Sunday, September 30, 2007

School named after Hannah in Darjeeling

29 Sep 2007, DARJEELING: Even as murdered British teenager Hannah Claire Foster's parents wait for justice, a school has been established at Dhotrey tea garden, about 30 km from Darjeeling, in her name. Jason Lepcha, who received Rs 3.67 lakh as reward for informing police about the whereabouts of Hannah's alleged killer Maninder Pal Singh Kohli has founded the school — Hannah Memorial Academy. "I am satisfied that the money is being spent on a noble cause," said Lepcha. The English-medium school, which has six teachers on its rolls, provides free primary education to the children of Dhotrey tea garden workers. "Most of the workers cannot afford to send their children to an English-medium school and since my grandfather owned land in Dhotrey, I decided to open the school with the money I received as reward," said Lepcha. Although the school was established last year, it started functioning only since February with four classrooms. Sixty-seven children have been provided with free stationery and uniforms by the school. "We have plans to upgrade it upto standard eight. I am trying to arrange funds for that," said Lepcha. Two British nationals, Christian and Rogers, are helping Lepcha in his endeavour.