Our school was started by a small group of people who wanted to make a difference in at least one area covering a network of village, we are:

The Founders

Rajvir Singh

Mr. Singh retired in 2003 from 35 years of experience as a state government official in Uttar Pradesh. He was a divisional engineer, with the State Agro Industrial Corporation, meaning that he has lived and worked all his life with rural communities in the state. He is constantly on-site and dedicated to overseeing the running of the school. He has made a reputation for himself for his honesty, incorruptibility and generosity.

Joanna Härmä

Joanna holds a PhD in International Education from the University of Sussex, UK, and a Master's in international human rights law from the University of Essex, UK. In 13 villages around Chakarsi where our school is, she studied parents' school choice-making in rural Uttar Pradesh, looking at whether the recent rise in low-cost (and often low-quality) private education is serving the needs of poor families. Joanna first went to India in 2002 to work for an anti-child-labour campaigning organisation, and has subsequently worked on a major education project in Nigeria. She is now part of the UNESCO Education for All Global Monitoring Report Team in Paris (http://www.unesco.org/new/en/education/themes/leading-the-international-agenda/efareport/report-team/haermae/).

A summary of Joanna's phd work can be read here:


Gaurav Siddhu

Gaurav is an education economist with over twelve years' experience. He has worked for the World Bank, Delhi; Global Campaign for Education; and several projects funded by the UK's Department for International Development (DfID) in Nigeria and India. He is currently working on DfID's programme to support the development of secondary education in India and is doing his doctorate in international education from the Centre for International Education, University of Sussex, UK (part time). Gaurav is in charge of planning and school development, overseeing construction and ensuring compliance with government regulation.

Gaurav's research on schooling in India can be read here:


Anurag Siddhu

Anurag is an engineer with experience in the manufacturing and production sector (since 2001). He also has a firm understanding of the issues that affect rural communities and has helped to guide this project since the beginning. He has, with his meticulous attention to detail, made sure that every aspect of the building work has been done to perfection.

Rosemary Härmä

Mrs. Härmä has provided invaluable support from Cumbria, UK, dealing with enquiries, spreading the word, and generally providing vital support. She is our constant UK contact point.

Updated October 2013


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