Rainbow Academy school for disadvantaged children Darjeeling, India

Rainbow Academy is a non-profit English-medium school for disadvantaged children living near Darjeeling, India.

Basic information for Volunteers:

1. Location: Rainbow Academy is located in a hill of Gorubathan, Darjeeling District. The school complex is surrounded by dense arecanut orchard in the village set up. Gorubathan is the meeting point of hills and foot hills surrounded by tea gardens in the foothills and arecanut orchard and agricultural field in the hills. Its correspondence address is near Neora Forest Range Office, Pandara, Ahalay – 1, Gorubathan, PO Fagu, District Darjeeling. If you search “Rainbow Academy in Darjeeling” in any website you will find a bit information about it.
2. People group: People are mostly nepali and classified as tribal and other backward category by the Govt. of India. They are agricultural marginal farmers, tea garden labours and daily wage workers by the tradition and profession. They also rear domestic animals for their supplementary income.
3. School & timing: Rainbow Academy, a newly established non-profit school runs with from class Nursery to VI. The academic year starts in Mid-January and ends in first week of December. The dress of student is lemon white shirt, wasted grey full pant/skirt, blood red tie, red belt, black shoe, blue sock and grey cardigan in winter. The school hour is from 8.45 am to 3 pm and there is 1 hour lunch break in between. The school week days Tuesday through Saturday and weekend on Sunday and Monday as there is local weekly market in Gorubathan on every Monday.
4. Telephone: There is a landline phone installed in the School, its number is +91 3552 222022. The alternate mobile number is +91 94341 94875. Network of BSNL, Airtel, Hutch and Reliance mobile are also available. The internet and e mail with Dialup facility is also available in the school.

5. Communication: There is direct public service from Siliguri, hub city for North Eastern India, Nepal and Bhutan. Siliguri is about 10 kms away from nearest Airport Bagdogra. There is direct flight service from Delhi (Capital of India) or Kolkata (Capital of West Bengal) to Bagdogra Airport (which is about 10 kms away from Siliguri City). Bus services are available from P.C. Mittal Bus Stand, 2nd Mile, Sevoke Road, Siliguri to Gorubathan (68 kms and 2 hours journey) from 7 am to 5 pm everyday and similarly public bus and jeeps are available from Kalimpong to Gorubathan via Lava and Coronation Bridge (95 kms and 3 hours journey). There is a rough jeepable road linked with main road of Gorubathan from the school complex (1 km distance). A vehicle on hire is always available for picking or dropping the volunteers either from nearest Airport Bagdogra or School.

6. Health Care: There is a Govt. Primary Health Centre located at Gorubathan (1 km distance from the School). A vehicle on hire is 24 hours available in the school premises for emergency. A Physician visits the school once in every quarter for general health check of students and teachers too.

7. Accommodation: There is well furnished 2 storied building available in the school complex for the volunteers with 24 hours water, electricity, toilet and other required facilities on rent. Boiled and safe filtered water is available for drinking. A refrigerator and washing machine are also available for the volunteers.

8. Food: Indian normal food at local level is available 3 times a day – breakfast, lunch and dinner for the volunteers.

9. Clothes, bedding materials and toiletries: Volunteers are encouraged to bring warm clothes if they plan to stay in winter season (minimum 10 degree celcius) and light clothes in summer season (maximum 35 degree celcius). Umbrella is also needed to carry in rainy season (June to August). It is advisable to have volunteer’s own bedding materials and toiletries if not comfortable with the available materials at the local level in rural area.

10. Teaching: The local teachers are not in the position to teach english, science, social studies, moral & creative skills etc using the active learning methodology and materials. The modern learning material is also not available in the school and therefore, encourages volunteers to bring the teaching and learning materials if available with them. There is no such period for the volunteers to stay and teach students. It depends upon the volunteer’s availability, capacity and also the agreement with the sending organisation.

11. Payment: Volunteers are encouraged to pay the accommodation, fooding, toiletries, telephone, internet, e mail, travel and other charges during their stay in the school whenever the facility is provided at the time of their need.

12. Contact key person for correspondence: Puran Rai, Secretary – Shanti Kunj Society and President – Rainbow Academy, Salbari, Behind Springfield Academy, PO Sukna, Via Siliguri, District Darjeeling, West Bengal – 734009, India. Phone : +91 94343 80752 (Mobile), +91 353 2574650 (Residence), +91 353 2514104 (Office), e mail : puranrai07@gmail.com