MSK School, Karmatar, Darjeeling
Karmatar is a small village in the district of Darjeeling with a population of around 10,000 people with a few thousand more living in nearby areas. Before 2003, there were no schools to serve this little community and the children had to walk for over three hours in order to reach the nearest school. A lot of them just decided it was not worth it and did not go to school at all, missing out on all the benefits of education.
In 2003, two passionate teachers Namita and Yamuna from the village decided to quit their better paying jobs in a bigger town and start a school in the village with help from the community. They started off in a little house with two teachers and two classes. Finally in 2006 they managed to get some funding to have one more teacher join their ranks and to move from the house that was falling apart at the seams into a small structure on a land donated by a local farmer with extremely limited means. His take on his generosity was ‘as long as the kids have a place to improve their future with’.
Now they have a school with four classes in it and student strength of 70. Three more teachers have since joined on an internship basis and are being paid by the employed teachers by sharing their salary with them. Many of the students who were otherwise unable to access education began to come here. A large number of the students are girls who would have had no chance at an education if this school had not been there right in their village.
What did they need...
Unfortunately the very little funding they had received hadn't been enough to cover the complete construction costs of the building. They were hence in need of the following:
1. Fencing: The school needs a fence around it as the school is adjacent to the main road and the teachers live in constant fear of the students playing in the fields facing an accident.
2. Toilets & drinking water: The students have no toilets to use and no access to drinking water.
3. Books and stationery: The students have no books and no stationery.
How did Tea People help...
Working closely with the Rotary Club of Darjeeling as project implementation partners, we have now completed the construction of the fence. We are now working towards resolving the other issues as well.