cop raised funds for building proper schools in Punjab
Seham, Jalandhar, January 12, 2008
In 2001, David Gee, retired as head of criminal investigation department,
Derbyshire, UK went to Punjab along with his Sikh NRI friend Balbir
Singh's native village Seham in Jalandhar district. He was shocked
to see the dilapidated government school. He said, "The elementary
school building was virtually falling apart. There were no desks,
chairs or writing implements in the school. He decided to raise
money in England for Punjab children.
Gee with the help of Ravinder set up an NGO - National Youth and
Education Development Organisation, Pb to construct a new building
for the school and provided furniture.
Mr. Gee raised more than $80,000 in UK including by a group of
mountaineers. He is also advisor to the home office on rape and
sexual offences and homicide in UK.
Ravinder Singh Kang, who is in charge of the Seham elementary
school said, ""Gee is considered a godsend and is very
highly respected in the area." The children love him and he
is addressed as 'gora' (white man) in the village.
Two more schools in the surrounding villages of Awanchaharmi and
Kang Sahboo are being constructed and should be operational very
UK cop is an angel for rural students
TIO, IP Singh &
29 Feb 2008
Dilapidated and crying for basic infrastructure, these schools
were adapted by Gee who, apart from raising the infrastructure,
also provided for the required number of teachers in the school.
The task of improving school education in rural Punjab to the extent
possible has now become a mission of his life. Residents and NRIs
from these villages have also started chipping in with their share
after being motivated by the efforts of a “Gora” (White
man as children call him).
He is now advisor to the home office on rape and sexual offences
and homicide in UK.
“I was appalled to see the building of government school
in Seham during my visit here with my NRI friend Balbir Singh from
this village and I decided to do something for the children here,”
First he mulled the idea to adapt one poor but intelligent child
for sponsoring his education but it enlarged into adapting the entire
school. Apart from contributing from his own pocket, he started
raising funds for the school by forming an NGO “Village Seham
School appeal,” he told TOI.
He got constructed a new building for the school and provided furniture
and fans, etc. In fact, what started as an effort for one school,
soon took the neighbouring school also in its hug. The NGO, now
named Child and Youth Development Organization, is collaborating
with a local NGO “Reach” and schools here have already
received funds to the tune of about Rs 40-50 lakhs from UK.
“My mission in life is that every student should get proper
education and financial constraints should not hinder their growth.
Education should be available to all without any consideration for
the paying ability of the student,” he said adding that he
was trying to motivate NRIs to contribute in this endeavour.
It is not just the infrastructure over which he has invested. He
also employed teachers wherever required and also started giving
scholarships to poor children. “Their families should have
no reason to withdraw the children from the schools,” he said.
Gee teaches basics of English and mathematics during his visits
“My parents were not very keen to let me continue studies,
but as I am getting scholarship of Rs 200 per month, they have no
qualms about my continuing in the school,” said Pooja Rani,
daughter of a daily wager and a student of standard VI in elementary
school in Singhpur Dona.
“Strength of students in our school has now risen and people
are more aware about educating their children,” said Rakesh
Kumar Aggrawal, a teacher in elementary school at Singh Dona. “Gee
goes from door to door motivating residents of the villages to send
their wards to school regularly,” revealed Baljit Singh, another