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Haji Public School - ‘Terras Irradient’

Haji Public School – ‘Terras Irradient’

Let Them Illuminate the Earth.

Breswana village, an average, remote, inaccessible village in the mountains of Doda in Jammu and Kashmir, was an area where the concept of education was almost unknown for over 30 years. Yes you might have come across the name of the village quite a number of times, why not? Breswana village of Doda – a district 160 km northeast of Jammu was once a hub of militancy. Here almost every household was hit by militancy till 2004.

 

Rekindling hopes at Haji Public School

Walk with us today to an altitude above 7,100 feet, about 200-odd kms from Jammu through a rocky, harsh terrain with steep slopes, not to mention the adverse weather for most time of the year to a Road to Change.

In 2008, Sabbah Haji sat at her desk based out of Bangalore, and watched in harrowing news reels her small town in the Doda district as the Amarnath struggle of Jammu & Kashmir unfold. It was when Sabbah decided to move to Breswana and join her parents to change people’s lives there and grab positive news headlines for her ancestral home. And what better way to change people’s lives than to educate them?

“And just like that, out of nowhere, we started talking about it,” says Sabaah Haji, Director of Haji Public School, speaking to India Today.

Rekindling hopes for education in the Doda district which went without any education to feed the knowledge-hungry for 3 decades. Education will help break the vicious cycles of violence, terrorism that citizens find impossible to come out of.

Here’s how pieces of the jigsaw puzzle fit

The village overlooking the Chenab River needed to see a drastic change that would uplift it. Nasir Haji, Sabbah Haji’s uncle who is a Singapore-based Indian businessman almost impulsively decided on starting the Haji Public School to change people’s lives there by educating them. The government schools did not function and there were almost no private schools there.

“Uncle Nasir suggested we start a school there,” says Sabbah.

 

Sabbah Haji with students

 

The mountain-cut village school was established and is managed by Nasir’s brother Saleem Haji and his daughter Sabbah Haji. Her mother Tasneem Haji, an educationist, too is part of the school set up. For a School that has just one objective – to impart knowledge to those children who cannot avail of the academic facilities, a strong foundation for classrooms was needed.  What better way than all the village inhabitants coming together and laying the foundation of the school brick by brick?

The Haji Public School started on 4th May 2009, at the ground level, teaching only the lower and upper kindergarten students.

A master plan to get children back

From parents lined up around windows to poke their heads into classrooms as a curiosity to parents not willing to give up on a good education for their children so that they get an opportunity to make it on their own when they grow up, Haji Public School is making a redeeming difference. When it started, the school had student strength of 30 with two grades. As of today, the student strength has risen to 400 plus studying in classes up to eighth grades from 15 villages, who walk hours across mountains every day to attend school. Last year, Haji Public School’s first batch, who had joined in KG in 2009, cleared their Class 8 Board exams with flying colors. This year the second kindergarten batch is through.

2017 batch

 

“We have had families move from cities to the village for the school, because we provide good quality education. All of this is because we have kept it simple. Minimal fee structure, very competent teachers, good infrastructure and teaching aids and fun learning,” says Sabaah to India Today.

Talking about the positive change the school has brought about in his children, Abdul Latief Ahanger (father of two children studying in grade six and grade seven of HPS) says: “I always see them obsessed with books. Also, they were very shy in initial days but now, their level of confidence has increased manifold.”

It takes a big heart to shape a little mind! – That’s for our Volunteer teachers redefining education

 

Volunteer at HPS

 

Who would mind to spend some quality time with our good old Himalayan Mountains, you wonder! Well, many would especially because the district 160 km northeast of Jammu on the lap of our old friend was once a hub of militancy.

“I feel people are too scared to come here and there is a necessity to teach the students here more than any other normal city in India,” says Karishma, a volunteer teacher.

While there’s no doubt your experience in Breswana will be worthwhile, Sabaah warns that the volunteer programme is not a “chill volun-tourism gig” and we can’t agree more. After all, a good teacher makes a good student and that is exactly what HPS is trying to make, bright kids for a brighter tomorrow.

As a volunteer teacher at Haji Public School, you’ll be offered free boarding and lodging in return for your time at the school. Teaching roles at such remote, almost inaccessible places come with extra responsibilities and dedication. To be a volunteer at Haji Public School, you need to be very serious, hard-working, patient and a sincere worker as the hopes of many parents lie on their shoulders so that after completing their education they can work for betterment of their village and make it a better heaven.

Karishma Prakash, 25, quit her engineering job in Bengaluru and Sanu Khan, 30, took a sabbatical from Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in Thiruvananthapuram. Both volunteer as teachers at the Haji Public School in Breswana village of Doda.

“Coming here has been an eye-opening experience. The children despite the different kind of hardship they face are tremendously bright,” says Dhamini Ratnam, 33, who quit her journalism job in Mumbai to teach class 7 students here.

Thanks to the efforts of these volunteers and many more who are trying to make it better with every single passing day whose constant efforts to make something out of these children is already bearing fruits.

Besides the many deodar and pine trees around the enthusiastic children are waiting for you. Go and share as much knowledge as you have acquired and let the nature be your teacher instead, that’s the best part of imparting knowledge!

You can check out the complete details of their Volunteer Programme here. Click here to see how you can help Haji Public School.

 

Leap of Happiness

Luckily, google up Breswana on the net now and you’ll find a lot of links that talk only about Haji Public School and Sabbah Haji. This amazing journey of changing the narrative of a strife-ridden place to a success story is all due to Sabbah and her amazing team that works day in and out for the betterment of the place.
New Age Kashmir salutes their will-power and will be back soon with more such stories that’ll help you find positive stories in a world full of negative headlines.

