It was the year 1989 - That was the year that Dr. D. K. Paul Raj (Late) and his family moved into a new community; a community that was surrounded by a quarry village. Men, women, and children worked like slaves in this harsh environment. Little things that children would take for granted like playing, chatting with friends, dreaming, going to school etc, were things only to dream of for the kids in the quarry. The children who worked in the quarries had to work in the hot scorching sun when the granite became extremely hot; they worked amidst dynamite blasts; they often worked under falling loose rock.
When the more privileged children went to school each day, these children would go back to work in these harsh environments. The sight was heart-wrenching. The plight of this community was unimaginable. The Raj family decided that they must do something about this situation. While talking to people in these communities they realized that these people and their families had been employed here for generations. Lack of education and skill had prevented them from taking up any other vocation or job. It was decided that Education was the key to development. Education would create a huge difference in the lives of these abused people. Education would give them a hope of a better future; a brighter future.
Sinclair’s High School was established in the year 1990 in the front room of the Paul Raj family home. Mrs. Violet Paul Raj began visiting these quarries and would literally beg parents to send their children to school. Education was a concept that was alien to these people. Education, they thought, was only for the privileged. The concept of a better future never occurred to them. They were a people who worried about their next meal. The concept of a brighter and better life in the distant future was something they could not understand. The task was an uphill one. To convince people of the importance of education was very difficult. There were eight children who first attended Sinclair’s High School. Mrs. Violet would cut their hair, clip their nails, and sometimes give them a bath before she would sit them down to study.
Soon the number of students began to increase. The quarry owners hated it. Their work force was being crippled. Some parents hated it as well, as the children were a part of the family's income. But the work of the school continued amidst threats, persecutions, and lack of support and funds.
Today, Sinclair’s High School educates 600 children on a daily basis. 1000's have gone through the system going on into better lives. With classes for reception to 10th grade, the school continues to make a difference in the lives of thousands of people, serving communities in the fields of education, health, vocational training, adult literacy, awareness, etc. “Education is my Birth Right, Freedom is my Birth Right” says one of the children from the quarry village. The change is exciting.
Quality Education in India is a privilege of a wealthy few. Government schools offer free education but the quality is not noteworthy. Sinclair’s High School caters to the poorest of the poor, with full sponsorship and scholarship programs for hundreds of deserving students, creating a difference in the lives of many people. As the founder fondly said, "there are no great things in this world, only small things with great love".