Apply to Join
 Education  India Project #14762

Support a Rural School in the Himalayas

by Aarohi
Support a Rural School in the Himalayas
Support a Rural School in the Himalayas
Support a Rural School in the Himalayas
Support a Rural School in the Himalayas
Support a Rural School in the Himalayas
Support a Rural School in the Himalayas
Support a Rural School in the Himalayas
Support a Rural School in the Himalayas
Support a Rural School in the Himalayas
Support a Rural School in the Himalayas
Support a Rural School in the Himalayas
Support a Rural School in the Himalayas
Support a Rural School in the Himalayas
Support a Rural School in the Himalayas
Support a Rural School in the Himalayas
Support a Rural School in the Himalayas
Support a Rural School in the Himalayas
Support a Rural School in the Himalayas
Morning Prayer
Morning Prayer



In 1994 when Aarohi began contemplating its interventions in the field of education, the challenges were many. From inaccessibility, considering a limited number of government schools to which children trekked through mountains covering long distances, to poor enrollment in schools especially of girls, high rate of school dropouts, corporal punishment and the dismal state of infrastructure, the sector abounded with difficulties. What one witnessed amongst the students from these mountain villages was a lack of confidence and poor self-esteem.

In that year’s management committee meeting, it was decided to initiate the education programme with the objective to demonstrate improving the educational environment in rural remote areas of Nainital district through Aarohi facilitated education programme in Ramgarh block.

The aim was to set up a model school that demonstrated the smooth transition from pre-primary to primary education. The challenge was to demonstrate a workable model to reach out to special need children and dropouts in the area and reintegrate them in the mainstream system. The project was conceived after four years of grassroots experience of working in the area. Through an interaction with over 40 villages, then, Aarohi had learned about the needs and aspirations of people. 

The dream was to create a space where the children could learn in an environment which would be, as Oona, one of the founders of Aarohi, had scribbled in her diary, “free from fear, fostering curiosity”.

Aarohi Bal Sansar (ABS) is that dream.

Working towards rural development, Aarohi views education as a social equaliser, bringing dignity to human life. Access to quality education, for Aarohi, is a means to attain sustainable development and creating an inclusive,          diverse and a compassionate society.  The education programme is an extension of Aarohi’s larger vision of creating a more equitable society, by creating development opportunities for Himalayan communities through integrated development.

Aarohi’s Education Programme strives to provide ‘holistic development of personality in a joyful environment’, ensuring every child is nurtured in an environment, which is safe, free, inclusive, empathetic and dynamic. This year we initiated the Education Outreach Programme, to provide crucial mentorship and guidance to Anganwadis (Early Childhood Education Centres) and the local community schools in the state. Through this programme we hope to replicate further, the teaching methodologies evolved from 23 years of our experience of running a school in these parts of the mountains.



This year, Aarohi Bal Sansar(ABS), a middle-level school, managed by Aarohi, a not-for –profit organisation working towards integrated development in the rural Kumaon hills in the Central Himalayan Region of Uttarakhand, India,  completes 23 years of its presence in the region.

January to June is the period leading to the end of the academic session. The entire month of January is a winter vacation, during which children wait in anticipation of snowfall and celebrate with their families the important festival “Ghugutiya”, a festival marking the beginning of the summer solstice.

From February, with the onset of the spring, school begins, the final session of the academic year. It is the time for rigorous studies; preparing for the final exams.

Teacher’s Appraisals are also done in the same period.

This March, ‘Sir’ Taradutta Masa, retired as the principal, ABS, after serving the school for 17 years. The students organised a beautiful farewell programme for him. He nurtured the school for almost two decades.

Monica Shah Drego, joined us as the  Education Director from 1st February 2017 and we are all looking forward to some wonderful interventions in the field of education. With thirty long years of experience in the field of Education, Monica Shah, will certainly take ABS to new heights.

We believe, the children learn from their everyday interactions with their environment. Their long walk from home to Aarohi and back also contributes to their education. While most of the students still walk to ‘their school’ ABS, the two taxis we introduced this year has made ABS more accessible to students from many remote villages.

