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Free Air, Rail Trips for Toppers

A government school principal in a nearby tiny community has offered free trips by air, rail, and car to kids who achieve academic success. The travels would be paid for out of pocket by Sandeep Sharma, principal of the Government Senior Secondary School in Balag. The peaceful community is around 60 kilometres from Shimla on the Kotkhai-Solan road.

Class 11 and 12 winners will be given the opportunity to go by plane to Chandigarh or Dharamshala, while class 9 and 10 winners will be given the opportunity to take the Kalka-New Delhi Shatabdi Express to Delhi. The top students in grades 6, 7, and 8 will be driven to Chandigarh, according to Mr. Sharma.

"This will not only lift their spirits but also give them exposure as not many of them have visited big cities. The students are already thrilled," he told PTI. Mr Sharma is of the opinion that sponsoring trips is a better idea than giving cash prizes as the students will get to see and learn new things and also feel confident.

He said the initiative has struck a chord with the students and they are spending more time studying. Previously, Mr Sharma had spent Rs 10 lakh on renovating the Government Senior Secondary School in Cheog, his alma mater.


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