Vagdevi Children’s Art School
Part of the pleasures of travelling is meeting new people. Ravi, the owner of Bhadra Kali Guest House is a special guy. The guest house is basic, clean and right near everything you want to be. 2 minutes walk from the Ganges and the nightly Ganga Arti ritual which is a must see. The staff are friendly and most speak English, can arrange walking tours, give advice on restaurants and pretty much everything else you might need. Even though beer is difficult to find ask Ravi nicely and he might be able to get you a can of special chai (tea) to put in the fridge for later!
What he may not tell you is that he and a friend finance a small school for poor kids just outside the area. They have put their own money in since 2008 and the Guest House helps finance it. The school provides an arts based basic education for about 20 kids that otherwise would not have a school place and if a child shows promise Ravi pays for private education. I asked Ravi whether I could see the school and take some pictures. I am a professional photographer and have been involved in another charity school project in Thailand. Bright Dawn Foundation.
The school is small and is cleaned by the children. Crucially they are fed 3 times a day. The kids are happy, bright, self disciplined and obviously adore Ravi. Even though the school is not government sanctioned and cannot provide a school certificate (hence the private education for some) there was no doubt in my mind that this place provides a valuable experience for the children it teaches. Hats off to Ravi and please help to support the school.