SCHOOLCHILDREN in India are to benefit from the generosity of a former Leamington mayor and his wife.
Hannah Griffiths has left £65,000 in her will to the The Buwan Kothi Internatonal Trust (UK) which founded the Gilly Mundy Memorial Community School in Haryana.
The trust was set up by Gilly Mundy – son of former Leamington mayor and long time councillor Mota Singh – in 2006 to raise money to build a school after Gilly, new wife Debbie, and family and friends, had been overwhelmed by the warm welcome and hospitality received when they travelled to the north Indian state to celebrate their marriage.
Tragically Gilly died suddenly two years later aged just 36, but his father and friends were determined to see his dream realised, and the school is now providing an education to nearly 700 youngsters.
The bequest of Mrs Griffiths, wife of late former Leamington mayor Tom, will enable the school to expand from a primary to a secondary school.
Mr Singh had been friends of Hannah and Tom for over 40 years.
He told The Observer: “Hannah and Tom were especially supportive to me during my difficult times when my wife died, and then Hannah supported me when Gilly died. As well as being my good friends, Tom was my teacher when I attended Mid-Warwickshire College.
“Hannah always took a great interest in the school and was a regular donor over the years. She was especially glad to know about our Assisted Places Scheme which ensures that over 20 per cent of the students come from families who would not be able to afford the fees.
“This bequest will be used to build an extra eight rooms at the school, making a second storey on the primary school. This will then qualify us to apply to the Central Board of Secondary Education in Delhi to be come a senior secondary school.
“Once finished, the whole building will be named in their memory.”
The trust is continuing to raise funds, and is currently working towards building an assembly hall and buying three new buses to transport pupils from outlying areas.
Visit www.buwankothi.org.uk for further details.