K-12: Our Culture & Philosophy

Not only do we provide the best education, healthcare, and nutritious meals, we also empower our students to believe in themselves

Produce a change in mindset to overcome societal stigma

All of our students are born into extreme poverty and face societal stigma. In order to overcome barriers to success, they have to believe in themselves and demonstrate perseverance and courage. Through positive affirmation and unconditional love, our students assume confidence in their abilities and potential. 

Create an environment of excellence & security

For the majority of our students, homelife is chaotic and wrought with insecurity: little food available, abuse and alcoholism are frequent realities. By contrast, once the students enter Mother Miracle, everything is organized, on time, clean, and disciplined. When you have a goal, and everything is made comfortable for you to get to that goal, the results are phenomenal.

Break the cycle of poverty through a sustainable model of sponsorship

Through individual child sponsorships, our outstanding students are supported from kindergarten through college. Once employed, our graduates create a better life for themselves while also lifting their families out of poverty. Additionally, each Mother Miracle graduate is required to pay it forward by sponsoring a student at Mother Miracle from kindergarten through college, ensuring a sustainable future for the school.

Creating Organization out of Chaos

A positive, clean environment to optimize each child’s learning and personal development

The story of the shoes:  “After lunch, it would take a very long time for the kids to find their shoes, because they would just kick them off and leave a huge disorderly pile of hundreds of sandals. Sometimes, they ended up with one boy’s shoe and one girl’s shoe, or different sizes…and they were crying because they couldn’t find their shoes! So, I told them they had to line up their shoes perfectly, to the millimeter and if I passed by and found a shoe out of order, I would throw it in the garbage. And I did! Of course, I always had a staff member follow me to retrieve it. So, it just took a few days for them to act more consciously, and this order is what you see everyday. Their mother and father said they now line up their family’s shoes at home because it bothers them to see the shoes out of order. It’s about acting consciously, with respect for themselves, others, and their environment.

Shahla Ettefagh, Founder & President

Mother Miracle School

Providing the highest quality English education and scholarships to exceptionally gifted children from the slums in our 50,000sqft. school building

Mother Miracle believes if you provide the children with the best, they will deliver the best. Every year since 2015, Mother Miracle has been honored as the ‘Best School in Rishikesh.’ Mother Miracle Registered Trust owns and operates a flood-free 50,000sqft. school building where we serve hundreds of students grades K-12. In our Computer Department, we have four state-of-the-art computer labs and 129 computers. Each child practices 2 hours a day 6 days a week on the computer. Students also benefit from an advanced English-taught curriculum as well as yoga, meditation, karate, art, dance, and music. 

Admission to our school is highly competitive. By targeting the most brilliant applicants from the most impoverished areas of our community, we find the children most likely to succeed long-term. Our students have gone on to pursue neurosurgery, engineering, and doctorate and master’s-level programs in the United States and India.

How do we know our students are special?

  • We accept the top 2% from thousands of applicants.
  • Our students have collectively won 490 academic and athletic awards since 2009, which are proudly framed in our school’s dining hall.
  • It takes each class half a year to complete the national curriculum, giving them a full 6 month advantage on the curriculum for next year.
  • In Kindergarten, they are memorizing multiplication tables up to 12 and can write complete sentences in English.
  • By 4th grade, they learn one coding language, and by 5th grade, they learn two coding languages.
  • By 6th grade, they’re proficient in programming and coding.

“Who’s the Best?!”

“Who’s the best? Me! Who’s the smartest? Me!  Who’s a genius? Me! Who’s the cutest? Me! HOORAYYY!”

I thought a lot about how I could convince these kids that they are worthy. So, I came up with this cheer, and I ask them to do it with powerful energy. If you say with confidence that you are the best every single day, you will be the best. How can it not be so? Now they believe it so much that when they go to competitions they don’t come back without an award. 

Shahla Ettefagh

Founder & President , Mother Miracle

A Holistic Approach: Dance, Art, Meditation and Yoga

 Ramji Chauhan

Volleyball Champion

Ramji was raised into a poor farming family in a mountain village and used to walk miles to school. Upon acceptance to Mother Miracle, he moved in with his brother to a nearby 1-room home. He never played volleyball, but in 6 months he was selected for the pre-national Volleyball trials from 600 schools across 13 states in India. Academically, he is top 5 in his class.

Class 8

Jahanvi Vaidhya

Indian Classical Dance Champion

Without ever having received any formal dance training, Jahanavi has won ‘Best Solo Classical Dance’ 5 years in a row among 40 schools in Rishikesh (2011-2016). When Uma Shanker, one of the top choreographers in India, offered to find her a professional dance school, she replied, “no, I don’t want to be a dancer. I want to be a computer engineer.”

Class 6

Utkarsh Pandey 

Table Tennis & Science Champion

In only 7 months, Utkarsh went from beginner-level table tennis to winning 2nd place in the 2016 State Championship, in which students from 1,200 schools competed. Utkarsh is also a top performing student, consistently ranking among the top 3 students in his class. In 2016, he won 1st place in an intra-school Science Exhibition.

Class 8

Free Nutrition and Healthcare

Since 2008, 86% of our children have shown extreme improvement in height & weight as compared to the average child in their community.

The majority of our students come to school hungry. For breakfast we provide a full glass of milk, a midday snack, and our dedicated kitchen staff prepares a warm and nutritious “all you can eat” lunch 6 days a week. We partnered with a dietician and volunteers from Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge, UK to conduct detailed analyses of our student’s growth rates and average dietary intake to create a school menu packed with nutrients often found lacking in typical vegetarian Indian diets.

We take responsibility for our children and their families at all times. In addition to our nutrition program, we also provide the highest quality healthcare. Living in the slums of Rishikesh, our children are constantly threatened by illness and disease from contaminated water, poor sanitation, and unhygienic food preparation.

We provide:

  • Daily glass of milk, midday snack, and nutrient-dense “all you can eat” lunch
  • Annual ear, eye, and dental checkups
  • Twice-annual anti-parasite and worm treatments
  • Malnutrition screenings and treatments
  • Treatment for illnesses & injuries and associated medications
  • Emergency consultations & hospital visits
  • Interactive educational lessons on proper hygiene.

Higher Education Scholarships

Our work doesn’t end with K-12 graduation. Because our student’s families cannot afford to send them to University, we provide scholarships to all students who choose to continue their education. Upon graduation, we help students to find a job using our network. This allows them to financially assist their families, & most importantly, it enables them to give back to the school by sponsoring a new kindergarten child at Mother Miracle. This lifetime bond with the school helps to break the cycle of poverty.

Our graduates have gone on to study neurosurgery, engineering, and doctorate and master’s-level programs in both India & the United States of America.

It costs $10,000 to send a student to a 4-year college in India. They’ve worked so hard, help them get to the next level!

Graduate Success Stories

Our students overcome tremendous hardships to create a better life for themselves and their families. Through the success of one student, it means a whole family is lifted from poverty. Additionally, we ensure a sustainable future for the school by requiring each Mother Miracle graduate to pay it forward by sponsoring a student at Mother Miracle from kindergarten through college.

Mamta Chauhan

Registered Nurse

Vikrant Sharma

Aspiring Neurosurgeon

Kusum Bijalwan

Aspiring Zoologist

Shivam Dangwal

Aspiring Electrical Engineer

Shubham Chauhan

Aspiring Hotel Manager & Owner

Shubham Joshi

Aspiring Mechanical Engineer

Deepak Bijalwan

Business Administration

Rocky Panwar

Aspiring Executive Chef

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