By Keshav Chhabra
One reason why parents in India continue to send their children to boarding schools is to ensure their physical and mental fitness, and to make the student a disciplined and focused individual. While Military Schools and Sainik Schools continue to be the preferred alternatives, there are other boarding schools which are known for their strict and disciplined army training.
1) The Lawrence School, Sanawar: Founded by Sir Henry and Lady Honoria Lawrence and believed to be the first co-ed boarding school in India, the school was established in the year 1847. Spread over 139 acres on a rural hill-top at 5,600 feet, the school has continued to build a high reputation since early 20th century, when several contingents of boys were enlisted from school and fought as warriors in World War I.
Apart from regular PT exercises, the school maintains a high standard of parade. While NCC is compulsory for students in the senior classes, the school offers a plethora of sports activities with specialized coaches.
2) Rashtriya Indian Military College, Dehradun: Founded in 1922 by his Royal Highness, Prince Edward VIII the Prince of Wales, the school has a lush-green campus of 138 acres. Synonymous with Mini India, 250 boys are selected from every state strictly on merit.
The school boasts of a myriad of distinguished alumni with four Chiefs of Army staff and one Chief of the Air staff among many other high civil dignitaries.
3) Sainik Schools: Sainik schools were built with an aim to build a chain of schools in congruence with the high levels of physical and mental endurance needed to prepare the students to take admissions in National Defence Academy (NDA), and gradually for the officer cadre. The schools are provided heavy grants from Center as well as State governments.
Present in more than 20 states, the schools continue to maintain high standards in their army training programs.
4) Rashtriya Military Schools: Originally started as King George’s Royal Indian Military Schools, the students of this school are called Georgians. The school was set up with an aim to cater to the educational needs of the sons of defence personnel. Present in Shimla, Ajmer, Bangalore, Belgaum and Dholpur, these schools level with esteemed institutions like Rashtriya Indian Military College and National Defence Academy.
The school is known for its excellent results in NDA exams.
5) Motilal Nehru School of Sports, Rai: Established in 1973 in Haryana, the institute aims at providing excellent sports persons with ample sports equipment. Spread over a sprawling area of about 300 acres, MNS provides training in NCC, along with many sports like Cricket, Football, Basketball, Volleyball and more. The school has played an important role in nurturing sports in Haryana.