Community transformation through education
How 'Sandra Shroff Gnyan Dham School' is impacting the community in Vapi, India positively
In 1969, when UPL established its first manufacturing unit at Vapi, Gujarat, there was a marked absence of a quality educational system, which affected not only the local children but also the children of the many industrial entrepreneurs who’d recently settled in the region.
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 Sandra Shroff Gnyan Dham School is 47 years old and has matured into one of the finest schools in entire south Gujarat, with a student population of around 1600, with 120 members of staff, and where year on year approximately 100 students pass their 12 th standard exams. It’s renowned for the quality of teaching, annual results and range of extra-curricular activities, making it a benchmark for other schools in the area.
The school is just one of many social endeavours in India undertaken by Mrs Shroff and UPL, which also includes Skill Development Centres, Women Self Help Groups, 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.