Rung Community School, Dharchula Review
An alumnus of Wynberg-Allen School in Mussorrie, after spending 24 years in Australia returned to his hometown, Dharchula in Uttarakhand only to realise his dream of providing quality education to the children of the society he grew up in. Mr. Davinder Garbyal who belongs to an indigenous community called Rung or Shauka knew that if he wanted to do something in life, it was raising the standard of education in Dharchula without making it too expensive for the locals. In his own words, "But right through out my life I have always wanted to do something for the people, for Rung People here in Darchula. Just seeing the poverty and even the education, during that time I thought I must do something either in medical field or education field."
The love for his community and a firm determination to not let his culture vanish like many other traditions in the world brought him back to India from a lucrative land of Kangaroos and start a school called Rung Community School.He says that the kids in Dharchula should stay at home till class 10 to be able to get acquainted with their language, customs and traditions before joinging the rat race.
The Rung Community School was established in 2004 with the aim of imparting education to students that could match the standards of schools in the exotic hill-stations. Mr. Davinder Garbyal has single-handedly overcome all obstacles to give shape to his dream.
There are about 20 teachers in the school who also are locals thus providing employment opportunities to them. The school follows the CBSE pattern to enable its pupil to join the mainstream after leaving Dharchula for higher studies. There are classes from LKG to eighth standard and the medium of instruction is English. In a bid to stay in tandem with the modern system of education, the kids are taught through the help of audio-visuals. The students in the senior classes learn through a system called Design and Technology. There has been a discussion about opening the school for classes 9 and 10, which is getting a lot of spoken and unspoken support from the poeple in Dharchula.
The Rung Community School has not negated the importance of Computer Education and has introduced computer as a subject from the junior classes. The manager of the school also invites people from Australia to interact with the students of the school during the academic year. Contrary to the name of the school, even if the name suggests that it is a school only for Rungs, admission is given on a first-cum-first-serve basis and does not show partiality towards Rung students. Any student from any background can seek for admission in the school and join the school provided the seats are vacant.
Similar to many schools in various parts of India, space for a playground has been a constraint for the school. There is not much open space available for the students to play sports that require a huge field. The school, however, has been instrumental in providing the students with indoor games like badminton, chess, carrom and ludo. A mini-stadium has recently been constructed in Dharchula which is hugely encouraging for students in all the schools in town.
The Rung Community School runs on a no-profit, no-loss philosophy and all the revenue earned by the school is invested in the school. Mr. Davinder Garbyal has been emphatic in assuring that the school will not be turned into a business venture to earn thousands.