Indian school that boasts of 300 students who can write with both hands, stares at shutdown for want of funds; pleads global community for help

An Indian school that boasts of 300 students who can write with both hands is staring at a possible shutdown. Since the school administration hasn’t been able to pay salary to the teachers for the past six month, they are threatening to quit en mass. 

Virangat Prasad Sharma, the founder of Veena Vadini School at Budhela, Singrauli district of Madha Pradesh, has even started an online fundraiser to save the school from imminent shut down. 

The school that has as many as 300 ambidextrous students has been termed “the eighth wonder of the world” by visiting foreign scholars. Globally, only one in million people can write with both hands. But all the students at Veena Vadini school can write with both their left and right hands, with some able to do both at the same time — in different languages or subjects.

India’s first President Dr Rajendra Prasad was ambidextrous and this inspired Sharma, an ex-armyman, to train the students in his school to achieve the same skills. The school was established in the year 1999 and scholars from South Korea and the UK have visited the school to do a research on ambidexterity.

So how does the school manage to train children to write with both hands? “When a new student comes, I let them settle in for 2 to 3 days after that I ask them to write. For 15 sometime, I observe them and then urge them to use both the hands. In some days, they usually get adept at writing with both hands. And now, our students can write different subjects simultaneously with each hand. 

The school serves a very high purpose in these parts. There are several state-run schools in the area but they are often termed ‘inefficient’ by the parents and students alike. This is the only school that endeavors to impart quality education to its students. For most of these students belonging to poor families Veena Vadini is their only hope to get quality education. “If the schoolremains functional, it will it continue to fill a gaping hole in educational facilities in Singrauli. 

“Our teachers work hard and I think we must pay them for their services. We are facing some financial problems and are unable to pay the teachers, But if we can make arrangements I am sure this school can produce some very bright and promising individuals,” says Sharma. 

The parents are well-aware of the fact that in the event of a shutdown, their children would have to go back to ‘incompetent government schools’, but their first priority is to feed the family than putting their children through school.

“Government schools are not good. They barely make efforts to teach students. The kids like to learn at Veena Vadini school. They can write with both hands, they can also write math tables. This is why we chose this school for our children,” says homemaker and parent Kumari Kewalpati Viswakarma.

Her daughter Anita Vishwakarma outrightly rejects the idea of going back to the state-run school. “I told my mother that I won’t study in a government school, they don’t teach properly, after that I came to this school to study. Now, I can write properly with both hands,” says Anita.

If regular students write a paper in a three-hour, these students, claims Sharma, can finish it in maximum one hour or one and a half hour. Apart from teaching the general curriculum, the school encourages its students to learn different languages. Most students in the school can read and write English, Hindi, Urdu and Sanskrit.

“We are having financial problems. If we can make arrangements to pay the teachers then I am sure the school can produce some very bright individuals,” says Sharma.

For the students, this is their only shot at quality education. “If the school shuts down, these bright kids would have to go back the state-run schools where they won’t learn a thing. Their talent and intelligence will go waste. So please help me save their future,” says Sharma, who has managed to keep the school up and running for around a decade, but he cannot do so without help from people.