This year we had 25 new admissions from 5 villages, taking the total number of students to 163. We have recruited one new nursery teacher, Renu Kabadwal, who recently completed her nursery teacher’s training programme.


Aarohi Bal Sansar (ABS)

Upholding the vision of holistic personality development in a joyful environment, Aarohi Bal Sansar (ABS), a middle-level school, was started in the year 1994. ABS is a vibrant learning space which is sensitively designed, nurturing children through quality education using the appropriate curriculum, creative teaching methodologies and sufficient infrastructural resources. ABS today is a model public school, providing education which is sensitive to the changing aspirations of the people from these parts.

A strong cadre of competent, empathetic and inspired teachers spearhead the innovative and creative learning process. ABS has 163 students and 22 teachers, learning and growing together.


Student Performance

Considering the students studying at ABS belong to the first generation learners, the major goal of assessment and evaluation is to enable team members to use data to create a profile of a student's strengths and needs.

Children are accessed for cognitive development -  the ability to learn new information, speech, understanding of written material;  emotional and social development; scientific approach and curiosity and physical development.

 A combination of oral and written assessments are done to gauge the child’s improvement on language and comprehension skills. Various co-curricular activities like science workshops; art and crafts workshops; elocution performances are organised to enhance and also to gauge child’s emotional and cognitive development.

 Sports and extracurricular activities are systematically organised to instil a sense of teamwork, cooperation and camaraderie. Participation and performance of children in these activities reflect upon their social skills apart from physical development.

We also conduct annual and half yearly written and oral exams to access academic performance.

This year 15 students passed out from ABS, completing primary education up to class 8. This year’s evaluation of academic performance shows high performance of our students from classes 1 to 5 in the subjects Hindi, English and Maths. In classes 6 to 8 however, the struggle continues to improve the academic performance.

With age, the workload of the children at home increases, making it difficult for them concentrate on studies. Considerable students, in these classes, join ABS after finishing their pre-primary schooling in the government schools, which are closer home. With a weak foundation, it becomes difficult for them to cope up with the syllabus in the higher classes. 

The major challenges include the gaps in comprehension and correlation. Considerable inputs have gone into innovating teaching and learning methodologies to bridge the learning and comprehension gaps, specific to the children from the region, but there are miles go before we can say we have bridged the gap.  


Workshops for Children

 Butterfly Workshop, which was conducted by Bheemtaal Foundation, in April, was attended by all the students from grade I to VIII. A short film, explaining the metamorphosis was screened. The children learnt to make butterflies using origami techniques. Cardboard workshop was held in May for students from grade 6 to 8. They were taught to make different articles using cardboard. Akka- Bakka group conducted an art workshop in May. Students were introduced to colours and their creative application.

‘Timeless Life skills’, workshops to expose students to different modes of thinking, were conducted by Atul Pant. Students learnt to construct scientific experiments, varying only one factor at a time to ascertain causation and not just correlation.  In ‘Thinking Like an Engineer’ workshops, students were challenged to construct bridges using craft sticks, which were then tested for their load-bearing capacity, introducing to them to the concept of hydraulics.

Teacher’s Training and Capacity Building

As part of annual exposure visit, our teacher visited St.Stephen’s School, Ajmer.  They attended one-on-one workshops; sharing their teaching experience with the teachers from St.Stephen’s school.  This was an excellent opportunity for them to observe the teaching methodologies followed at St.Stephen’s School. They saw the dessert, which many of them had not seen before. Being from the highlands of Himalayas, this was an enriching exposure for our teachers.

 Maths workshop was conducted for the Maths teachers at ABS. They learnt creative and innovative teaching methodologies to teach a difficult subject like Maths, to children from rural areas.

Chandrkala Bisht, our teacher teaching life skills was invited by Astitva Trust in Mumbai, to conduct a workshop on Kumaoni folk dance and music. This boosted her confidence and enhanced her capacity in conducting workshops for large groups.


