Indian school founder begins search for volunteers

Indian school founder begins search for volunteers


James Preston

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Indian school founder begins search for volunteers

The hunt is on to find volunteers to help disadvantaged children learn key skills at an Indian school founded by a Maidenhead resident and his family.

Abigail and Dilip Singh

St John's Public School, based in the town of Patna, has grown from a couple of classrooms when it started in 1997 to a thriving, and growing, institution teaching 600 students.

It was founded by Dilip Singh, of Lees Close, and his Indian-based brother, Ashok, in memory of their father, Ram Chandra, and the family still funds and runs the school nearly 20 year later.

"My father died in 1991 and after the shock we decided we wanted to do something for him," said Dilip, who originates from Patna but came to the UK 30 years ago to study computing in Edinburgh.

"He was not very educated but he educated us and we knew he valued education quite a lot so we thought we would open up a school in his memory."

The school, which teaches children aged between three and 16, has proved to be a success, achieving full affiliation with the country's secondary school exam board two years ago.

Father-of-two Dilip, a freelance computer chip designer, said his family feel the school is now at the stage where it can recruit gap year students to teach new extra-curricular activities and life skills, including sport, music and the arts.

The 54-year-old has enlisted the help of his daughter-in-law, Abigail Singh, 28, to help recruit and find the right young people to make a difference at the school.

Abigail, a former Sir William Borlase's Grammar School pupil, has spent time volunteering in India herself and said: "You meet the local people and get the experience.

"It's a huge immersion into the culture."

Volunteering would cost £600 per month and includes accommodation and meals with a host family.

Email for more details and to apply.


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