Promoting Girls’ Education, Jaipur’s First Girl’s School Celebrates Its 153rd Anniversary
- IWB Post
- May 13, 2019
It was during the reign of Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh of erstwhile Jaipur state in 1866, that Maharaja’s Girls High School was started in Natani Haveli, which was until that year the residence of Bikhardis and Lunkaran Natani, who were one of the wealthiest salt dealers of the city.
In its commitment towards providing education exclusively to girls, the school recently celebrated its 153rd anniversary. Talking about the school, Vinod Natani, a successor of the Natani family who resides in the properties adjacent to the school, shared, “Our ancestors gave up a large part of the residence as a gift to start the first girls’ school of the state. The step was taken at a time when nothing much was done for women’s education. Since the school started, it played an important role in contributing towards girls’ education.”
Owned by the central government, the school building is a heritage property situated in the famous Choti Chopad area of the city that provides education to nearly 1,400 students. Praising the school, an alumnus, Priti Kalra, who is presently a commerce teacher in the school, shared, “Girls from wealthy families including royals preferred to study in Maharaja’s school for several decades. It is a school where caste and class divide has never existed. Still, our school is one of the most sought after for senior secondary studies. Unlike private schools, the building and the calmness of the haveli style architecture with spacious areas set the stage for a student to grow socially and educationally.”
In addition, another alumnus, Shashikala Pareek who has been the principal of the school, shared, “The school has stood the test of time, there is no doubt about it. The school has a long history attached to it. The school has been one of the most prestigious and it has contributed a lot in the women’s education since the past 153 years.”
The school has been associated with folklore, as it is said to have a basement which has been closed by constructing a wall, and it also has several locked rooms which are not presently being used as classrooms.
“We have heard from our ancestors that the school has a basement which has several tunnels connecting to other forts so that the king and the members of the royal family visiting or studying in the school could escape during an emergency situation. Some even say that there is a temple in the basement. We do not know how true these facts are,” shared Natani.
H/T: The Hindustan Times