Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall visits The Doon School boys’ programmes of women’s empowerment and community outreach
The boys and staff of The Doon School and underprivileged children from schools it supports welcomed HRH, The Duchess of Cornwall, to their campus in Dehradun on Thursday 7th November.
HRH The Duchess of Cornwall visited the school, which in 1930s India pioneered the concept of schoolchildren taking on social service as the core of their education in India, and met women and children benefitting from projects initiated and aided by Doon School boys and teachers. Amongst their numerous local and regional programmes, The Duchess was particularly interested in the boys’ support for women’s empowerment through microfinance and vocational training of girls in villages, as well girls’ education in the numerous slum and village schools directly supported by The Doon School. The school’s aim is to produce ethical citizens and principled leaders to fulfill its mission of creating a genuinely meritocratic India in the twenty-first century. As part of her visit, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall also saw underprivileged children who regularly work with boys in the school’s art studios, interact with the children and staff of ‘Waste Warriors’, an NGO committed to ending waste and visual pollution in Dehradun and other districts, and see a photographic record of the relief and community support work that over two hundred boys from The Doon School recently began in the hill villages of Uttarakhand devastated by the floods of June 2013. The Doon School has committed itself to a long-term relief and reconstruction effort to rebuild villages, schools and livelihoods in the region. The Headmaster, Dr. Peter McLaughlin, said: “We have been told that The Duchess of Cornwall is especially interested in girls’ education and women’s empowerment across the globe, so we were so pleased that she had an opportunity to see our work in that domain. We think that it is vital for our boys, many of whom go on to leadership roles in India and across the world, to take responsibility for the plight of women in India through these service programmes and our collaboration with NGOs working in a number of fields.”