Sports and Co- Curricular Activities

ABS playground is the pride of its students. Children are provided ample opportunities to groom their talents in sports. Children in the mountains exude an innate ability in sport and the outdoor, hence it has been a continuous endeavour of the school to nurture this potential and groom them for Block and State-level competitions. ABS has a full-time sports teacher who trains students in various games like Kabaddi, Kho Kho and athletics. Volunteers also join in to teach football, volleyball and cycling.

This year ABS students participated in a Kabaddi, Kho Kho and Athletics competition held at the block level. They secured first place at the primary and Junior level. At the Block level, students participated in Kabaddi and Kho kho, standing first in all the games.  At the district level, Paras Dauthar and  Harshit Bisht and Vivek Kumar of class 5, were selected for Kho Kho.  Preeti Thapa stood first in long jump and second in 400 meter race.  She has been selected for the State-level competition.  Ishika Rani and Preeti Thapa were also selected for Kabaddi at the State level. Neha Negi of class 7, and Shobha Arya and Kalpana Bisht of class 8 were selected for State level. Sakshi Arya of class 6 was selected for Kho Kho. At Junior level, boys stood second in Kabaddi, where Abhishek Bisht and Yogesh Bisht were selected for the State level competition.

Class 4,5, 6, 7 and 8 students participated in a State level drawing competition held by the Education Department.The topic was ‘Energy Conservation’.  To promote greater awareness of their cultural heritage, an ‘Aipan’ drawing competition  was held at ABS for the students of class 6 and 8. Children were explained the art form, its motifs and significance of each of the motif. A drawing competition on the topics energy conservation, save environment and clean India, was held on the occasion of Children’s Day, at ABS.

Computer class in progress
Computer class in progress
Butterfly workshop
Butterfly workshop
Annual Sports Day
Annual Sports Day
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Jyoti, a student from Khati Primary School
Jyoti, a student from Khati Primary School

With the end of monsoons in July, the work in Aarohi takes a different dimension. The school gears up for its winter session. With the days getting shorter and the winters setting in, students enjoy their outdoor classes, basking in the warm mountain sunshine. Most of the staff is seen sitting with their laptops in the open with hot cups of chai. Despite the biting cold, shorter days and cold office premises, Aarohi is a buzz of activities, keeping the spirit of the mountains alive.  July to December is a time for Annual Himalayan Haat, School sports day, Annual sports events, regular medical camps and many festivals.

Aarohi BalSansar (ABS) is a Hindi medium school from Kindergarten till Class 8. It is part of the development effort of Aarohi, a Society for rural development based in the village of Satoli in Nainital District of Uttarakhand. Started in 1994, ABS was an expression of community need.

We presently have 157 students (78 girls and 79 boys).  The school has come a long way over the past 2 decades and we try our best to strike the right balance between academics, sports, cultural and co-curricular activities leading to the 'holistic development of children in a joyful learning environment'!

1.1Academic Performance in the Half Yearly Examinations

The school conducts semi-annual examinations.  This analysis is for the school’s half yearly examinations for the subjects Hindi, English, and Mathematics.

  •  In Hindi, 48% of students scored above 80% marks (Grade A).  28% of the students scored between 65-79% (Grade B).  22% scored in the range of 50-64% (Grade C), and 2% scored between 35-49% marks and were rated as Grade D.
  • In English, only 28% of students scored above 80% (Grade A), and 34% scored between 65-79% marks (Grade B); there were 38% who scored between 50-64% marks (Grade C).
  • In Mathematics, 48% scored above 80% marks (Grade A), and 24% of the students scored in the range of 65-79% (Grade B); 4% students scored a between 35 to 49% marks (Grade D), and 4% scored a Grade E (less than 34% marks).
  • In Hindi, 19% of students scored above 80% marks (Grade A).  23% of the students scored between 65-79% (Grade B).  33% scored in the range of 50-64% (Grade C), and 23% scored between 35-49% marks and were rated as Grade D.  There were 2% of students who scored less than 34% marks (Grade E).
  • In English, only 7% of students scored above 80% (Grade A), and 19% scored between 65-79% marks (Grade B); there were 21% who scored between 50-64% marks (Grade C), 48% of the students scored between 35-49% (Grade D), and 5% scored less than 34% marks (Grade E).
  • In Mathematics, 14% scored above 80% marks (Grade A), and 35% of the students scored in the range of 65-79% (Grade B); 37% students scored a between 50-64% (Grade C), and 14% were in the range of 35-49% marks (Grade D).


