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Saturday, July 02, 2022

The joy of teaching

A decade ago,Kamal Capoor sat under the shade of a tree and gave lessons to four students who religiously took notes on their slates.

Written by Vandana Kalra |
May 10, 2009 10:42:26 pm

From giving lessons to four students under a tree ten years ago,Kamal Capoor now runs a school for over 400 underprivileged children

A decade ago,Kamal Capoor sat under the shade of a tree and gave lessons to four students who religiously took notes on their slates. Now,she works from a well-designed building not far from the previous shed in DLF Phase I,Gurgaon. The number of students has multiplied to over 400 and she has volunteers assisting her with teaching at The Happy School.

“A lot has changed. I never imagined that I would run a school,” she says,as she recalls how instinct led her to teach children of labourers from a construction site near her house. “There was an urge to do something and teaching gave me unmatched satisfaction,” says the 65-year-old graduate in arts from the University of Calcutta.

As she walks into the classrooms,Capoor points out to the mismatched furniture that has been donated. While a wooden desk comes from a corporate office,a dining table was donated by a family shifting home and several tables and chairs in blue and green come from Modern School,Barakhamba Road.

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“We depend on donations. The uniform,books and meals are sponsored. There is regular medical check-up and vaccination. The children come from the underprivileged section and are just charged a fee of Rs 5 a month,” says Capoor,adding that her staff is also a team of volunteers.

“It’s the spirit of the place that makes it wonderful,” says Nilima Gupta,who teaches Classes III and IV. She previously taught at the GD Goenka World School and Amnesty International. While the school now follows the Haryana board curriculum right from nursery to Class V,students are often assisted with admission to other schools for higher education. Some are enrolled in government schools and for those with exceptional potential Capoor has managed sponsorship in private schools like Summer Fields.

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