Amitabh Srivastav in his INDIA TODAY article “CALL OF THE NATIVE” writes about Chaitanya Gurukul Trust and its Founding Chairmain Chandrakant Singh.
Chandrakant Singh grew up studying by the light of a kerosene lamp in a nondescript village in Bihar.
Chandrakant Singh grew up studying by the light of a kerosene lamp in a nondescript village, Chamanpura, in Bihar’s Gopalganj district in the ’80s. By 2004, engineer Chandrakant was posted to Germany on a two-year assignment by his then employer Bosch India. Stuttgart in Germany, where Singh was based, afforded him all creature comforts. Yet, old memories kept coming back to him Of Chamanpura.
With those memories came self-realisation, of the need to do something for the next generation of children in his native village. Only, Singh didn’t know how. He groped for solutions on his return in 2006, from offering scholarships to some to funding the entire education of others to inspiring educated youngsters from the village to teach children. The solution presented itself soon after. “I needed to make quality education available to everyone,” he says.
Singh drew up a 100-page blueprint to set up a Rs 30-crore campus over 10 years. He e-mailed friends. Eight of them obliged with funds. He registered the Chaitanya Gurukul Trust on November 11, 2008. Singh procured 13 acres from villagers in Chamanpura and rolled out the first phase of the project, Chaitanya Gurukul Trust (CGT) Public School from Class I to Class VIII. Construction began in May 2009 and the school started inducting students a year later.
Today, Chamanpura might seem like a microcosm of power-starved Bihar but at CGT Public School, there are no blackouts during class hours. The school has 45 rooms, each with Wi-Fi access, and its amenities will include a swimming pool that is currently under construction.
The school recruits teachers through a competitive examination and then trains them in Bangalore before they head for Chamanpura. The teaching, expectedly, is very modern. “We use pictures and graphics and even Skype sessions with experts because students learn better visually,” says school principal Arvind Saxena.
Such amenities were unthinkable when Singh himself, son of primary school teacher Ram Sarikhan Singh, studied at Madhya Vidyalaya Chamanpura and DAV College in Siwan, going on to do a BTech in electrical engineering from Birsa Institute of Technology in Sindri in 1998 and an MTech from IIT-Bombay in 2000.
CGT Public School runs on a self-sustaining model, with concessions to needy students. Singh is justifiably proud. “I thought I must make my small contribution towards bringing down student migration from Bihar,” he says.
Years abroad two in Germany
Patently able: He has a patent for a software to fix faulty micro-controllers, used for operating cars, in his name
Only way out: Seeing the plight of children in his village in Bihar, he realised only education could help lift them out of poverty
Let there be light: His school in Chamanpura village has power back-up to ensure students have blackout-free classes