About Shakti Empowerment Education

Our History: SEEschool was established in 1994, in the Pal-Chaudhuri family home.
The current modernized school building was dedicated in 2002 as the Ramakrishna Vedanta Society Vidyapith School. High School classes are also held at the Pal-Chaudhuri Gupinath Mandir. Women's Education classes are also held in the nearby villages.
At first, we had to go door-to door, asking families to let at least one of their children have an education instead of working in the fields and factories; now there's a long waiting list of children eager to escape the cycle of poverty and despair.


Our Staff

  • 15 teachers,

  • 5 teaching assistants,

  • 2 administrators, and

  • 1 medical doctor who prescribes homeopathic medicines at our Free Clinic.


Ajay Pal-Chaudhuri grew up at his family's 350 year-old home in Ranaghat, and from a young age had a dream to create a school for the underprivileged. He studied at Ramakrishna Ashram Vidyapith,  received his degree from Calcutta University, and became a Chartered Accountant in London, England. When he returned to Calcutta as the CFO of British Oxygen, he also volunteered with Mother Theresa and with the Ramakrishna Mission, before moving to England and Canada. Upon retirement, Ajay returned to India with his daughter Indrani, and they decided together to create a charitable school in their historic home. Ajay has run the operations as co-Director of SEE School for 22 years, moving the school to its current location and managing its operations.

Krishna Pal-Chaudhuri dedicated her entire life to teaching children in Ranaghat. SEE School has been fortunate to have her as its strong-minded, kind-hearted headmistress for over a decade.

Indrani Pal-Chaudhuri is an award-winning photographer, director and author, based in New York. Born and raised in Calcutta, she became an international fashion model at 15 and returned at 18 to build the school with her father. She graduated with a magna cum laude (high honors) AB from Princeton University. She is the subject of an American TV docu-series, Double Exposure which features her work in New York, Paris and India at SEEschool.org in the 6th episode, airing in over 100 countries. As a director of films and commercials, she also supports many NGOs: she directed the UN's Nothing But Nets campaign in Bangui, Central African Republic, a campaign for Keep A Child Alive against AIDS in India and Africa, which won 2 Gold Lions at Cannes, and she directed the top Bollywood stars for the Indian Girl Rising campaign, currently airing in India on Star TV. 

“Not only does award winning photographer Indrani Pal-Chaudhuri create magnificent images ... Indrani also grasps the meaning of giving-back! Indrani and her father, Ajay Pal-Chaudhuri started SEE School in West Bengal, which provides free quality education and vocational training for women and children... Indrani embodies talent and social conscience.”
— Iman - Supermodel, TV host, mogul and wife of David Bowie

Children's Education

We provide free quality education. As well as liberal arts, English, Bengali and Hindi,
we teach self-discipline, appreciation for all religions and points of view, problem-solving skills, and taking responsibility to make positive changes in the world.

All of our students are come from financially disadvantaged families; many are refugees, whose families fled persecution across the border, with nothing but hope. Yet these are some of the happiest, most generous children you will ever meet. Many of our students are the first in their families to become literate; many teach the rest of their families what they've learned at school each day.

The majority of India's children are enrolled in government schools, but up to 50% of children enrolled in government schools don't attend school regularly and drop-out rates are very high. Our school's drop-out rate is 0%. The reasons for this include: 

  • many kids from impoverished families are required to work -- we visit families to explain the long-term huge advantages of keeping their children in school, and suggest alternate sources of income such as women's vocational training for mothers that we provide at no costs.
  • many girls are rushed into child marriage which tends to end their education -- we encourage girls to know their rights and explain to parents the benefits for girls of being educated.
  • many kids' learning is impaired by malnourishment -- we provide breakfast to be sure they have at least one square meal per day
  • some can't afford the school uniforms that are required at most schools -- we provide these for students so they don't compete over material goods.
  • many fall behind because they are unable to pay for private tutoring that government school teachers often require -- we provide tutoring and libraries free of charge through the high school years.

We provide personalized support and education so that those who need education the most are able to attend regardless of their family situation.

School Dropout Rates

2 Centers: 

Children's School provides a well-rounded education,
including English language education, to children aged 3 to 9.
Secondary School at Gupinath House provides free tuition for students aged 10 to 16 (Class 5 - Class 10). We also have games and gardening classes on the premises.

We provide all books, materials and uniforms.
A lending library provides textbooks and other materials for 400+ student members, for school and college.


Community Outreach  


We provide for the community:
A free Homeopathic clinic and an MD doctor, who serves more than 70 people from the community each weekend.

We provide our safe walled school grounds for use by the Veteran Club Volleyball Team, the local sports club, the Karate club, A free library of English language books and textbooks and other wholesome community activities.
Soon to come: Juma Computer Lab.
We also hope to add a Women's Exercise Club soon.

We also provide literacy and vocational training, and microfinancing, for women.

Founder Indrani Greets Some Of See School's Grateful Children.


Educating Women  

We provide literacy and vocational training evening programs for approximately 50 women. Many of our women are mothers of the children at our school. Many had to work as children themselves. After graduating from our programs, equipped with knowledge, confidence, and business skills, they are able to build new lives for themselves and their families.

Microfinancing for 50-100 village women, is also provided by the foundation. Women qualify by taking 7 months of literacy classes and training, after which they can apply to become part of the finance groups.

These women show great courage, in spite of the most challenging conditions. Though they may live without plumbing and electricity,
many women walk for several miles to attend the school.

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