x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

The Indian High School in Dubai inspires community

The Indian High School in Dubai has come a long way. Celebrating its golden jubilee this week, the Indian community looked back at what has been a source of pride for many.

The Indian High School in Dubai has come a long way. Celebrating its golden jubilee this week, the Indian community looked back at what has been a source of pride for many.

From the flat where Hemkala Behn started teaching 10 children in 1950 to today's high-tech classrooms, the school holds a special place in the hearts of former pupils who visit it.

Nilesh Ved, the chairman of the Apparel Group, graduated in 1988. He remembers a couple of temporary locations for the school, including being housed within a building that functioned as the Indian Association as well, and another one that was closer to Sharjah than Dubai.

While he was in school, Ved watched it expand rapidly.

A few weeks ago, Ved returned to see the new classrooms, and said, "During our time, we were learning to type. We had typewriters!"

The school boasts several other noteworthy alumni.

Rhea Nair, 21, is one of India's most promising female golfers. After her father discovered her golfing talents in Dubai, where she would tee off with him on the greens at the age of nine, he was determined to chart a better life for his daughter. So he sent her to a specialised boarding school in the United States, where she trained as a golfer.

She remembers her time in Dubai's Indian High School as academically challenging.

Several other alumni credit the school, which is older than the UAE, with developing their skills for lifelong learning.

Many Indian families have lived in the emirate for more than five generations, and establishing the school meant parents could, for the first time, educate their children without sending them out of the country.

This week, thousands of current and former pupils gathered at the school to pay tribute to a cause that has changed and touched so many lives.