“Kamala Nehru Shishu Vihar” (KNSV) School is located in Patna, the capital city of Bihar, a state with an illustrious past, buy now one of the poorest state in India. It is a non-profit organization attempting to provide education to some of the poor children of the city (total of 336 students to date) from Kindergarten to class 10. These types of schools are essential, especially in Bihar, as the government is not able to fulfill its goal of providing education to all children. With the current population of the state and its historical infrastructure, this is a daunting task for the government to manage under the current circumstances. Schools such as KNSV are attempting to aid the government in providing education to all children in the state, rich or poor.
History of KNSV School
KNSV was set up in 1963 by Shrimati Prabhawati Devi, wife of Loknayak Jayaprakash Narayan (a significant political figure in Indian history). She established the school in memory of her close friend, Shrimati Kamala Nehru, wife of Shri Jawarharlal Nehru (the first prime minister of India), naming the school after her. This school was built as a model educational institute keeping in view the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi and Gurudev Rabinranath Tagore, and on the concept of the famous “Shantiniketan” school near Kolkata. The idea was to establish a non-government educational institute, which would provide a suitable environment for proper education, vocational and cultural training, and character building. It was also intended to promote all round development of the capabilities of young boys and girls, especially the poor who have no other chance. It was one of the founding principles of the school that no child will be denied admission if unable to pay fees for the school, thus providing a environment of equality among children regardless of their social or financial background.
This school had an impressive infrastructure with a sprawling campus. The School is appropriately called a “Vihar“, as it is situated in nearly 4-acre plot of land along side the Bihar Vidyapith, with mango groves and open spaces all around. Hostel facilities are provided for both boys and girls. It was beautifully created with a vision totally harmonious with nature. Classrooms and hostels were made with bamboos walls and straw roofs. Fruits and vegetables were grown in the campus, as well children were taught to grow them and learn gardening skills. Arrangements were made for the teaching of Music, Crafts, Arts, Science, and languages including Hindi and English. Shri Jayaprakash Narayan raised public subscription for the construction of school buildings, educational aid, books, scientific instruments, etc. and made the school an object of pride and an example to be followed.
Now, a re-investment in its infrastructure will bring it back to life and make it a thing of pride again.
This school gained very good reputation and was very successfully run for over two decades. These good years have been followed by trying days and Kamala Nehru Shishu Vihar has since more than 30 years been facing difficult times despite the best efforts made by the management of the school. Indeed, the Institution suffered serious damage caused mainly by the heavy floods, which devastated Patna in 1975. Since then, the management has found it difficult to extricate the school from this difficult situation and attain the lofty objectives it has set for itself. Number of students dwindled, teachers’ payments went into arrears and quality of the Institution suffered.
For the past few years, the institution has been in dire need of financial support in order to finance students education (most of them are getting financial aid in the form of sponsorships), to maintain its buildings, to pay its teachers, to build a suitable structure of education and to continue supporting the education of the poor.
For its sustainability, it is essential to raise additional funds to support this school !