From Tripura (Northeast India) to Manjakkudi (South India) to Khategaon (Central India) and back to the hometown (Tripura), it has been quite a journey for Saijorung Molshoy.
She has set up Green Valley English Medium School (a co-educational institution from Kindergarten to Class 5) at West Bhandarima, Ananda Bazar (P.O.), North Tripura. Already, 130 students have got admission with most of them belonging to the internally displaced Bru tribe.
As school principal, it is hands full for Saijorung. “The government has started the resettlement process for the Bru community in Tripura. So, a number of them are moving out of their camps and settling in new locations.”
During the process of relocation, students are impacted the most. “The government is yet to start a government medium institution in the region. Right now, their focus is towards settlement only. Seeing the dire situation, my friends and I got together and decided to start a school so that students don’t drop off and continue with their studies.”
It is here that the role of Green Valley English Medium School to society becomes critical. Saijorung has conceived this as a study centre for now. The Madhya Pradesh chapter of AIM for Seva has already come forward and given a donation. With this, Saijorung purchased seven white boards to keep the classes going.
But it’s a long road ahead. “Fee collection from parents is next to impossible as they are struggling to make ends meet. Therefore, we are unable to buy uniforms, books and stationery,” says Saijorung. Children are coming to the school with only a rough note book and a pen and pencil in hand.
“We hope to get support from like-minded people,” says Saijorung.
Saijorung who is in her early 20’s previously worked as an English teacher at the Inder & Prabha Sharma School, Khategaon, Madhya Pradesh. She enjoyed teaching young students and spending time with them. Now, she has taken back all her teaching and learning to benefit students from her community.
The daughter of a domestic helper, Saijorung lost her father when she was barely two years old. Saijorung and her younger sister, Jemima, were raised single handedly by their mother.
Saijorung completed her schooling in Tripura. A turning point in her life occurred when she met Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati, the Founder of AIM for Seva, in Tripura in 2011. Saijorung then went on to pursue her Bach. degree in English from the Swami Dayananda College of Arts & Science in Manjakkudi, Tamil Nadu (she completed her degree in 2019). While studying at the college, Saijorung stayed at the Swami Dayananda AIM for Seva Chatralayam for Girls (Senior), Sembangudi, Tamil Nadu.
In an earlier interaction with AIM for Seva, Saijorung shared how the organisation played a critical role in developing her overall personality during her adolescent years. “I realised the importance of having a good education and respecting and valuing our culture. I am very fortunate that I got to pursue my educational dreams from a secure boarding residential facility, which provides access to quality education, free of cost,” she said. Another big takeaway for her was the exposure to India’s multi-cultural and multi-lingual character from an early age. “The everyday way of life and culture in South India is very different from the Northeast. I am happy that I got exposed to a pluralistic tradition from early on,” Saijorung said.