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Awards season

We’re sure you must have heard our Snehalaya English Medium School is in the World’s Best School Prize Top Three finalists for overcoming adversity, but did you know we also give our own awards for Outstanding Teacher and Staff?

One of the reasons we are on the World’s Best Schools shortlist is the dedication of our unique school’s teachers. When our school first opened we experienced a high turnover of staff, which was disruptive to our students, many of whom have been abandoned by their families. Today, most of our teachers have been with us for at least the last five years offering security and consistency to our students.

This World Teachers' Day, we are proud to announce the three winners of the Shobha Mahadev Kulkarni Adarsh Teacher Award. Now in their fourth year, the awards are sponsored by our trustee parent, Kiriti More, in memory of her mother, Indira More, a municipal school teacher in Pune for many years. She herself experienced the challenges of providing education to students similar to ours encouraging them to enjoy learning.

The Shobha Mahadev Kulkarni Adarsh Teacher Awards are named after our Founder, Girish Kulkarni’s mother who was also a teacher in Bhingar High School for 36 years. Not only did she welcome Snehalaya’s first beneficiaries, the children of sex workers, into her own home treating them as her own, but she was also dedicated to providing children from all backgrounds a quality education.

The awards recognise teachers who, like those who inspired them, show creativity in educating the underprivileged and go above and beyond to make education enjoyable and enriching while cultivating a love of reading.

This year’s Ideal Teacher from our Snehalaya English Medium School is Shabana Shaikh who teaches and inspires our primary school students. She is the first in her family to have completed her bachelor’s degree and to become a teacher. Her dedication to our young students is so strong she and her family moved into our shelter home during the second lockdown of the COVID pandemic where she held daily classes for our youngest students every day. She truly has a special bond with her students, providing them with love, care and a sense of security.

The award was also presented to Vikram Bhagat, the Education Coordinator of our Balbhavan project. Vikram comes from a farming family who live in our neighbouring and drought-prone district of Beed. Having always had an ambition to educate children from troubled backgrounds he first completed a degree in science followed by a diploma in education. He started working in our Ramwadi Balbhavan in 2016 and is now our project’s Education Coordinator, covering all seven balbhavans in our city. He has very close bonds with our students, helping them to overcome their difficulties to succeed academically and personally.

The final award was presented to Vaibhav Wagh, a primary teacher at Bai Icharjabai Firodia Prashala with over 13 years experience. He has been recognised for giving much-needed encouragement and support to children struggling academically going over and above to help them complete their studies.

The awards ceremony also included the naming of the recipient of our annual staff award, the Adarsh Karmaya Award, given in memory of Gopalbhai Gujar. Samadhan Bhale is our Senior Accountant who works tirelessly to ensure our income and expenditure are fully documented following due diligence.

Congratulations to all, you truly deserve it!

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