There were many challenges, which she had to face as well in the green belt, especially during the rainy season, where classes could not be conducted. With the ever increasing student count, the need for a building cropped up , so that their education would not be hampered. Just nearby her house, there was a government school, which was lying vacant and she used to tell people around that it is her dream to use this school for her underprivileged kids. Indeed, her dream turned out to be true, as she was given the permission to use the school premises for her underprivileged kids. She recalls, “It was a long and difficult process to get this school for my underprivileged kids.” But, she got these poor children under one roof, providing them a proper school atmosphere, after which the school has just been showered with praises.
'The Happy School' finds a roof
The school consists of primarily 400 students from Nursery to Fifth standard. All these children, who come over to the school are sons and daughters of poor children, primarily from nearby areas. Most of them are children of house maids, carpenters, plumbers, sweepers etc.
The school is a great example of slogan "Right to Education" for the underpriviledged. Considering the economic background these students come from Capoor has worked hard to keep the cost of education free for them. Even the books, school uniforms, meals etc. The school manages its operational cost through donations from NGO's, corporate sectors, individuals etc, not necessarily through cash alone, but in the form of kind. The students were excited about a recent lot of computers donated by a corporate house. Infact the school has managed to keep 15 teachers on its payroll, salaries of whom also are managed from donations. The salary amounts are nothing much to speak of but nobody seems to be complaining. Along with it the school receives volunteer services from 20 good samaritans who help in maintaining the day to day activities hand in hand with the teachers.
The school has grown gradually over the years. While Capoor understands the importance of her motto of providing basic education, she ensures that quality standards are maintained as well. She has limited her operation to the Fifth standard and wishes to prepare these kids by then for competing for a position in the best of private schools in the city. “Those brilliant students (selected few) in the fifth standard are even sponsored, so that they could get the best education in private schools, such as Summer Field, Pine Crest, American Montessori etc,” said Capoor.
Despite a large number of interested parents flocking for admission every year, Capoor has also kept her admission process stringent. The children would not be granted seat immediately in the main school. They will have to undergo a different class, a bridge school located within the premises, with other students for some time and if they are fit enough, they would be admitted to the main school. “If the student has to be sent to the main school, they have to get their basics cleared. It has nothing to do with the age. There is a child, who is fourteen years of old and has not gone to school. She also needs to sit in this bridge school and show that she is ready to get admitted in the main school.” The concept and the preciseness with which the staff has planned the education for these otherswise underpriviledged kids leaves you in awe. In every step, Happy School seemed to be matching up in steps with the millenium city's swanky World's Schools in providing a holistic education but at the same time staying rooted to the reality.
The bridge school within the boundary of the Happy School was conceptualised very recently after a evaluation report showed that few students are not fit enough for their respective classes. Hence, such students were thought to be trained and taught in the bridge school, before they graduate to the main school in different classes. Admission tests are held for different classes for students, who attends the bridge school. Any other place either these kids would have been rejected or ignored in the main system and that exactly is what keeps Happy School different in middle of the glitz and glamour of Gurgaon.
Students of the school are also happy with the way the volunteers and the teachers treat them with utmost care. Some students of fifth standard have even thought about their future plans. One such student, Rangoli, wants to be a Police Officer. She said, “I do not like the policeman that I see at present and hence want to set a good example.” She also gives credit to the school, for the discipline, which is inculcated by the teachers.