Seva Mandir

This is a school where panthers visit…occasionally

It was a burning hot October morning, when I decided to visit Seva Mandir’s education-related projects. After driving over an hour out of the main city of Udaipur, we trekked up (and down) the hills till we reached one of their pre-school centers. “You see this stream here? When the rains are heavy, it overflows. Those days, we are not able to visit the center,” said Atul from their team.

It was for this same reason that the center that we visited was located on the inner side of the bridge. The outer side already had a Government aanganwadi.

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How it all began

Seva Mandir was founded by Dr. Mohan Singh Mehta. Born on 20th of April 1895, at Bhilwara (Rajasthan), Dr. Mehta belonged to a wealthy family. His father was Jagat Singh Mehta, the Indian politician and diplomat who also served as Foreign Secretary from 1976 to 1979. His father’s political job meant that the family shifted base as he needed to – so Dr. Mehta went to school in Ajmer, Agra, and Allahabad. When in class 4, he was sent to England to attend the boarding school.

Dr. Mehta has played an active role in both politics and social work. Starting off as Revenue Officer (1922-28) and Chief Revenue Officer (1928-36) of Mewar and then as Chief Minister of Banswara State (1937-40 and 1944-46), during the pre-independence time, he went on to serve as Revenue and Education Minister (1940-44) & Finance and Education Minister (1946-48) of Mewar itself, post-independence.

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