The gift of education
Pupils at a local Leeds school took time out of their academic studies earlier this month to help raise thousands of pounds for educational establishments around the world.
Student members of the Hindu and Sikh societies from the Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL) handed over a cheque of £5,000 to a representative from the charity Saraswati Vidyalaya – a service project of The Three R’s Education Trust.
‘Saraswati Vidyalayas’ are one teacher schools in India and Nepal which are helping to transform the lives of children in the south Asian countries by giving them greater access to education.
Thanks to the generosity of students at GSAL, five of these new schools can now be built in remote villages of the two countries, with the total amount donated to the cause by the Leeds school now standing at £10,000.
The main fundraiser each year is the Diwali show, organised by the Hindu and Sikh student faith leaders, an event which brings the whole community together for an evening of Indian food, music and dance.
As well as the Diwali show, a tasty sum is raised each year through curry tastings and cooking demonstrations thanks to the generosity of Mr and Mrs Dabhi of Hansa’s Restaurant in Leeds.
Mr Hashmukh Shah is Saraswati Vidyalaya’s coordinator in the UK and was presented with the cheque by Student faith leaders from GSAL’s Hindu and Sikh societies earlier this month.
He said he was extremely grateful to see such generosity and explained how crucial such funds are for the charity.
He said: “Education is empowerment, and through your sponsorship of schools in India and Nepal you are helping disadvantaged students to overcome illiteracy and resist exploitation.
“Thanks to GSAL we have built nine schools over five years – today’s donation alone will fund five more.”
Akash Ramnath, Hindu student faith leader, added: “Education is a fundamental right for every child and we are proud to support this charity which provides education to children who don’t have the advantages that we take for granted.
“The Hindu and Sikh communities at GSAL are very inclusive and I would like to thank everyone who has supported us, in school and from the wider community.”