by the State Govt. 
  3. Introduction of a new motivating pledge in the morning assembly:
    “Today, I will do my best, to be the best. 
    I will listen, I will follow directions, I will be honest, I will respect the right of others. 
    I can learn, I will learn. I know, it is all up to me.”
  4. Change in teaching & learning strategies: teachers changed their mindset while following teaching-learning methods in classes. 
    All the teaching methods are pupil friendly and (Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation) CCE compliant. The aim is to inculcate interest among students to read more, learn more and ultimately lead better lives.
  5. Attention on English Subject: in addition to learning English, importance is given to communication skills. Children are taught how to interact in English with their peer groups and are made familiar with new terms and expressions in English.
  6. Special attention in Science and Mathematics: the teaching & learning process in maths and science has been completely overhauled. The new strategy is to mould the children of today into the creative and better citizens of tomorrow. The program attempts to bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical experience. Computerized worksheets in mathematics were introduced on topics like decimal addition, multiplication, subtraction, division, writing ratios, linear equations, polynomials, solid figure, geometry, folding cube, folding cone, math crossword puzzles; and in science on the topics of viz. acids and alkalis, cells, health word search, part of a plant and vertebrate groups.
  7. Important celebrations days and promoting school activities: the children are encouraged to display their talent by taking part in various celebrations and activities held by the school such as: World Forest Day, World Environment Day, Mother’s Day, Teachers Day, Children’s Day, Deepawali, Annual Day, Hand Wash Day and Thanksgiving Day. 

Quotes from working staff members

“We want to unlock the pupils for holistic developments, love for mathematics and science in particular. I know that creating a change externally is easy but creating the same change internally can be more challenging but can also be more rewarding”

– Mr. Nishi Kant TGT (Non Medical)

“The programs implemented yielded desired results to my satisfaction”

– Mrs. Parveen Bala TGT (Arts)

“The credit to school success goes to proper coordination among the teachers and the ideology of the leadership”

– Mr. Ram Gopal (Shastri Retd. 31/12/2013)

“I am satisfied with the achievements attained during the last two years since the new programs implemented”

– Mr. Yograj (PET)

I am very happy that I am part of this successful school and given various platforms to conduct school program by the leadership”

– Mrs. Lata Sharma (Drawing Teacher)

Vikram Seth Acrostic