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This teacher from Uttarakhand’s remote Bageshwar district walked the extra mile to give good education to his students

Kewalanand Kandpal, principal of a government school in Bageshwar district, was awarded the National Awards to Teachers 2020 on the occasion of Teacher’s Day on Saturday to felicitate his effort as a teacher, who left no stones unturned to ensure best possible education for all his students.

From community support, to acquiring land for building a school, from monthly mother-daughter meetings, to promote education among girl child, Kandpal has always walked the extra mile to boost education.

“It is a great moment that my efforts for merely 70-72 students in a remote village has been recognised at the national level,” said Kandpal.

He was given the award for demonstrating himself to being an inspirational and capable leader for his school by showing great ability to build community support for the school, bridge a gender gap in enrolment and also successfully mobilise resources for land and infrastructure for the students.

“When I joined the Government Higher Secondary School, Pudkuni, in Kapkote block of Bageshwar in October 2017, there was neither road connectivity to the region nor a building for the school. I realised that the people never questioned this. I started talking to the villagers and convincing them to provide land for building the school. I made them realise that if there is no building then the school will shift out of the village and merge with some other school nearby, thereby reducing access for children,” said Kandpal.

After generating awareness about the importance of education for almost a year, Kandpal, “saw a ray of hope from the villagers” on donating their land around March 2019.

To ensure that girls do not drop out of school, he started a monthly mother-daughter meeting, where the female students would talk to their mothers and tell them that “they (the girls) did not want to get married early and rather wanted to continue studying.”

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