Platinum year celebrations of Saraswati Mandir High School

Platinum year celebrations of Saraswati Mandir High School

FPJ BureauUpdated: Monday, July 08, 2024, 04:17 PM IST
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In the socio-economically diverse locality of Mahim- Matunga, standing tall is a building of a school- Saraswati Mandir High School. Even in these times of increasing rigidity of social compartmentalisation, this school not only educates children from various strata of society with equal care and nurture, but also enables children from marginalised sections to transcend class divisions and move towards a brighter future.

This school began its journey 75 years ago, in 1950, as a nursery with just 12 students, in Saraswat Colony, a cooperative housing society in Mahim west. As the student strength grew, the school expanded its classes. The fact that the students from the initial batches are still in touch with the school speaks volumes about the bond the institution has forged with the students. They tell us, “Initially, the classes used to be held in the multipurpose hall of the residential society, (some classes were even conducted in the 1BHK flat of the founder, Smt Mukta Kotnis!) and then, in a temporary shed at the present premises (where water would accumulate during monsoons resulting in a lot of rainy-day holidays!) until 1963 when the school finally moved into its own Building. In 1961, the first batch of seventeen students appeared for the Matriculation examination. The medium of instruction was only Marathi but gradually English medium was also introduced. As the number of students increased, so did the floors of the school building, and the present five storey building was constructed in 2007, where 2700 students are currently studying.

Along with facilities like laboratories, libraries, computer labs, digital learning aids, this school also boasts of a facility rare in Mumbai schools - its own playground! This playground, through free sports coaching, has enabled the school to bag awards such as Hind Karandak and the Rani Lakshmibai Award multiple times, and build a reputation in the sports arena. The numerous sports stars risen from this playground include Pooja Surve, leading the Indian Gymnastics team, National-level gymnastic players Poonam Surve, Juilee Prabhu, Chhatrapati awardees Sudhir Maske, Mandar Mhatre, Eklavya awardee Praveen Sindkar, state and national level Kho-Kho players Shreyas Raorane, Paras Khadak, Janhavi Mandavkar, Gopal Katta, Aman Dulagaj, Aditya Gupta, Aditi Khembhavi, Mardavi Bhosale... the list goes on!

Even today, many of the students from this school are the first-generation learners. Many of the parents are unable afford expensive tuition fees or bear the burden of “educational projects” for their wards. Yet, the school not only consistently achieves a passing percentage of 97-99 in the tenth-grade exams, but also guides and supports the students to excel in cocurricular exams such as the Maharashtra State Scholarship exam, Homi Bhabha Young Scientist Competition, National Talent Search Examination, English and Mathematics Olympiads, and many more. Former students like Aditya Terwankar, currently serving as a Marcos commando in the Indian Navy Special Forces, Chinmay Shirodkar, associated with the Chandrayaan mission, and Dr. Pooja Vinde, a researcher in the fisheries research sector, proudly attribute their success to their alma mater. The school has been honoured with accolades such as the Best School (2019-20), Clean School (2022), and the Karveer Bhaurao Patil Award for excellence in educational endeavours, along with awards for exemplary teachers and principals, adding to its glory.

During the upcoming platinum year celebrations of the school, the support of former students holds utmost importance for the school. The school management committee appeals to all its past students to revive contacts with the school via website smhsmahim.edu.in; email address smhs_mahim@yahoo.co.in or contact phone number (whatsapp) : 93722 95817.

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