Sainik School, Kunjpura: A nursery of men in olive green
With the distinction of having produced about 50 generals, including a chief of army staff, the Sainik School, Kunjpura (SSK) also has to its credit sending the most cadets to the NDA in the last 58 years. The school is situated off the GT Road, 8km from Karnal in Haryana.
Set up with first five sainik schools of the country in 1961, the school has sent over 800 cadets to NDA and about 1,000 personnel to defence forces. Not surprising then that it has won the Raksha Mantri Trophy nine times.
Spread over 276 acres, SSK has a perfect blend of modern and old architecture. Its main administrative block, which is named after its alumnus and former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, was constructed in 1900 by Mohammad Ibrahim Ali Khan, the erstwhile nawab of Kunjpura for the wedding party of his daughter. The building has got 365 windows and doors, representing 365 days of a year.
It had earlier housed the prestigious Punjab Police Academy (PPA). Opposite to this heritage building is the NDA Block surrounded by a lush green lawn, named after another alumnus Gen Deepak Kapoor, who served as the 23rd army chief.
Schooling And Facilities
Staff members claim SSK endeavors to nurture every talent in a student by providing the best of the facilities and infrastructure for the all-round development of an individual.
Besides the specially designed classrooms, there is adventure club, English language lab, conference hall, multi-media smart classrooms, computer labs, lecture hall, NDA cell and a neurobic lab photography club, motivation hall, music and dance club, horse riding club, karate club, etc. which prepare the students for the country’s most crucial job.
Alumni and Students
Besides producing top officers such as former army chief Gen Deepak Kapoor, Maj Gen Bishamber Dayal (retd), Air Marshal Paramjit Singh Bhangu (retd), the school also has a long list of valiant sons — Lt Vijay Pratap Singh, 2/Lt Navneet Swaraj, Maj Teja Singh Bedi, Lt Ram Prakash Roperia (all Ashok Chakra); Maj Rajiv Kumar Joon (Shaurya Chakra and Ashok Chakra); Maj Mahender Singh Dahiya, Maj Sajjan Singh Gehlawat (Shaurya Chakra), Maj Neeraj Malik (Ashok Chakra) — who laid down their lives for the motherland.
“Our martyrs are our real heroes. They have glorified their school by laying down their lives for the country,” says principal Col Vijay Dutt Chandola. The school has students from almost all parts of the country, suggesting that the institution is a favourite.
“My parents wanted me to join the Indian Army and SSK was the best choice for me to fulfil their expectations. This school provides everything to its students to realise their dream,” Abhinav, a Class 12 student.
Currently, the all-boys school has a strength of 633 from Class 6 to 12 and 100 to 120 new students join every year. “I joined this school in Class 6, because I want to be a soldier. In the past six years, I have learned the importance of discipline, got the best of education and physical training,” said another student Nitin Malik.
The annual expenditure of the SSK is around Rs 12 crore and it gets the financial support from the ministry of defence and Haryana government. The school earns about Rs 5 crore in fee from 630 students. The capital expenditure on land and buildings is met by the state government.
The state government also awards scholarships. The defence ministry provides scholarships to wards of defence personnel, including ex-servicemen, to whom 25 per cent seats are reserved. “We try to provide the best teaching, coaching and training, that’s why12-20 students from our school join the NDA every year,” says the principal.