We reached our next destination in Manali, and discovered a quaint little town called Batahar Bihal. We came across the Himalayan Buddhist Cultural School where we were greeted with warm smiles, tight hugs and curious grins from the children.
A kind-hearted person gave Principal Palki Thakur an initial contribution to set the school up and over the years through hard work, she has built this boarding school with funding from various sources.
She believes that children are the future of the country, and she aims to nurture these rough, uncut stones and transform them into brilliant, sparkling diamonds.
The kids here come at a really tender age from far-off places like Zanskar, Spiti, Lahaul, Leh and Pangi because the educational facilities there are not up to mark. The parents and children hike for over four days to reach this school.
At an altitude of 10,000 feet above sea level, the biting cold makes it difficult for the children to study. With runny noses and layers of clothing, these kids sit through every class attentively.
Often, they are seen ditching their benches and desks and basking in the sunlight outside their classroom or on the terrace, to keep themselves warm.
Our Do Righter Pankaj Trivedi rode uphill to get a feel of what their winters would be like. He could barely mange to talk as he told us about the 3 feet snow he was in. Batahar Bihal would soon experience this.
We wanted to create the right environment for them to focus on their studies and pursue their dreams, by installing heaters in the classrooms. For 10 heaters, we needed to collect Rs. 16,000 and we asked our Do Righters to help complete their Half Story.
We received an overwhelming response, and right in the middle of the donations, we had a Do Righter who contributed the entire amount for this story. The Principal offered to drive Pankaj to the market and help him pick up the heaters.
We set up the heaters in the activity classroom, and told the children about its benefits and how to take care while using it.
Shortly after we completed this story, a kind-hearted Do Righter - Vinita Shah, an ex-teacher who now makes hand puppets for kids, sent across a huge box of puppets for them.
She told this initiative inspired her a lot, and she will now adopt a school every month and do the same.
Their smiles melted our hearts. Social media had successfully allowed people sitting almost thousands of kilometers away make a difference in the lives of 272 children with just a click!