Volume - 4 : Issue - 4

Published : Oct. - Dec. 2005

Group : Personalities


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Where Studying is a Bliss

by Tina Lewis

Kamla Girls High School, Mumbai, was established in 1909 at West Hyderabad in SIND (now in Pakistan). After the partition the same school was built in Mumbai at Khar. In 1948 they changed over to co-educational school, from the pre-primary to the junior college level, which encourages extra curricular activities and also value education.

Kamla Institution has 4 sections:-
1. Pre-Primary
2. Primary
3. Secondary
4. Junior College

Rekha Shahani, Principal since 2003, wants everyone to describe this institution as ‘THE HAPPENING SCHOOL’. She makes the children of her school learn on a day-to-day curriculum. She even feels that the children be taught to face situations like calamities and disasters. These are the essentials towards building a stable and well balanced mind. Kamla High School is proud to be a part of the British Council’s Department for International Development Programme which promotes Partnership between schools in UK and other countries. It even benefits the students from the International Links providing opportunities to meet and interact with people from different parts of the world.

Till today KHS has won 2 Awards.  One is from the British Council – the International School Award for having qualified for outstanding development of the International dimension of the curriculum, on 2nd August 2005 at New Delhi. Kamla High School has the right to the use of the International School Award Logo for a period of three years. The second award is for the Recycling Wastage project from the British Council – the first one being the Global Curriculum Project award under the British Council’s Global School Partnerships Programme.

Students from KHS have taken part in the Recycling Wastage programme. They re-use everything from papers, bottles and stamps even leftover popcorn into imaginative decorations or objects of daily use. KHS is involved in various events organized by them and even students from UK and Pakistan have visited KHS for learning Recycling wastage and to gain awareness about Indian Culture.


She is energetic, she is graceful, and she is dedicated to her mission. To nurture nation builders of tomorrow’s India.  Having completed her schooling from Kamla High School herself and now the Principal of the very same school Rekha Shahani, handles her position with quiet dignity.

She conducts workshops for teachers, parents, students, the corporate sector, school teachers in villages, Class IV workers and street children. Her interests are varied. Her hobbies range from music and dancing to reading, writing, travelling and meeting people. Her love for Peace made her participate in the Indo-Pak People to People Dialogue for Peace and Prosperity held at Asia Plateau, Panchgani some time ago.
Mrs. Rekha Shahani, Principal, Kamla High School, Khar, Mumbai, talks passionately to Tina Lewis in an exclusive interview about her passion for the educational field, her love for the Kamla High School and how she grooms the children of her school to become the nation builders of tomorrow.

Why did you take to the field of education and teaching?

Because of my passion and love for children.

Let us know some thing about you, your interests, hobbies, dreams, ambitions etc.

I am an Ex-student of Kamla High School, with a B. A. degree in Economics & Commerce from Jai Hind College and Masters in Sociology from Mumbai University. Besides I have also cleared Home Science from University of Mumbai and the Special Mental Health Course of SNDT Educational Leadership Course from West Georgia University in USA. I love reading, music, dancing, traveling and interacting with people.

What are the unique features and special advantages for students of your school?

1)  We provide breakfast & milk to our economically backward students everyday.
2)  Our Brotherhood Association gives freeship and books to the needy students.
3)  Students are sponsored and offered scholarships for further studies & we have helped many of them take up different professions.
4)  Our International Links provide opportunities for them to meet and interact with people from different parts of the world.

How many children are there and what is the pass percentage at SSC and HSC?

We have 1526 students studying from Nursery to Standard Twelfth. The pass percentage for SSC (Secondary School Certificate) Standard Tenth is 85% and for HSC (Higher Secondary Certificate) Standard Twelfth 99%.

Can you name some important alumni (ex-students) of your school?

