On Thursday 5th December, our group of New Zealand and Australian students visited Gurudwara School. Gurudwara only accepts students from families below the poverty line. It has 700 students and a waiting list of over 3000.
We initially met one of the school’s teachers who told us a little bit about how the school was set up and how they help the students by providing a free, nutritious meal, as well as making the school free. Gurudwara relies totally on private donations and is not government funded.
We then were sung to by a group of older students before we performed one of our Bollywood dance routines for them (which we are sure they found very funny). Afterwards, we split into groups and went into different classes to sit with the students and learn about what they’re studying.
Sitting with the 9th graders we learnt about their social studies class and listened as they taught us the alphabet in Punjabi. One of the girls was an amazing dancer and showed us a choreography to her favourite Bollywood song. She told us that she wanted to study to be a teacher. They were so friendly and sweet, and so excited to be sharing everything with us.
Visiting the slightly younger students was a similar experience. They stood up when we entered and shook all of our hands. They were incredibly polite. Every question we asked was responded to with a “yes ma’am” or “no ma’am”. They were in English class at the time and one of the girls told us that English is her favourite subject.
As soon as we walked into the nursery it was a bubble of activity. The 4/5 year olds greeted us with a chorus of “hi ma’ams”, and ran up to us with their hands outstretched, wanting handshakes. They were so friendly and excited and truly were so polite, especially considering their age. During the performances we had seen them walking around in a single file line holding each other’s shoulders, like a train, so that they didn’t get lost, and all of our hearts melted. One of the teachers led a particularly shy boy up to one of the Kiwi girls and said “he wants to shake your hand but he is too shy”.
The kids at Gurudwara were so inspiring and studious. Living below the poverty line, they don’t have it easy and often come from harder backgrounds. One of the teachers told us that it is difficult, because even though they come to school, they still go home to the same home life, which hasn’t changed. This means it takes time for the positive impacts of school to truly take hold or to outweigh whatever’s going on at home.
As previously mentioned, Gurudwara relies solely on private funding so needs individuals to help its current students, and to help cater to more and more kids, and eventually open a new facility.
To help this great cause and transfer from an international account, use these details:
- Guru Nanak Garib Niwaj Education Society
- Bank: ICICI Bank
- Branch: E-568, Greater Kailash-Il, New Delhi- 110048 (INDIA)
- A/c No.: 031101001961
- Swift Code: ICICINBBNRI
The following sponsorship options are available:
- Sponsor a student: Rs. 3000/-a month ($64.41 NZD)
- Sponsor a meal for approx. 650 students: Rs. 8000/-a day ($171.77 NZD)
- Sponsor a teacher: Rs. 15,000-30,000/-a month ($322.06-$644.12 NZD)
- Sponsor healthcare facilities: Rs. 250/-a month per student ($5.37 NZD)
- Sponsor stationery/student kit: Rs. 250/-a month per student ($5.37 NZD)
(All donations and contributions are exempted from Income Tax Section 80-G)