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Hisar’s Chandulal Anglo-Vedic school: A century’s bond of philanthropy

Freedom fighter Lala Lajpat Rai and Arya Samaji Chhaju Ram helped in setting up the school; Arya Samaj is carrying forward the tradition.

punjab Updated: Jul 23, 2018 14:09 IST
Rajesh Moudgil
Rajesh Moudgil
Hindustan Times, Hisar
Chandulal Anglo-Vedic school,Chandulal Anglo-Vedic,Anglo-Vedic school
Started as an all-boys school, which admitted 1,200 students till a few years ago, the institution is co-educational today and admits 700 children. (Sikander Singh Chopra/HT)

Named after its founder and Arya Samaj reformer Chandulal Tayal a century ago, CAV High School in Hisar’s Purani Loha Mandi is true to its roots. Reaching out to generations, this school continues with its legacy of providing quality education to students through philanthropy.

Freedom fighter Lala Lajpat Rai and Arya Samaj reformer Chhaju Ram were initial donors. Chandulal Tayal set up the institution on eight acres donated by his younger brother, Harilal Tayal,
and him.

To reach it, one has to negotiate the overcrowded Nagori Gate business complex and the quieter Balsamund Road but the trip is worth the effort.

Started as an all-boys school, which admitted 1,200 students till a few years ago, the institution is co-educational today and admits 700 children. It also has a senior secondary branch, too. “The fall in the number of students is due to the mushrooming of schools in the city. We are striving to maintain standards and academic merit,” says Jagpal Sharma, the high school principal.

Lessons for life

Old-timers recall how the school band was known across the town and called upon to perform at Independence and Republic Day celebrations in the district.

Businessman and philanthropist Radhey Shyam Arya, 63, who passed out of the high school in 1972, says, “Jat School and Harji Ram Arya School were CAV’s rivals back then. But our school was the best. The principal, who we remember as Mr Kanwar, was an easy-going person. He would sometimes agree to declare a holiday on our request when the weather was good!”

But all teachers can’t be alike. He still remembers how they used to be punished. “Our PT teacher, Dogra Sahib, used to pinch our ears till they went numb. The principal would tear off a branch of the school ‘neem’ tree and use it as a cane.”

Teachers took pains

Harish Lohiya, who was in Class 10 in 1969 and is general secretary of the school’s Old Students Association (OSA), says, “Teachers taught with rare devotion. It’s unlike today where school education often seems to be a burden for many and is meant to produce employees.” He credits teachers like Surya Kumar Arya (English), Omdutt Shastri (Sanskrit, Hindi), Vinod Kumar Shaily (Maths), Mohan Lal Kamra (Sciences) and Jay Kanwar (Maths) with having that rare skill of finding talent and then taking responsibility of grooming it.

“Shastri ji noticed my interest in writing poetry. He not only encouraged me but also often gave me the Bhagavad Gita and other religious books as prizes,” he recalls.

Rakesh Aggrawal, a 1977-matriculate, heads the OSA. “I remember vividly the punishment I got for speaking out of turn. I was in Class 10. Aryaji, who was my father’s friend, asked the class the feminine gender of colt. With no one knowing the answer, we were caned. I abruptly said that it had not been discussed in the class, while also giving the answer. The teacher nodded, but caned me nevertheless,” Aggarwal says.

He has a fond memory. “At our OSA meets we often recalled how people who had joined the National Cadet Corps took home milk and four sweets as refreshment,” he says.

Envy of others

Arya Samaj Hisar city chapter president Hari Singh Saini, 83, shares an interesting perspective.

Saini, who served as a minister in the Devi Lal government in 1988, says, “I studied at Jat School but we envied CAV students. We went to school in striped pyjamas or half-pants. They had a better uniform. CAV students were better than us in academics and co-curricular
activities. Jat School excelled in
sports but we respected certain kabaddi players of CAV, specially Sher Singh
or Shera.”

Saini’s association with the Arya Samaj, the organisation that runs the school, has been for more than 50 years. “Today, a teacher fears a police case if he scolds his pupil. But back in those days, there was a better equation between pupils and teachers,” he says.

Litterateur, media baron among school’s alumni

CAV School’s alumni include Hindi litterateur late Vishnu Prabhakar; former defence minister of Mauritius, Dhanpat Lal Bhima; minister in the Bansi Lal government, late Virender Singh; minister in Devi Lal government, late Baldev Tayal; media baron and BJP Rajya Sabha member Subhash Chandra; Rajya Sabha member Ramji Lal; justice AP Chaudhry, IAS officer HK Jain and Indian Revenue Service officer Nathu Ram, to name a few.

OSA president Rakesh Aggarwal and general secretary Harish Lohia say
that efforts are on to regain the school’s lost glory and bring it on a par with the best in the region.

“The fee is minimal and the Arya Samaj runs the school. As OSA
members, we used to give scholarships to class toppers and teachers for ou standing performances till 2003,” Lohia says. The OSA plans to revive alumni meetings and upgrade infrastructure.

(With inputs from Bhaskar Mukherjee)

First Published: Jul 23, 2018 14:07 IST