Community transformation through education
How the 'Sandra Shroff Gnyan Dham School' is making a difference in Vapi, India.
In 1969, when UPL established its first manufacturing unit in at Vapi, Gujarat, there was a marked absence of a quality educational system for the children in the community.
Although the number of work opportunities for the local communities had rapidly expanded, it became apparent there wasn’t the qualified manpower to match. With the financial and economic progress of a community directly linked to the education level of its children and youth, Mrs. Sandra Shroff committed herself to changing the status quo.
Mrs. Shroff opened the Sandra Shroff Gnyan Dham School in 1972. She had taken on a personal bank overdraft to fund her vision of creating a full educational infrastructure with buildings, classrooms, laboratories and equipment. It was designed to enrich and transform generations of a community not just through classroom education but also by adopting a proactive and sustainable lifestyle.
Today the school is 47 years old and has matured into one of the finest schools in entire south Gujarat, with a student population of some 1600 and a staff of 120. Year after year, approximately 100 students pass their 12th standard exams. Renowned for the quality of teaching, annual results and range of extra-curricular activities, the Sandra Shroff Gnyan Dham School has become a benchmark for other schools in the area.
The school is just one of many social endeavors in India undertaken by Mrs. Shroff and UPL, others include Skill Development Centers, Women Self Help Groups and village transformation programs. Further afield, in Brazil, Tanzania and Mexico, UPL’s initiatives continue to support their employees, their families and the wider community all around the world.