Sam Singh, 72



By Yamini Deenadayalan

Sam Singh went straight from being the boss at Dupont, Asia Pacific, to the heartland of his native Bulandshahar district, Uttar Pradesh, to pay girls to continue at school. “Educating girls is a business problem, so I wanted a business solution,” says Singh. Pardada Pardadi Educational Society combats every reason that prevents girls from attending school.

It offers three meals a day and puts in Rs. 10 in a savings account for each day of school attended, an amount that is redeemable after graduation. Girls get a free bicycle after two years in school and a toilet in their homes after three. “I wanted girls to become socially and financially independent,” avers Singh. Students spend half the day on academic lessons and the other half on vocational courses like embroidery. Funded initially with his savings, the school that started with 35 students in 2000 has more than 1,000 enrolled today. Over 50 of these first-generation learners have graduated from high school and moved on to study or work in fashion designing, tool technology, teaching, aviation, etc. Not a mean feat in a place where female literacy is 43 percent and girls are routinely married off in their teens even today.

 I wanted girls to become socially and financially independent’

Singh may be reached at +011-29542524


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