During a visit to India in 2005 Tom Holloway was asked by Mohammad Kareem, a local businessman and journalist, and a talented local teacher, Ms Lavanya, to help the newly formed MS Foundation to run and finance a school in Kukatpally, a low-caste migrant community on the outskirts of Hyderabad.
Between 2005 and 2009 Tom and Rachel Morrison helped the school move to an improved building with four rooms for classes of children aged from 5 to 11. Attendance was then between 80 and 100. Because girls were so often required to stay at home to look after younger children, an additional small building close by was rented to accommodate infants from 3 years, adding a further 60 students.
Funds have also been raised through a sponsorship scheme, individual donations and further financial support from members of the University of the Third Age, the church of St Martin-in-the-Fields, the University of Tartu in Estonia, Saltwood Primary School in Kent, Orleans Infants School in Twickenham and Macduff Primary School in Banffshire which have enabled us to meet a proportion of the School’s expenses.
In 2011 Hyderapals Educational Fund (HMRC Registration No. XT33260) was formed to make donors’ money go further by enabling us to claim Gift Aid on donations.
Shortly thereafter the school moved to larger premises and has recently changed its name to the Patashala School. The change of premises enabled all of its students to be on one site and the provision of better ventilated and more spacious classrooms. You can see two of our trustees, Matthew and Rachel Morrison, helping with the painting of these facilities here. Images of students at the Patashala school and its new site were also captured by Peter Knight, a photographer who visited the school in 2013 and 2014 and may be viewed here.
In recent years the emphasis of Hyderapal’s funding has changed. Rather than meeting the expenses associated with individual children at the school, Hyderapals now assists with the education of all of the children by subsidising teachers’ salaries, funding teacher training and purchasing books and other resources for all of the children at the school. We have also provided a loan to the school to fund the production of uniforms for the children at the school by a local women’s collective.
In light of this change in emphasis, Hyderapals no longer operates a sponsorship scheme linking individual donors to particular children at the school. However our primary aims remain:
•To provide all students at the Patashala School with the best possible education
•To foster a love of learning in all students at the school and to raise awareness of the benefits of education in the wider Kukatpally community
•To empower and develop the skills of teachers at the Patashala school
•To make the facilities of the Patashala school as good as they can be
In addition we are committed to ensuring that donors’ money is not wasted on administrative overheads. Hyderapals has no salaried employees and all donated monies go straight to the school save for the reimbursement of modest in-country travelling expenses of our local representatives.