A LATE Leamington philanthropist would be proud to see the school which was his vision as it prepares to celebrate its tenth anniversary.
The Buwan Kothi Internatonal Trust (UK) 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.
Gilly was inspired after he, 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 of Haryana in 2005 to celebrate their marriage.
But two years later Gilly tragically died aged just 36 after suffering a brain haemorrhage.
But his family and friends were determined to see his dream realised and the Gilly Mundy Memorial Community School is now thriving.
And they are sure Gilly would be immensely proud to see how well the school is doing today. It now provides an education to more than 800 children, many of which from poorer families could only dream of such an education before the school opened a decade ago.
His brother Jas said: “Gilly wanted to see kids given the opportunity of an education and that’s what the school is doing.
“It is a private school, but whereas most private schools in India are driven by profit, education comes first at the Gilly School. All money raise is ploughed back into the education of the pupils.
“We hope by providing the opportunity of an education, we will see pupils go on and graduate and get good jobs, and that is something Gilly would certainly have been proud of.”
And Gilly’s dad Mota was equally sure his son would have been pleased to see the school helping youngsters from poor families get an education by providing assisted places.
He said: “We are very proud that 25 per cent of the children are from low income families, supported by our assisted places scheme. Much of the funding for this scheme comes from the generous monthly standing orders from our supporters. The fund is known as the Dr James Partridge Fund, in memory of one of our earliest supporters, and founder trustees.”
And to mark the tenth anniversary a new wing of the primary school section will be named in honour of Hannah Griffiths – wife of former Leamington mayor Tom – who left £64,000 in her will for the benefit of the Gilly School.
That is being used to extend the range of education to secondary level, and next year the school is set to have more than 1,000 pupils.
Mr Singh was 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.
“Hannah always took a great interest in the school and was a regular donor over the years.”
Mr Singh was also keen to thank all the too many to name supporters who have helped realise Gilly’s dream.
He added: “There are now 835 students – we also welcome children with special needs – 35 teaching staff, and 25 support staff.
“Gilly really only imagined a small school. He would have been amazed to see it today.”
Visit www.buwankothi.org.uk for further details, and to make a donation.