The Himalaya Public School was started in 1999 by Chandar Singh Karki in a 1-room cowshed on donated land in Chaukori, Uttarakhand.  Two of his children - Prakash and Devbala - finished their own college education in Nainital and joined him to dedicate their lives to building a school to provide education to the kids in this remote region.

The first year there was only one grade - Kindergarten and a handful of kids. They built another room that year so that the following year the Kindergartners could move to the next grade and they could accept a fresh group of little ones.

Every year - they added another room. They added other facilities - grounds, office, a small library... Other teachers joined the school - all with the same common desire to help. Many other talented and dedicated teachers joined the cause as well.

Today HPS provides education till 12th grade for over 500 students. Devbala Bisht is the principal of the school and Prakash is the manager of the school. Chandar Singh Karki has since retired from the administration but helps out on campus as needed. Although as a population, there are slightly more females than males in the region, only about 25% of the students are girls - due to various social pressures.

The school now also provides boarding for half of its students - consisting of mainly kids whose parents have been posted elsewhere with the army or the Indo-Tibet Border Police.

Check out more pictures of HPS, Chaukori - including the premises, the teachers, the children and their work.

Majority of the population in the region are either subsistence farmers or laborers  An average subsistence farmer in the area earns about Rs. 10,000 a year (US $200/yr) and a laborer slightly more.  The school runs on school fees for day and boarding students, as well as help from well wishers.

What suffers in this low-budget non-profit administration is things like - a decent library, teaching aides, extra-curricular programs etc.

Still, thanks to the the positive attitude running in the school administration and teachers and the kids' eagerness to learn anything, the school is surviving as best as it can.

And yet - basic education is beyond reach of many children.

With a little help from others, this school can offer the Chaukori community a bright future for the children. Here are some projects that we are currently working on

Schools in the Himalayas
Himalaya Public School, Chaukori

Building strong communities through education