The Dream of Golden Avatar

The dream of Golden Avatar started in 1998 with the humble vision of one undergraduate student in the small town of Nabadwip in West Bengal named Dalia Bhattacharya. She herself had struggled financially to receive an education and feeling fortunate to do so, made a conviction; "When I graduate, I'm going to do my best to help at least one other student to do so." After Dalia's graduation, one student became a few, which became twenty-four in 2009 when Golden Avatar Trust was registered. Over the past decade, Dalia has overcome the challenges from within and outside of the community with the support of her brother Banti and her daughter Gaurangi to entrench the school as a pillar of the community.

The project continues to grow today, with a current total of seventy-eight students being catered for, from grade one to upper secondary and tertiary. Still, this is not enough, as we have a waiting list well over two hundred - far beyond our current capacity.

The school has always grown with the support of people from overseas who have provided funds, tuition ranging from mathematics to film making and providing materials such as English books and stationery. Our connection to the international community is very strong on top of the foundation created by Dalia, Banti and Gaurangi and their connection to the locals.

Golden Avatar Today

Golden Avatar Trust's Education Initiative is still a small and developing program. We are currently not certified as an independent school in West Bengal due to our small size and minimal assets. Even so, as we grow, we continue to benefit many students. In the overcrowded public schools of this state of India, student-teacher time is minimal and it is a standard practice for a student to receive the majority of their instruction through private tuition. This is a huge problem for those who can hardly afford to attend public schools, what to speak of pay for private tuition.

This is where Golden Avatar Trust makes the biggest difference. Apart from providing all costs for a student’s government schooling, including uniforms, books and stationery and school fees, the Education Initiative program also functions as a private tutorial school, not only covering the government school syllabus, but introducing extra curricular activities such as arts, music, dance and sports.

Since moving from our previous school land (destroyed by the floods of 2015) Golden Avatar has acquired a half acre site in Srirampur, Nabadwip which has been used to run classes in the morning (and all day during the COVID pandemic) as well as a kitchen and guest house. Due to issues with obtaining produce due to supply chain issues caused by COVID, the community came together to farm the land to produce vegetables and food to feed the children. This interaction with the children, their parents and the community is one of the things that sets Golden Avatar apart.