A brave new world for 250 boys and girls.
BHOPAL, India, 26 June 1964
Madhya Pradesh’s “Little Tibet” throbs with life from the first sounds of the morning gong summoning the 250 children to the small parade ground for drill. With this the day begins at the Tibetan Refugees Children’s School in Pachmarhi.
A visit to this school, one of the five residential schools for Tibetan children in India, is a rewarding experience. Pachmarhi is hardly the place where one expects to hear Tibetan music. But when these kids and tiny tots sing and dance in the school they create around them their own Tibet.
Well looked after and cared for, these Tibetan children, mostly orphaned, have “settled down in India” after the Tibetan uprising. For them it is a new brave world.
The school at Pachmarhi is housed in five private bungalows, and in all 250 children in the age group of 6 to 13 are on the rolls. The school is under the charge of its able Principal, Mr N Gyaltsen, himself a Tibetan. There are 11 teachers including a lady. Two teachers are on deputation from the State service. For the present these children are taught up to the third primary standard and the medium of instruction is English. The subjects taught are English, Social Study, General Science and Hindi, besides music and dance.
The children live in three dormitories, two for boys and one for girls. The girl’s dormitory is under the charge of two Tibetan foster mothers, while the boys’ dormitories are looked after by two Tibetan foster fathers. There is a hospital and sports facilities. The school kitchen is run by Tibetans.