JAIPUR: An initiative for promotion of girls’ education has completed 20 years in the Sikar town of Rajasthan, resulting in the establishment of a high-quality “Excellence Knowledge City for Girls” and bringing the dusty district of the Shekhawati region among the top five educationally advanced districts of the State.
The Excellence School and a dozen other educational institutions of Sikar held the joint anniversary celebration on Sunday, which was attended by some prominent educationists, academicians, activists and bankers from Mumbai and Jaipur.
Built entirely from the personal savings of entrepreneur Wahid Chowhan, born in Sikar and now settled in Mumbai, the Excellence School offers free education, including books and uniforms, to girls in an atmosphere of modernisation of madrasa curriculum mixed with mainstream subjects. It is probably the first school which has introduced Sanskrit along with Urdu and Arabic as the languages taught.
Addressing a huge gathering, Mr. Chowhan recounted the difficulties he had faced while starting the venture and affirmed that a commitment to the cause of education would give rich dividends. “From the earlier imbalance in the shape of girls being deprived of education, we have now reached the opposite extreme. Girls are now highly educated compared with boys,” he said.
Speakers at the function pointed out that Mr. Chowhan’s initiative had led to a revolution in girls’ education in Sikar, with all schools getting themselves registered with the government and offering high-quality education. “No girl, especially in the minority communities, stays at home. With higher education, they are all moving up the social ladder,” said activist Ashfaq Kayamkhani.
Ten girls pursuing medical courses, two dozen girls undertaking the unani, ayurvedic and homoeopathy courses and eight girls who have achieved distinction in various sports activities were felicitated on the occasion.
Prominent Mumbai-based scholar and Anjuman-i-Islam Zahir Kazi president was all praise for the initiative that had improved educational standards for girls in the town.