Sabbah Haji can be followed on Twitter: @imsabbah

The school website: http://www.hajipublicschool.org/

BANNER NAG

The Other Kashmir – Developments in Kashmir over the Years

We have been living with the typical image of the stunning beauty of Kashmir. There are a number of books written about the colors of the Kashmir valley depicting its beauty, its cultures and traditions.
This Heaven on Earth is not just beautiful but also a source of pride for us Kashmiris. Let’s get over the beauty of Kashmir for some time and move over to some rapid developments that Kashmir has seen in the past few years.

Yes, it is raining developments in Jammu and Kashmir.

Prosperity, health, education, connectivity and jobs are all the parameters to measure development. Being a citizen of the paradise here is a little glimpse of the developing Jammu and Kashmir that’ll help people understand the realities much better.


Human Development Index:

Jammu Kashmir is ranked 7th among major 17 states with a score of 0.64 classified as medium HDI economy, which is of course better than other Indian states.


Infrastructure:

 

North India's first Cable stayed bridge

North India’s first cablestayed bridge – the fourth of its kind in the country.
Named Atal Setu, the bridge was inaugurated y Border Roads Organization (BRO) on Dunera-Basohli-Bhadharwah road in Basohali town in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir.

 

Chenab bridge

The Chenab Bridge – World’s highest railway bridge being built in Jammu and Kashmir.
Another reason to cheer is this arch type bridge being built over the Chenab River in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district. The arch will stand higher than the Eiffel Tower.

 

patnitop tunnel

Chenani-Nashri tunnel (or Patnitop Tunnel) – country’s longest road tunnel.
An engineering marvel, Jammu-Kashmir’s new lifeline the longest tunnel will reduce the journey time by two hours and provide a safe, all-weather route to commuters travelling from Jammu and Udhampur to Ramban, Banihal and Srinagar.

 

Zojila Tunnel

The Zojila underground tunnel, which is to connect Ladakh to the rest of the country all year round.

Development of aviation sector in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Jammu Airport is set to offer a world-class experience to passengers with an expanded and modernised terminal.

 

Leh Airport

Leh Airport
Truly Heaven on Earth – An early morning landing at the Leh airport in Ladakh.

 

Srinagar_Airport

Srinagar Airport
Rated as the 2nd best airport in the world, in the category of handling up to 2 million passengers per year by the Airports Council International.

 

Train to Kashmir
The Baramulla-Banihal train racing down the snowy valley surrounded by mountains in the distance has become a talking point on social media, with even Railway Minister Piyush Goyal taking note of it. And, why not?

Kashmir Train Ploughing Through Snow Is A Feast For The Eyes

Railway line linking Kashmir with rest of India may become functional by 2021

New expressway from New Delhi to Katra

A project would come up which would reduce the distance between Delhi and Katra by 110 km.
Health:

 

Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Narayana Superspeciality Hospital

To bridge the health divide in Jammu and Kashmir there is an availability of Super specialty hospitals like SMGS, GMC in Jammu and SKIMS in Srinagar along with various other government health facilities.

In a recent development the centre has agreed to setting up two AIIMS in Jammu and Kashmir.


Education:

Education occupies a pivotal position in the socio-economic development. There are many Universities, Colleges like NIT and Medical colleges. Major ones are listed below.

List of universities

There are a lot of institutions of higher education that are preparing students for a promising career.

Infrastructure in Jammu & Kashmir – Education

“Best investment of any nation is in woman education”

Similarly, education of women in Jammu and Kashmir plays an important role in the development of the state. Slowly but steadily the status of education of women is improving in the society.

Status of Female Education in Jammu and Kashmir Since 1950

The Centre is planning to set up an Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Jammu and Kashmir.

IIT Jammu to start this year with 90 students.


Sports:

 

The state is trying to give a boost to the sports infrastructure in the Valley to join the road of development.

JKOA demands reconstitution of Sports Council

In major push to sports, Jammu and Kashmir government announces a football club for every Valley village

Tourism:

 

kashmir-dal-lake

Jammu and Kashmir uses the power of nature and relies heavily on tourism and believe me a take a tour to Jammu and Kashmir and escape into the lap of nature.

Tourism in J&K is one of the most important sectors of economy.

Tourism acts as a catalyst in the development of backward and far flung regions of a particular area. Not only that, it has become a multi -segmental industry in Jammu and Kashmir by providing different types of jobs like hotel managers, guides, tour operators, chefs etc which further strengthens the J&K economy by increasing income and standard of living of the people. It can also give a boost to the economic condition of the residents by promoting local art like Handicrafts, Handlooms, Cricket bat industry and Ayurveda.


Extras:

More the violence less the development. Good news emerging from the valley as the number of youth joining militancy in Kashmir has come down in the recent years.

 

Astronomical Observatory in Ladakh

Not many will know but there is an Astronomical observatory in Ladakh.

It’s funny how the backward, underdeveloped and controlled Kashmir is the only thing that attracts the media’s eye. While on the other side these developments in Kashmir have demolished all the stereotypes and presented the image of the aspirational Kashmiri and not a stone-pelter Kashmiri.

IAS couple from J&K

 

jannat_kashmir

From young Kashmiris entering the civil services to a five-year-old girl cleaning up the Dal Lake, we are also determined and dedicated to develop our Nation.