Dehra Dun: This one-time green valley in Uttarakhand, now turning into a concrete jungle, is l known for its number of quality schools. Topping the list for boys is The Doon School, while for girls it is Welham Girls, which will be celebrating 55th Founder’s Day on Nov 3.
With the likes of the fiery Communist leader Brinda Karat and renowned film director Dipa Mehta having walked down its hallowed portals, the school has been alma mater to a number of illustrious students who have created a niche for themselves in their respective fields.
An interesting thing about the schools is that its founder principal, Miss Grace Mary Linel was a keen bird watcher and she decided to name the various houses of the boarding school on birds. So the houses are called, bulbul, woodpecker, flycatcher, hoopoe and orioles, which would make any bird watcher proud. Incidentally, kingfisher is the school bird and prominent on its crest and the bird’s turquoise blue color forms the dress.
What is being keenly looked forward to, by the past and present students of the school, is the fact that the first batch that passed out from its precincts, will be celebrating their golden jubilee. Many of them, though not wearing their old school blazers, will be attending with their husbands in tow.
Perhaps one of the reasons that these schools of Dehra Dun have been able to manage their standing as institutes of merit over the years is the fact that besides academics, a lot of due consideration is given to other activities and participation of the children is ensured.
The school has yoga not as a pastime or for routine exercise, but it is done in coordination with the Pune-based Aiyangar Institute. A test is conducted by the Institute and the students who pass it are given certificates, which allow them to work as yoga trainers.
Concerned about the environment and the fact that lots of trees are lost to manufacturing paper, it has been a tradition in the school not to throw or waste paper. Every bit of its is carefully picked and stored to be recycled and this paper is used for notebooks, envelopes and carry bags.
To give international exposure to its students and keep them motivated it participates in the International Award for the Young People, where they fare extremely well. This year, 34 girls of the school were awarded gold medals.
It also has an exchange programme with schools in the UK. Students of the school go to the schools abroad for one month and Welham Girls also plays host to students coming from these schools for one month so that there is mutual exchange of ideas, besides camraderi.