About Shakti Empowerment Education
Providing free quality education and opportunity for socio-economically disadvantaged and at-risk children and women to thrive in West Bengal, India.
Foundation for Children and Women, Ramakrishna Vedanta Vidyapith, provides free quality female empowerment focused education, literacy and vocational training for 300 children and women in West Bengal, India. The Sanskrit word Shakti refers to the feminine creative energy of life and love. Co-founded by Ajay and Indrani Pal-Chaudhuri, SEEschool works in collaboration with the community, parents, teachers and volunteers, focusing on innovative interventions to address gaps in the education system for students from the lowest income families.
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.
Chairman 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.
Head Mistress 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.
Executive Director Indrani Pal-Chaudhuri is an award-winning photographer, director and author, based in New York. Born and raised in Calcutta, she became an international teen fashion model before co-founding the school. She graduated from Princeton University with a magna cum laude (high honors) AB in Anthropology. 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 is the Co-Host of The Global People’s Summit at the United Nations, sharing dialogue and information with over 190 countries live ; she directed the UN's Nothing But Nets campaign in Bangui, Central African Republic; directed and photographed a campaign for Keep A Child Alive against AIDS in India and Africa, which won 2 Gold Lions at Cannes; directed the top stars Freida Pinto, Priyanka Chopra, Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor, Sushmita Sen and Nandita Das for the Girl Rising India campaign, which became central to Prime Minister Modi’s “Beti Bachau” campaign for girl’s empowerment.