Thane resident Sujatha Bangera's daughter was in one of the best schools in town. But last year, Bangera, a single mother, decided to send her to a boarding school in Karjat. The move from Singhania School in Thane to the India First Foundation School (IFFS) in Karjat was something that Bangera felt compelled to make.
"It was difficult for me to concentrate on my job and look after her," said Bangera, a working parent. "It was a little difficult at the start, but now my daughter likes it so much that she is waiting for the holidays to get over."
IFFS, set up in 2009, is one of the many new, private boarding schools that have opened in Maharashtra in the past few years and are witnessing a spike in the number of applications.
Jaded by city life, parents are increasingly looking to send their children to sylvan parts of the state where green campuses and the facilities available offer students the opportunities that city schools can't.
For instance, the Mahindra United World College in Pune boasts a biodiversity reserve, Anubhuti School is a designated "green campus" and Indus International School has a 1000-seater amphitheatre and vast sports complex.
"Children get to live in a sheltered, pollution-free environment, where within one complex you have access to all activities," said Meera Sain, principal of Cathedral Vidya School, which opened in 2009.
Parents are ready to face separation for the promise of a better, well-rounded education. "Of course I miss him," said Firoza Karani, who pulled her son out of St Mary's School to send him to Cathedral Vidya. "But it's for his own betterment, and he is maturing to be a well-rounded child."