2.2.   Scholarship Update

The Bal Sansar Scholarship Program was started in 2008-09 with just ten students. The scholarship program covers the tuition fees, books, school uniform, and stationery expenses for students.  We now have 59 students supported under this program. All these 59 students are currently supported by AarohiSchweiz.There are presently 20 students from class 8 till intermediate who are supported through Aarohi’sAlmora scholarship program – tuition fees of up to 50% are covered for education in a residential school in the nearby town of Almora.


2.3.        Science Workshops

It was an engaging experience for the school children when the Pratham Science team came over to conduct workshops at ABS.   The Alliance for Science (AFS) program team from Pratham works extensively with children across rural India on direct experience-based science learning. They design multiple resources activities to deepen the learning impact for children and the community. The workshops were held in August for classes 6, 7 and 8.  The topics covered were the Skeletal System, Human Anatomy and Internal Organs, and Astronomy.  The children had a lot of fun learning about the skeletal system and the organs of the body.The inquisitive and curious nature of the students and careful arrangements made the event a huge success!


2.4.        Sports

In October, 46 of our students participated in the village games and were selected to play at the Block and District level. At the district level, the girls’ team won the 1st prize for Kabaddi, and boys’ team won the 2nd prize for Kho-Kho. Of these 10 students were selected to play at the State level games.


2.3.        Education Outreach Program

October 1, 2016, Aarohi launched its education outreach initiative with an aim to consolidate our effort of holistic education of children of marginalized mountain communities. Aarohi has partnered with 4 private schools and 9 Government kindergarten schools in the districts of Nainital, Almora and Bageshwar.  This projects aims to provide better preparation of children for primary school education by providing them with a fruitful pre-school education.  Aarohi will provide these schools with learning-teaching aids and invest in capacity building workshops for the teachers to help bring learning levels to acceptable standards. The aim of the project is to build interest, capability and confidence in subjects like Mathematics, Languages and Life-skills through regular teaching activities and subject specific camps for accelerated learning.


 2.3.        Case Study

MukeshBisht, alumnus from ABS, was the first batch of the Almora Scholarship

Program. He graduated in 2015 from Koormanchal Academy, Almora. The transition from a Hindi medium to an English medium school was a difficult journey, but Mukesh shared that the exposure helped him to think creatively. Mukesh has always had a desire to live with a higher purpose and goal, and so we at Aarohi, were really very excited when we heard that he cleared the defense services exams, and was selected to join the Indian Navy. On August 15 last year, India’s Independence day, Mukesh started his training as a sailor with the ship INS Chilka in Vizag.  It was indeed a proud moment for Aarohi!





Share on Twitter Share on Facebook


Submitted on October 20, 2016


Our NGO school, Aarohi Bal Sansar (ABS), is a Hindi medium primary school from Kindergarten till Class 8. The children come from economically weak sections of the society, and they are mostly first generation learners.  The families are rural – either farmers or daily wage earners.  The women here form  the most vulnerable sections of the rural mountain communities, married early they proceed into a life of frequent pregnancies and child births, are subject to a host of social and nutritional prejudices during menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth and lactation.  They continue to have a relentless back-breaking schedule of looking after their families, home, and farms including 4-5 hours of manual labor- head loading water, fodder, firewood, and dry leaf litter.  The annual income for these families ranges from as low as Rs 12,000/- to the highest being about 1 Lakh per annum.


Aarohi Bal Sansar (ABS) school survives mainly on private donations.  We presently have 157 students (78 girls and 79 boys) enrolled from 14 of the remotest villages of the mountain state of Uttarakhand in India.  ABS has come a long way over the past 2 decades and we try our best to strike the right balance between academics, sports, cultural and co-curricular activities leading to the 'holistic development of children in a joyful learning environment'!


Our students were kept busy all the summer months with lots of co-curricular activities, art and subject workshops, and were provided an intellectually stimulating environment to grow, learn and think!


