THE Chandigarh Kendra of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan was established in 1979 on the initiative of then Punjab Governor Jaisukhlal Hathi. I happened to connect with him and he asked me to establish the kendra. I suggested the name of Justice Tek Chand as the Chairman and he accepted it. Later, I became the Chairman. After KJ Khosla passed away, PR Aggarwal became Honorary Secretary, and after his retirement, Madhukar Malhotra. There were many Principals, but an important one was Minakshi Mohindru, who retired in 2008 after serving for 15 years.
Bhavan Chandigarh got land in Sector 27 and started off in 1983. In view of its popularity, it was decided to have a campus in Sector 33 for juniors. I wanted our school to compete with the convent schools that were regarded as the best in the field of education. My granddaughter moved from her convent school to Bhavan Vidyalaya in Class IX; she did very well and got admission in St Stephen’s College.
Bhavan Chandigarh has been a family of teachers, students and administrative leaders. In 2016, on the annual day, exemplary student Darshan Kadian said, ‘I came to Bhavan Vidyalaya at the age of three, and 17 years on, I am touched by its culture.’ Now, he is doing a master’s degree from Harvard Law School. In fact, all of us have been touched by the culture of our family.
The school has consistently pursued its goal of becoming a centre of excellence in the realm of academics and that is evident from the CBSE exam results of Class XII and X year after year. Bhavan’s name is all over the national academic canvas.
Bhavan Chandigarh has been in the forefront of multifarious activities. The coveted ‘Model United Nations’ witnessed huge participation, with over 400 student delegates coming from abroad. Infosys Foundation, Bengaluru, organised a week-long Contemporary Art Festival on the Sector 27 campus last year.
The school is extremely conscious of its social responsibility. It started a ‘special wing’ for intellectually challenged children in 1987 and launched the Udaan project to give after-school tuition to underprivileged children in 2014. It is also involved in the Saketri Project for children’s education, empowering them and improving their health.
Bhavan has conducted several cyclothons: Amritsar, 2018, in the run-up to the centenary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre; Dandi (Gujarat), 2019, to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi; Shimla, 2021, as part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav; Longewala (Rajasthan), 2022, to pay tributes to our war heroes; and Kathmandu in June this year to promote international peace.
With financial support from the headquarters, the Chandigarh Kendra managed to complete the construction of a campus in New Chandigarh. It was inaugurated by its mentor, Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit, on April 15. The new school has received an overwhelming response.
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