The Railway Schools by Ms. Khuarana
On February 9, Golden Year 5 (2008), Ms. Inderjit Khurana, Founder and Director of the Ruchika Social Service Organization in Orissa, India, was given the Shining World Leadership Award along with US$5,000 from Supreme Master Ching Hai.
Ms. Khurana founded and taught at a primary school in the north Indian city of Bhubaneswar, Orissa. And on her daily train trips to work, she saw many poor children on the railroad platform who lacked the opportunities enjoyed by her students. Through these experiences she was inspired to start schools on railway platforms as a way to directly reach these impoverished but noble souls.
The Bhubaneswar railway station platform was where she began her efforts, using songs, dances, games and other methods to entice the children to learn. In 1985 these initial steps blossomed into the Ruchika Social Service Organization (RSSO). And today, due to the RSSO, more than a hundred platform schools are operating in India, helping over 4,000 children to learn. The young ones are not only taught the 3Rs (reading, writing and arithmetic), but also given much-needed medical treatment and nourishment.
Ms. Khurana was delighted and honored to receive the Shining World Leadership Award, and was surprised that her small organization was reached by an enlightened Master such as Supreme Master Ching Hai. She said it touches her heart to get the support of people who care so that she can continue this noble work of God, and added, "What else is there to do in this world if I cannot use myself to serve others?" Ms. Khurana is a hero in the truest sense of the word, setting a shining example for us to follow through her devoted service and dedication to her vulnerable little students.