These past few months we worked intensively with our 16 school teachers to provide them with training in the form of capacity building workshops.  We investment in teaching-learning methodologies and professional development workshops so we can provide high quality education.  Although there is a government school in almost every village in the mountains, the quality of the education provided gives little chance for improved livelihood options. Rote learning and standard examinations do not give children the space to develop critical thinking skills and lead to a high dropout rate. 


Shared below is a feedback we received from our school teachers on the progress made by the ABS students.


  Focused remedial work with lagging behind learners, was a common achievement experienced by most.

  Positive behavioral changes in learners – like being honest about what they understood and what they struggled to understand.

   Improvement was seen in children’s ability to express and respond.

   Learning engagement through the use of project work.

   In the lower classes, changes were observed in children’s everyday behavior, the way they dressed, their sitting posture and a positive transformation noticed in their overall attitude towards school and learning.

   Development of reading fluency was another significant area where many teachers felt a sense of accomplishment.


Some of the key challenge areas where they coped with are shared below:



  • Lack of seriousness
  • Lack of attention
  • Retention
  • Understanding of values
  • General lack of interest in education



  • More focus needs to be put on the reinforcement of previously learnt topics and concepts
  • Hesitation
  •  Lack of practice of newly learnt methodologies
  • More efforts are required  to  self learn



  • Absence or lack of family support
  • Relationship between the school and parents/teachers and parents
  • Availability of textbooks
  • Lack of external support and exposure
  • Admissions in the middle of the year




Share on Twitter Share on Facebook


The year 2016 started with winter vacation- school was closed in the month of January. The next couple of months were busy in school, with the syllabus getting completed in February and the final examinations in March.  Before the close of the academic session the school celebrated its annual sports day. 

 The new academic session started on April 5, 2016.  Update on student & teacher statistics for the new session is below.

  •  Total of 149 students – a decrease of 10 students from  last year (a cause of concern, and the reasons are diverse- an important factor is perhaps the upgraded local Government school in the same village).
  • There are a total of 73 boys and 76 girls this new session.
  • Staff strength reduced to 19 full time members – this includes a Principal.
  • January- June 2016, six teachers have moved on- relocation, securing a high paying Government job and one of our staff member was awarded a prestigious fellowship award were some of the reasons for this move.
  • We hired 3 new full time teachers.

 Academic Performance

We had 240 days of teaching in the last academic session. We observed a marked improvement in our students' writing, listening, and reading skills in language learning. The academic achievement for the core subjects of Hindi, Maths and English are below.

  •  80% of students from class 1-8 scored above 50% marks in Hindi. Of this 26%scored between 71-85%, and 18% were extraordinary performers and received marks in excess of 85%.
  • 68% of our students from class 1-8 scored above 50% in English.  Of this 25%scored between 71-85% marks, and 13% obtained extraordinary scores-above85% marks.
  • 67% of our students from class 1-8 scored above 50% in Maths.  Of this 23% scored between 71-85%, and 17% were extraordinary- scored above 85%.

 School Administration

We launched the ABS School calendar in April.  The calendar tracks the school’s activities- working days, holidays, events, projects, workshops and monthly Parents Teachers Meeting (PTA), and School Management Committee Meetings (SMC) for the entire year.

School Bus Update

Seeing a sharp drop in new admissions this year, we decided to start a taxi service to the nearby villages to pick up and drop students.  We have 30 children using this facility since May 1, 2016.  The taxi picks up children from the villages of Diyari,Peora, Kumati and Kaphura.  The response has been over-whelming and we started another taxi in July, from the villages of Chhatola, Sitla, Satkhol and Dobatiya- covering the other direction.

Sports Facilities

We received a large grant from Helping Elsewhere Foundation, UK and the Mercedes Benz International School (MBIS).  This grant was specifically donated towards purchase of baby scooters, kick scooters and tricycles; we used a small part of this fund (with permission from the donors) to purchase other sports equipment- i.e., badminton rackets, shuttle cocks, cricket bats, tennis balls, football and volley balls.  Our school sports and youth wing activities have received a huge boost now!