Dadi Sita Samtani is the Founder Principal of Kamla High School.
Ms. Savitri Gurbaxani, Ms. Jyoti Tanna - Director – Each One Teach One,
Ms. Aruna Ghosh – Social Worker (Canada),
Ms. Juhi Ahuja – President & CEO - 1500 S, Dairy Ashford, Houston
Ms. Koshu Jagesia – Professor (Chicago),
Ms. Bharati Gopalani (Education),
Mr. Suri Lulla – Social Worker now based in Dubai.
Mr. G. L. Raheja – Renowned Builder of India.
Mr. Chandru Gurbaxani – Taxation (Siemens)
Mr. Santosh Shetty – Lawyer
Mr. Subash & Mr. Suhas Parab – Musicians
Mr. Chandru Bijlani – Builder
Mr. Dilip Mirchandani – Educationist
Mr. Ashok Dadlani – Theater Owner (London)
Mr. Hiroo Wadhwani – President Kinetic
Mr. Raju Mirchandani – Airmail Pens Co.
Dr. Meena Malkani – Pediatrician
Mr. Dilip Vaswani – Dress Designer (Dubai)
Dr. Dilip Mulchandani
Mr. Kishore Raheja – Builder
Mr. Bhagwan Mirchandani – Businessman (Hong Kong)
Mr. Madan Jumani – Dramatist
Mr. Naren Chawla – Engineer (USA)
Mr. Sunil Advani – Film Producer/Director
Mr. Jaidev Devnani – Leading Businessman (Dubai)
Mr. Apurva Agnihotri – Actor
Mr. Gordhan Kukreja – Vice President – Legal Advisor to K. Raheja
Mr. Harish Kundnani – Uttam Electronics
Mr. Girish Wadhwani – Businessman (London)
Mr. Mohan & Mr. Kanhaiya Lalwani - Social workers & Businessmen
Mr. Suren Gurubaxani – Set Makers & Decorators
Mr. Raj Kriplaney
Bharvani & Brothers – Jetking India Ltd.
and many more.

How does the school generate its finances?

Apart from fees from the students, well-wishers, donors & ex-students give donation from time to time

What is the main motto of education taught to the students in your school?

1.  Our school logo depicts all religions. We have morning assembly during which we recite prayers from different scriptures.
2.  We train our students in such a manner that they focus on character building and grow to be better citizens apart from gaining academic excellence.
3.  Value Education where they are taught how to keep the environment clean and hygienic.

What according to you interests the children most in your school, apart from studies?

Kalpataru; the wishing tree which takes place twice a year on the birth and death Anniversary of the founder Dada Nirmaldas Gurbaxani. All the children are given toys and stationery which they choose at his Samadhi, Inter School Competition are held, links with school abroad are cultivated, outings and co-curricular activities are conducted.

What are the sports and extra curricular activities that you have for the students?

Cricket, Karate, Carom, Chess, Elocution, Music, Dance, Drama, fancy dress, drawing competitions etc. 

The College’s endowment is a key factor in our ability to create new opportunities and meet future challenges. What are your plans for strengthening Kamla’s endowment?

We not only look at academics – but at all the facets of the child’s growth by means of extracurricular activities. We try to make it interesting so students can participate in these activities. We teach the importance of recycling to the students

What roles do you see the alumni playing in the life of the School?

Some have come back as teachers, others make sure that they are here for our Annual Day Celebrations; some try to help out by funding either students or the school

What do you see as the role of today’s parents in the lives of their children who are school and college students?

In today’s world parents are over ambitious for theirs kids.  They want to see their dreams come true through their kids’ achievements.  They have different standards for themselves and their kids.  Not many parents are role model for their children.  Today we find more anxious parents then before which leads to highly stressed children. 

One of the joys of a liberal education is that it prepares people to continue learning throughout their lives. In what ways do you continue learning?

I read a lot; attend lots of workshops, conferences and seminars all over the world.  I join courses connected to my professional and spiritual growth.

What kind of message would you like to give to the students?

Take courses which are not common.  Have atleast one hobby that keeps you going throughout your life. Experience the power of silence. Respect elders and always remember there is only you and only you can make that differences in life.

What are the current events on campus?

Students are preparing for the H-West Ward Science Exhibition.
Inter school competition Quiz and Allocation
Students are leaving for Wardha and Tadoba on an Educational Trip.
We even have the Exchange Programs in December ’05. Students and teachers are coming from Jameshdpur to learn how to recycle waste.

How do you tackle the problems of under privileged or economically backward class students in your school?

There are councilors who guide the students and for some students we help by waiving their fees. We have friends and well-wishers who provide them clothes, books and necessary educational help. There are even teachers from our school who visit students’ houses to offer help; others help the students in their studies by coming early and going late without extra fees. We have Dr. R.H. Kalro who visits our institution to council our students like many others.