Joy….when we stumbled upon a school in Himachal, Kharti (Kangra)!!!

16th April 2015 The rain stopped and the landscape around looked beautiful. I came out of the car, loved the surroundings and clicked few pictures. I was not aware which that place was. Whichever it was, it was just amazing. It’s been few days since we were living in Rakkar. It rained that morning and I asked my wife lets go driving to some unknown place.

Lalpari roaming in the green fields in the shadow of Dhauladhars
Lalpari roaming in the green fields in the shadow of Dhauladhars (Kangra)

I saw a gentleman a few paces away quietly watching me click pictures. I asked him few questions about the area and the man invited me to come along. Walking gently on that rain soaked road we entered the premises of a small but neat building. It was a state primary school and the man who took us along was Mr Vijay Puri, the senior teacher at the school.

Govt Primary School, Kharti (HP)
Govt Primary School, Kharti (Kangra) HP…The school was establshed in the year 1959

The school looked very interesting. It had beautiful colorful paintings on the walls depicting various basic lessons to be taught to the primary children.

Board
Painting depicting lessons regarding days of the week, months, colors and their translation in a very playful manner

We learnt that these paintings were made by Mr Kuldeep, who was luckily present at the school premises when we arrived. Mr Puri told us that the painting of the map on the wall was made by Mr Kuldeep without looking at the actual map and that he has painted so many maps that it has gone down deep into his memory.

Kuldeep
The man who painted this map without looking at the actual map…..Mr Kuldeep

We found the method used to teach children was very interactive and interesting. Besides wonderful visuals on the walls of the school, the teachers played animation movies on laptop and childern remained glued to their desks while watching those movies. In Fact most of the childern were singing and imitating all those actions.

Teaching
Children of Govt Primary School, Kharti watching animation movie on the laptop
childern
We saw childern loved to be there in the school…..they stayed back even after the school time was over

The school had another teacher, a handsome gentleman named Mr Rakesh Bhardwaj. He was keenly involved with all the activities of the school and was a good singer too. We found him to be a nice team player and helped Mr Puri in every way he could.

teachers
Mr Vijay Puri and Mr Rakesh Bhardwaj, the two proactive teachers at GPS, Kharti

Later we had a simple lunch with them. There was another gentleman in the school who arranges mid day meal for the children. His name was Mr Ramesh. He seem to be an all rounder. Besides helping the school full time he also weaves wool at his handloom other than working in the fields.

mid day meal
Children enjoying mid day meal at GPS, Kharti
innocence
This innocent boy was not feeling well……..but soon we saw him playing gleefully  in the open ground

There was a very interesting and touching poem painted on the wall of the school. The poem depicted the dilemma of a girl child who asks her mother why she should take birth when there are so much bias about a girl child. We came to know later that the poem was written by Mr Vijay Puri himself and the same has been published in a collection of other poems in a book named ‘Pehchan’. Mr Puri very kindly gifted copy of the same to us.

poem
Mr Vijay Puri, Senior teacher at GPS, Kharti alongside his poem painted on the wall of the school
group
Children and everyone looked very happy in those beautiful surroundings
playing
Children of GPS Kharti playing and Mr Vijay Puri, Senior teacher, cheering them on

At times children are taken outside of the school and taught in a very playful manner. The teacher’s help and encourage the children in cultural activities too. We were told that the school has won many trophies in cultural activities. The childern are also taken for trekking and other outdoor activities. Every year children are taken for a 9 kilometer one way trek to Himani Chamunda Mata temple. Everyone has to bring food and water along with them. They were planning next trekking on 26th of April 2015 to Himani Chamunda Mata Temple.

Pehchan
Mr Vijay Puri gifting his book ‘Pehchan’…Mr Rakesh Bhardwaj standing besides him

It was a wonderful experience to be with those dedicated teachers and some amazing innocent childern at GPS, Kharti. It was good to see the teachers taking keen interest in imparting teaching in a proactive and innovative way. It also changed our notion that the government teachers are not as dedicated as their private counterparts are. The visit also brought to the fore, the memories of that popular movie “Taare Zameen Par” !!!

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