Co-Curricular Activities

Alongside settling into the rhythm of academics, the children were exposed to a series of educational, creative, and artistic co-curricular activities.  The first in line was Atul Pant’s science workshop, which was an extension of his ‘tinkering’ workshop conducted at ABS in December 2015. The entire activity of tinkering made our children think and collaborate and learn some essential life skills. Next in line was the butterfly workshop, conducted by Peter Smetacek, a leading expert on Indian butterflies. He gave an entertaining presentation to the students- demystifying everything about butterflies, took them for a nature walk and got them acquainted with local species and other flora and fauna and then taught our children how to make some stunning origami. In early May, we had Puranjay, Sakshi, Hemant and Raiva- all young and talented students from Delhi come down to teach our students to make shelves, coffee tables and other craft items. Later, the same month we organized 2days of art workshops. ‘AkkaBakka’, a New Delhi based team of 3 artists worked with our children and teachers to create a fun-filled and visually creative feast!

 The month of May ended with computer workshops by the enthusiastic team of Gautam, Ashutosh and Dharmendra from Quovantis- a software company. They spent time introducing our children to HTML programming and then later introducing our teacher to e-learning videos to aid their teaching.

 Teacher Training & Professional Development

Renu Sharma came on board in February this year, working part-time (3 days a week), as our Education Consultant. Renu comes with expertise in primary and middle school education in the field of language learning and enhancement. She has previously worked with an NGO called Pratham for several years with their “Read India” campaign. She has been actively involved in our teacher capacity building workshops, and introducing innovative and interactive teaching methodologies. Her presence has greatly assisted in stabilizing systems related to curriculum, collaborative planning and teaching, child-centered classroom activities, long term and everyday planning, maintaining of resource files, teacher mentoring and student and teacher evaluation.

 In January 2016, four teachers were selected for the ‘Saral Tandon Award’. Theselection was based on their appraisals and performance. The top performers were Kamla Bisht, Neema Rajput, Poonam Bisht and Kumari Vimala. They spent a week in Mumbai and visited schools like Zaya Learning Center which uses technology to enhance student interest and learning as well as to support teachers in their classroom teaching. Akanksha, Muktangan, and the American School were other schools they visited, and also interacted with teachers. This award has proved to be a great motivation for our teachers to be more creative and innovative in their work.


ParibhashaYadav: Paribhasha, a vibrant 17 year old volunteered with us over a period of 2 weeks working on creating a template for ABS’s first ever community newsletter, teaching poetry to our children and putting a together a skit on cleanliness with children of class 8.

 Monika Shukla: Monika spent 2 months with us in school, helping us review the early child curriculum and goals for the kindergarten- LKG and UKG.  She reviewed the curriculum for Social Studies for classes 6-8.  While she was here, Monika also supported Teacher training efforts in Lesson Planning and English teaching in the class rooms for classes 6-8. 

Rajshree Doshi:Rajshree is a coach for Senior Programme Managers at ‘Teach for India’ (TFI).  She also coaches principals at the Akanksha Foundation- they run the not for profit schools. Rajshree comes with an experience of coaching and mentoring teachers and Principals for almost 28 years. We were privileged to have her as a volunteer at ABS for 2 weeks! 

Asmita Joshi &Madhu Upadrasta: Were both together for a period of 10 days and worked exclusively on the library- reviewing & reviving the older system that was put in place.  They worked with teachers to coach them on the importance of creating reading habits among the students, and brainstorming with them on library activities and story-telling sessions!

ABS Staff New Joiners

  • Pradeep Rastogi started on April 1, 2016 as the class teacher for class 7.  Pradeep teaches Mathematics and Social Studies to classes 6, 7 and 8.  He comes with a total teaching experience of 10 years.  Pradeep enjoys sports, especially playing cricket.  In his free time, he loves teaching the neighborhood children, meeting parents and engaging with the local community.
  • Hema Bisht joined ABS on April 1, 2016.  She is the class teacher for class 5.  Hema teaches Environmental Studies and Science.  She has a total teaching experience of over 6 years.  Hema loves nature- feeding and taking care of stray dogs and enjoys pottering in her garden growing flowers and vegetables.
  • Geeta Joshi started with us on June 1, 2016.  She was earlier teaching in Kumati Primary school- classes 1 to 5, all the subjects.  She has a total work experience of 2 years.  Geeta’s father is also a school teacher.  She enjoys teaching Mathematics and also maintains the upkeep of our library resource centre.  Geeta takes a keen interest in getting computer literate and is spending time in our computer centre learning the skills.
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Sports day in school!!
Sports day in school!!

