Dr. Bhasker Banjara and Mr. Rasiklal Banjara started Nividya Trust in 2004 in Savarkundla to work in conjunction with NeVidya (USA). Nividya is a Sanskrit word for ‘new type of education.’ Its objectives were to improve the level of education and overall socio-economic development of the 100,000 inhabitants of Savarkundla town. Savarkundla is a small city in Amreli District, an economically backward region of Gujarat State. Savarkundla was once famous across India for its high-quality traditional weighing-scale industry. This industry was labour intensive but since automation and technology progressed, the demand for manual scales has virtually died.

In June 2004, Nividya Trust started primary schools in three different slums of Savarkundla – Shram Jivi Nagar, Kevda Para and Daasi Jivan Nagar. After careful consideration of various options, Gyan Shala method of teaching was adopted. Gyan Shala was established by a group of educators including Indian Institute of Management consultants
The Gyan Shala programme is based on teaching children in slum areas, up to standard 4, for 3 hours daily, to teach Gujarati, Mathematics, Creative Arts and about the Environment and teachers to follow exact daily schedules and timings of each standard.

In 2006, Nividya Trust managed to get a generous donation from some UK donors to build a purpose-built school for about 150 children. The school was built and was soon fully subscribed and run in 2 shifts – morning for standard 1 and 2 and afternoon for standard 3 and 4. Nividya teaching proved to be so popular that demand for places grew and soon small schools in 4 different locations were started by 2010.

New development after BET take over

Street children’s schools’ project became part of BET in June 2010. At that time, there was the main school built in 2006 and another four small schools being run from rented properties situated in different parts of Savarkundla slum areas so that the children would not have to travel far. It was difficult to manage all these different sites especially the ones which were being rented – the building and the environment were in a residential setting in the slums and not conducive for a learning atmosphere. For Dr. Bhaskar & Suwarna Banjara, who started this project, running all these schools was taking its toll on their health and were finding it difficult to manage physically and financially. Several meetings were held between Pujya Bapu, Ajay Gudka and the Banjara’s before it was agreed to take over the running of the schools. Prime motivation in the decision process was that such good work had been initiated and it should not be lost and also the children were benefitting from the education they were getting and it fulfilled BET’s objective of educating underprivileged children.

After BET took over the management of Nividya schools and running them for a couple of years, it soon became apparent that the four small schools were not viable due to location and staffing issues. It was decided that a new purpose-built school should be built to accommodate the children from these four schools and in a central location. After researching the location with the help of local people, BET found some vacant land in a central position that was for sale. The land was bought and soon a UK donor came forward to finance this project. An 8-classroom school was built and completed by June 2015. The 4 small schools were closed and all the children shifted to the new school.