The First Batch of Fabindians

From our archives, great stories to share!
Back row (left to right):  Himanshu Mehta, Nitin Bhandari, Surbhi Sharma, Parag Sharma
Front row:  Nikhil Jain, Dilip Rajpurohit, Nimendra Raj Singh, Sharad Jain, Kranali Rajpurohit
Volunteer:  Marc Loon (in the centre)

Where they are today:  
Himanshu Mehta received a Bachelors of Engineering in Electronics followed by an MBA.  He is working in Noida, UP. 
Nitin Bhandari received a Bachelors of Engineering in Computer Sciences followed by an MBA.  He is a brand manager with the Bajaj company in Mumbai.
Surbhi Sharma describes herself on Facebook as the “first girl of the first batch”.  She went on to receive a Masters in English Literature and is currently doing a B. Ed.  She is married and has a daughter.   She lives in Udaipur, Rajasthan. 
Parag Sharma is a senior software engineer in Bangalore. 
Nikhil Jain received a Bachelors of Engineering followed by an MBA.  Today he is a telecom consultant in Pune.  
Dilip Rajpurohit completed his MBBS and is a doctor in Pali, Rajasthan.
Nimendra Raj Singh is an assistant engineer with the Electricity Board in Falna, Rajasthan.  He is also a member of The Fabindia School management board. 
Sharad Jain graduated from the Centre for Learning in Bangalore and started an alternative school three years ago called Shibumi in Bangalore. 
Kranali Rajpurohit graduated from Mumbai University and worked with a real estate agent for many years.  She is currently the mother of a one-year-old and plans to start a business in computers.  
Marc Loon, 41, was a volunteer teacher from South Africa in the 1990s.  The learning was obviously mutual; Marc inspired his student Nimendra (see alumni notes) to become an engineer, and Marc, in turn, was inspired by his wonderful time in Bali to start an alternative school in Johannesburg called the Kairos School.
Alumni Reflections
From Nimendra Raj Singh (1993 – 1998) 
Every year the students used to organize an entrepreneurship fair and market.  We had to come up with an idea and market it.  I remember bringing my cycle and offering people a ride in exchange for money.  Others sold food items or made other things that could be sold.  It taught us about managing money, profit and loss. 
We used to go on jungle walks – climb trees, sight birds, collect nests that had fallen down.  For morning assembly we would sit under a tree.  There were no prayers.  Instead, we sang songs in different languages.  I used to show off at home that I knew songs in 20 languages. 
The school instilled a sense of confidence in me.  We always thought that the school did not teach us much.  We never realized how much we learnt about other things.  When I left for college, I never felt I was weak in any thing.  My proudest moment was when I participated in seven events during the annual function at Jaipur Engineering College and was nominated Mr Fresher.  Everyone was surprised and asked me where I had learned so much. 
I remember experimenting with drip irrigation, long before it became common in Rajasthan.  We took a plastic box with water and a piece of thread and tied one end of the thread to the root of a plant.   There was a strong practical orientation in all the learning. 
Mark Loon, a volunteer from South Africa, took us to visit the electricity substation to learn about the Corona effect and transmission loss.  I think this visit must have inspired me to become an engineer and join the Electricity Board.  
From Nikhil Jain (1992 – 1998)
I have never seen a school that gave us so much freedom – freedom to be who we wanted to be and do what we wanted to do.  I attribute what I am today and my success to The Fabindia School.  My analytical abilities, my communication skills, my critical thinking; it is all thanks to the school.  
The fact that we are all still in touch with each other also proves the close bonds that the school nurtured.   I want to take my wife there so she can see what a lovely school I studied in. 
From Sharad Jain  (1992 – 1998)   
The Fabindia School started as an alternative school.  I got the best of what it had to offer.   I remember participating in a workshop facilitated by Nandita Das (now a famous actress) and discovering my passion for theatre.   Volunteers, such as Julie Sommer (USA) and Clare Saunders (UK), used to read English to us and built the foundations of my knowledge of English.  Today, when I read to the students in my school, I often remember them.  
I really want to thank William and Ravi today.  I remember as a student, I often used to tell them that if I did not get a job because of this “weird” school, they would have to give me a job at Fabindia selling cloth!  Today I know that the school helped me to find my true calling, inspiring me to become a teacher and start a school in Bangalore. 
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