Aarohi Bal Sansar - A Model Rural School

Aarohi Bal Sansar (ABS) was started in 1994 with just 2 teachers and 8 students, today it serves 136 children from 19 of the remotest villages of Uttarakhand. It has 20 members of staff, and all are local. The school’s vision is to provide “holistic development of personality in a joyful environment”, ensuring that every child is nurtured in a “no fear” environment with the freedom to learn. Although there is a government school in almost every village in the mountains, the quality of the education gives little chance for improved livelihood options. Rote learning and standard examinations do not give children the space to develop critical thinking skills, and lead to a high dropout rate.  At ABS, our goal is to provide the right dynamic intellectual environment where students are given the opportunity to grow.


Highlights for the Year 2015

Academic Performance: We had 240 days of teaching, with focus on sports and co-curricular activities.  Our students approached their class-work and projects very eagerly.  We saw an improvement in the overall attendance this year.  We observed a marked improvement in our students’ writing, listening, and reading skills in language learning. We saw that more than 50% of our children academically fall in the categories of excellent, very good and average in the core subjects of Hindi, English and Mathematics, despite being first generation learners and coming from extremely poor households. The overall academic achievements for the core subjects in the last academic year:

Hindi: 79.5% of our students from class 1-8 scored above 50% marks in Hindi.  Of this 25.7% scored between 71-85%, and 18% were extraordinary performers and received marks in excess of 85%. 

English: 68% of our students from class 1-8 scored above 50% in English, and of this 25% exceeded expectations (71-85% marks), and 13% obtained extraordinary scores (above 85% marks). 

Maths: 67% of our students from class 1-8 scored above 50% in Maths, of this 23% scored between 71-85% and 17% were extraordinary- scored above 85%. 


Scholarships: More than 50% of our students are supported through scholarship programs5 out of 9 of our primary school teachers are professionally qualified through our scholarship program.

Aarohi Bal Sansar Scholarship: The annual cost per scholar is INR 10,000/-.  Last year we added 10 students and now cover a total of 58 students under this program. School fees, uniforms, books, stationery, health-checkups and nutritional supplement three times a week get covered under the scheme.

Almora Scholarship Program: The annual cost per scholar ranges from INR 40,000- 70,000/- per year.  Last year we added 2 new students and have a total of 16 students supported currently.  These scholarships are offered to girls and boys who are academically high performers and are interested to continue their education beyond class 8 in reputed schools in Almora.

Ilya Scholarship: Offered to students from Class 4- 8 with exceptional talent in music, arts, crafts, theatre, dance, sport or exhibiting special qualities like leadership, curiosity, punctuality etc.  The annual scholarship amount is INR 1000/- per child and we currently have 10 children covered under this program.

Seema Nazareth Scholarship: Girls with limited financial means, and wishing to pursue graduate- level or vocational education, are offered an annual scholarship of INR 10,000-25,000/-.  Last year we sponsored a girl for a Nursery Teacher Training diploma at Jingle Bells School, Faizabad.

Room To Read: Girls who are high academic performers and wish to pursue their education till class 12, but have limited financial means are covered under this program.  School fees, uniforms, study materials and health check-ups are covered.  We added 8 new students and had a total of 14.  This figure has reduced from last year as the program is winding down.


Remedial teaching program: Last year we started with dedicated remedial teaching programs for Mathematics, English and Hindi.  We identified the slow learners early in the academic year and provided them with focused teaching in smaller learning groups.  The attention helped bring about remarkable changes in their comprehension, reading and writing abilities.

