Posted by: Prem Piyush | March 15, 2005

JNVP -1 – Stepping stone

I am one of the hundred of the beneficiaries from Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Purnea. Government has spent lakhs of rupees on me for my upbringing. I am strongly determined to make the government’s efforts on me meaningful. My series of posts will be aimed to look into the principals and practices with my point of view from my experience of six years spent there in a narrative way. Jai Navodaya! Jai Hind!

One evening, Chachaji (uncle), who was colleague of Papa, gave us the envelope, saying that it was delivered in the office by the postman. Even after seeing my name on it and it was coming from Navodaya Vidyalaya, Purnea, like a disciplined boy, I gave it to Papa and I was inquisitive to know about the content of the envelope. In the entrance exam of Navodaya I couldn’t solve two questions, so I was more feared about that rather than satisfaction of solving 98 questions (Still today I am cautious to my mistakes). More over I was the candidate, who applied from a urban school, which have less number of quota of seats. As the envelope was opened, both of them smiled and felt relaxed. There was written that only Prem Piyush and another student Vinit Ranjan were selected from Kishanganj block.

Ma – Papa’s worry of sending me to a good CBSE school was resolved that too on full paid government scholarship. Across our colony boundary wall there used to be a residential school, Insan school. As a kid after seeing the borders of the school, I used to dream to live in residential school for play ground, a library and so many friends. I was the illegal addict user of Insan School library for reading story books and cartoons. More over the reason of parents happiness was that in our town or near by town like Purnea or Katihar there were no residential schools of good standards. That year Navodaya Vidyalaya was established (Jawahar was added to Navodaya in later years). So parents’ foresight and after due to proper coaching, at Middle School, Birauli (Purnea), I was able to get a seat in 80 seats that year.

The days of sincere parents must be most difficult, when providing proper education to child becomes a most urgent need. Since Navodaya was a completely new concept, and the new pattern of exam and results, my parents went to Patna for enquiry and to see the possibility of sure admission of mine. There after knowing about the school and the exam method, the official suggested them to prepare me with more practice and leave everything else to God. Might after the disappointment by the officials, and so the prayers have worked out. Now after getting the passing letter, they were happy that day and started reading the letter’s content. This letter was signed by then principal Sri Harsha Kumar Kulshrestha. Along with the need of the various certificates they have also told to bring sets of cloths to wear at school until the dresses were provided by the school. So Papa became busy to get certificates from different offices and Maa choosing out dresses for me. Once papa got all the certificates he submitted them to School before the due date.

And at home Ma was posted in the same school, I was reading. When with ma I used to go to school and attend the classes, and all mistresses and teachers were worrying that why I was still coming to school after getting selected at Navodaya.

But one day I was really to leave my Pratap Middle School and was ready to depart for My Navodaya School. My trunk which I was to carry contained cloths, some edibles and few Rupees (Later two things were not asked by school to carry). As we reached the school at Maranga campus we couldn’t see any school there. It was a refugee colony where the Bangladeshis were staying and a fire brigade building (Later converted to the library). Inside the colony six refugee quarters were newly painted with the school name painted on the wall. I was shocked. No students to play, a playground full of chirchiris( A grass weed, which’s long flower sticks will gets entangled with lower dresses). Near to school building there were Bangladeshi refugees with family. Papa asked me whether I would like to stay here. Hope more students were come here, I gave assertive answer.

We reached to the principal sir, H.K. Kulshrestha who was from U.P. and used to speak in U.P. accent Hindi. (Later on in hostel we adopted that accent). After I touched his feet (In our side it’s the only custom for respecting teachers and elders) and he took a short interview of mine. He informed me that some students had already come and they are now in dormitory (I learnt this word then). He directed me to the dormitory, which was the next building just behind the store/office room. Inside the asbestos roof room there were 8 iron beds. Since my both parents studied in hostel for some years they told me to choose out a corner bed if possible. The corner bed has fewer chances of disturbances. Luckily the corner one was vacant and others middle beds were taken by Banmankhi town students group.

Later principal sir told me to pick up my bed cushion , pillow and cover, bed sheet, blanket, mosquito net, thali, a steel jug and soaps and all the things needed including paste and brush from then store keeper Mithilesh sir.

Those students in dormitory, who were going to be my friends, helped me to carry my things from the store. Now it was tea time and Principal Sir told papa too to come for tea. And we few students formed a queue for tea. And where I got introduced with the Mess-in-charge, P.E.T. sir, Subhash sir . From first sight his look was obviously strict. So I became aware of the days coming. Any way our principal sir was very cordial in talks with the students and guardians. He assured papa not to worry about security and other food terms. Sun was about to set. Before leaving, Papa gave me some tips about studies, cleanliness and sports along with the other students who were standing nearby me.

I was feeling papa is leaving me to a place where I have to grow independently towards shaping my destiny.



  1. Piyus, thanks to remind the pictures passed very long back.

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