Death of DAV School

Rameez Makhdoomi


School as institution of Knowledge is considered an extremely important facet of any society for a huge number of positive reasons. . As almost every person has been to school up until at least a certain point of his or her life. School as a transmitter of education, wisdom and knowledge is a soul of every educated and civillised nation.

But here in Kashmir we seem to be not worried about the status of our decades old schools and let them die without any attention or care.

DAV School, Jawahar Nagar, Srinagar , Kashmir bears proof to this reality as it has recently been totally made non-functional with recently last remaining some seven students given Discharge certificates and the remaining 12 to 13  teachers have even not  been paid their meager salaries since past 34 months.
Pertinently, DAV School, Jawahar Nagar, Srinagar, Kashmir has enjoyed a rich legacy which was once one of the major and top rated educational institutes in Kashmir and was run on the name of Swami Deanna Saraswati, the founder of Arya Samaj – a great social reformer and visionary who revolutionized the Hindu Samaj and launched a successful campaign  against the social evils prevalent in the society including Sati and fought for remarriage of widows.
It is worth mentioning here that the first of its such  School was founded by Arya Samaj in Kashmir in 1936.The foundation of new School at Jawahar Nagar was laid by ex Principal Pt Radha Krishan Ganjoo and other leading educationists of that time in 1971. These schools were once the leading educational institutions of Kashmir in terms of academic excellence and merits.
According to school authorities, the first seeds of chaos and confusion in the functioning of the DA School , Jawahar Nagar were sown in 1984 when  Punjabi and Kashmiri Pundits trustees managing the schools developed rift and the battle was taken over to courts and it gave rise to unending legal battles between two parties and thus functioning of the school began to take a adverse  hit.

Turmoil of 1990s took its own heavy toll on the functioning of this school as the Pandit exodus had also its own  negative consequences  on the functioning  of DAV School, Jawahar Nagar, Srinagar. Despite all odds  the local kashmiri teachers out of their exemplary work and dedication kept the school abuzz and in functioning  .Amidst all this the trustees continued their legal battle and at one stage teachers were not paid for years together their salaries as a result according to teachers of school once via court direction a fixed deposit of school earnings was broken to pay teachers their salaries.
Importantly, according to teachers of DAV School Jawahar Nagar out of the three schools of the DAV Chain   one was sold to a corporate house at price of crores and teachers were kept unaware about sale at that time as the trustees joined hands for money. While the other school is also nonfunctional.

Recently, few months back  the historical  DAV School, Jawahar Nagar, Srinagar was also closed  by Ganjoo family trust managing the school citing financial problems and lack of government support.
According to teachers of  the now defunct school greed, selfish nature of Ganjoo Family Trust, Mutual rivalries between trustees coupled with government carelessness and indifference have lead to death of historical DAV School, Jawahar Nagar, Srinagar.

Teaches who have given decades of services to this once renowned school are feeling disheartened.  Teachers like Masooda and Shahida who have served in school for over 30 years, for them  the nonpayment of salaries since 34 months and virtual death of DAV School, Jawahar Nagar, Srinagar implies both financial and emotional trauma.
According to school teachers and other authorities of school, despite DAV School, Jawahar Nagar, Srinagar  once being the prominent school of Kashmir and also known for many decades in promoting academic excellence and producing noted personalities like Doctor Sameer Kaul, Ali Mohmmmad Sagar and scores of officers has been left to die without any attention.
Shagfuta Haqani, Principal DAV School, Jawahar Nagar, Srinagar speaking to News Kashmir states – “ It pains me and all concerned voices to see DAV School, Jawahar Nagar, a prominent learning center dying on account of  the selfish nature of trust managing DAV School, Jawahar Nagar, Srinagar and no thoughtful attitude shown by the governments from time to time . We on war foot basis demand from policymakers and authorities  and above all the government of time to save this great school from being sold to corporate houses. We have not been paid salaries since 34 months adding to our miseries . We should not let this great institution die like this .We have lot of hopes atleast from the New Government to take much needed steps to save the DAV School from destruction.”

Death of DAV School, Jawahar Nagar Srinagar , Kashmir is a matter of grave concern for all to ponder in a serious way.