Co-curricular Activities: Our students had the opportunity to learn folk dances, play the local musical instruments (dholak, nangri and the drum).  Through the year they celebrated festivals, and important occasions by participating in elocution, speech and poetry competitions.  Learning traditional music and dance forms, helped instill a sense of achievement and pride among our children. 

Timeless Life-skills Workshop: Atul Pant is an Education Innovator and the Founder of Timeless Lifeskills, United Kingdom.  Atul has been visiting ABS and conducting workshops which are innovative and affordable learning solutions to impart life skills essential for success. He was here last December and carried out a 4 day workshop on ‘Tinkering with Electronics & Circuits – Thinking like a Scientist’.  The children not only learnt the content in a fun, hands-on way but also learn inter-disciplinary skills. The underlying objective was to make students aware of how Scientists think. The students learnt the basics and tinkered with different electronic components like bulbs, motors, LEDs, buzzers and switches to understand concepts like conductors and insulators, polarity, parallel and series circuits, voltage and current. They then moved to creating Electronic Art by embedding LEDs into paper circuits using copper tape and button cells. This idea of “Electronic Art” was inspired by MIT Media Lab's project.  Students used different types of material to create Electronic Art & Craft. For example, conducting dough made from ordinary flour (aata) mixed with salt was used along with play dough. Students then made simple Electronic Toys, for example the “Scribbler Bot” – a machine with a vibrating motor and sketch pens that scribble when the motor is switched on. Ultimately the workshops were all about imagination, creativity and collaboration – Timeless Lifeskills!  

Health & Nutrition: We offer nutritious snacks thrice a week in the school.  Along with this we organize cooking lessons and this helps children to learn about the nutritive value of traditional cuisine and a balanced diet.

Sports: Our large sports playground in the school campus, indoor multipurpose hall with a badminton court is open to more than 1,500 youth and children from 20 neighbouring schools. 

- Our school came first in Athletics, Kabaddi and Kho-Kho in the local area.

- Both our boys and girls primary teams stood first in Kho-Kho at the district level.  These 6 boys and 6 girls then got to play Kho-Kho at the state level.

- Our girls Kho-Kho team of 6 girls came 2nd in the state level participation.

- 2 girls (Sakshi Gutholia from village Chhatola, and Hema Bisht from village Peora) got selected at the state level for Kabbadi and received medals and certificates.


Mentors and Volunteers: Our volunteers engage with our children on a daily basis to read them short stories, and help to improve their English reading and comprehension skills.  We have a team of mentors for English, Hindi and Mathematics.

Infrastructure: We added a multi-purpose hall which has indoor sports facilities and it will also serve as a space for holding indoor cultural events at the school and community level.  We also have a recycled-tyre playground, library, computer centre equipped with 16 desktops, including a Dell server.


Looking Ahead & Challenges

Aarohi Bal Sansar continues to be un-aided and solely survives on private donations.  We have come a long way over the past 2 decades and can boast to be the best in the region in terms of infrastructure, academics, sports, cultural and other co-curricular activities leading to the holistic development of children. Looking ahead, our goals in the medium term are:

  1. Achieve high academic performance, dealing with the challenges of first-generation learners through investing in capacity building of our teachers and strengthening our mentoring program.
  2. Reach out to resource people to develop and strengthen context based and bilingual language learning.
  3. Sustain teacher salaries in order to check attrition rates.
  4. Expand our sports facilities and strengthen the curriculum to include football, basketball, cricket and badminton training. Improve upon volleyball and mountain cycling trainings.
  5. We are now primed to scale up and create an Aarohi Education Outreach initiative, and share our knowledge base with other private and public schools in more remote areas.

We aspire for a partner who will share our vision and our future goals and commit to help bring holistic education and state of art sports opportunities to these parts of rural Kumaon.



Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information


Location: District Nainital, Uttarakhand - India
Project Leader:
Neha Jacob
District Nainital, Uttarakhand India
$48,332 raised of $60,000 goal
398 donations
$11,668 to go
Donate Now
Please note: We expect that there will be significant delays in getting funds to this project. Learn more
Add Project to Favorites

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence


Woman Holding a Gift Card
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.