A generous legacy from the family of Mrs Hope Osborne, who died in the Royal United Hospital Bath earlier this year, aged 93, has been donated to Cobra Foundation to support developments at the Tryamboli Vidyalaya School in India. The School is 280 miles south of Mumbai. Mrs Osborne’s daughter Jane will be visiting the School in February 2017 with her husband, Professor Gerard Conway. A report and new photographs will be provided on their return. Additional donations can be made at any time through the Foundation and all will be acknowledged.

Tryamboli Vidyalaya in 2012

Tryamboli Vidyalaya in 2012

Tryamboli Vidyalaya is a primary school in Kolhapur, Maharashtra. It began life in a single cowshed and was set up to take the poorest children in the neighbourhood who would otherwise be working from as young as 5 years old. Funded by small grants, it expanded to accommodate 220 children in 7 classes with as many as 30 in each, but still lacked basic resources such as drinking water, electricity, desks and chairs, and the classrooms were airless and cramped.

Tryamboli Vidyalaya in 2016 with the addition of the new classrooms.

Tryamboli Vidyalaya in 2016 with the addition of the new classrooms.

Since the plight of the school was discovered in 2012, new sponsorship from local and overseas charities has transformed conditions there. The building of 2 new and spacious classrooms has had the immediate benefit of opening up space for teaching activities, and provided a sheltered canteen during the rainy season and intense summer heat. In the long term, the new rooms have enabled the school to become an exam centre for access to higher education, an incentive to continue studying beyond primary school. Essential amenities such as drinking water and electricity for fans (temperatures reach 40C and above), and desks and benches in all the classrooms, has also vastly improved conditions for children and teachers.

Tryamboli Vidyalaya classroomNow fund raising efforts are focused on building an enclosed courtyard around the school, which is built on open land and therefore exposed and unprotected. Plans are afoot to create a garden where the children can play as the majority live in crowded conditions, an entire family in one room, and in a chaotic urban environment. They also come from homes lacking enough money for books so the pupils would greatly benefit from a small library.