Sculpting the future of a small town boy with quality education

30 September 2021

The historical region of Pandukeshwar, which is famous for being established by King Pandu - the father of Pandavas, is a sacred town located in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. With a total population of nearly 2000, this village is said to have a literacy rate of 87%. An 11-year-old boy, Mihir Lal is one of the brightest amongst them.

As a young boy, Mihir is always filled with curiosity to have a better understanding of various subjects, especially science, as he aspires to become an agricultural scientist when he grows up. But after the accidental death of his father, who was a daily wage labourer, Mihir and his family's livelihood turned into turmoil. His mother could hardly meet the daily needs of her three children as there was no stable source of income.


Mihir, being the eldest son, wanted to improve the lives of his family members. His mother, a daily wage labourer, was aware of Mihir's interest in academics and his goal. She encouraged him to complete his studies and become successful, to have a secure future.

Due to financial hurdles and lack of proper guidance, Mihir did not know how to proceed in his academics. However, he had a burning desire and was diligent in his pursuit to excel in life. At this juncture, GMR's CSR arm
- GMR Varalakshmi Foundation (GMRVF), stepped in to support him.

The GMRVF team members decided to take the sixth-grade boy under their wing and started coaching him for the Entrance Examination of Navodaya Vidyalaya at the 'After School Learning Centre' (ASLC). Navodaya Vidyalayas are co-educational residential schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), with classes from Std. VI to XII. Talented rural children who qualify in the Navodaya Vidyalaya Selection Test (an entrance exam designed, developed and conducted by the CBSE), are provided with quality education free of cost at Navodaya schools, comparable to the best in the residential school system.


To enable under privileged children from rural areas to benefit from this exceptional government initiative, GMRVF has established Navodaya coaching centres at different GMR project locations.

Mihir was a regular and sincere student of the ASLC. During the coaching period, he was provided with the necessary guidance and subject support. His hard work and support from ASLC enabled him to crack the entrance examination. He gained admission into Navodaya Vidyalaya at Pipalkoti which is about 57 km from Pandukeshwar village. At present, he is pursuing quality education with the aim to become a Scientist one day. After all the efforts put in by GMRVF and Mihir, his mother is very proud of him, and in peace, knowing that his son has a secure future.