Gautama Buddha Free School

Founder: Naresh Raj

Founder: Naresh Raj


Gautama Buddha Free School provides children free education in a non-caste defined environment. Children of lower caste families learn English, Hindi, Mathematics, Science, Sanskrit and Social Studies at the school.

Located in Bakraur (Sujata Village) in Bodhgaya, Bihar - one of the poorest areas of India - the school serves four villages not reached by governmental organisations. The 2-hour afternoon programme runs daily, and needs support to continue to fund teacher salaries, supplies and rent for the classroom.

Discrimination against lower castes is a widespread problem in India. Alienation, social exclusion, and physical abuse pervade all levels of education, contributing to illiteracy and high drop-out rates. Gautama Buddha Free School is making an impact on the lives of children whose outcomes would otherwise be dictated at birth.

We are actively seeking your support to help Naresh raise funds for the children to learn in a non-caste defined school. Small and large contributions alike are invaluable (and tax deductible) and 100% of all donations go to Gautama Buddha Free School.

In the beginning these children never even think they would be able to go to school . Children who study with us finish their primary school education, with many going on to high school and colleges. Our teachers and their parents are so proud of their success.
— Naresh Raj, Founder.

The Need

Bakraur has a very low standard of living. Many live in very basic conditions e.g. mud houses, and children are naked throughout the year as they can’t afford clothes.

Children are forced into work, like collecting rubbish or begging, to earn money for the family, at the expense of their education.

Those who do go to school, attend classes on the porch of an abandoned government building. During the monsoon season these are severely disrupted by the weather and cold temperatures.

The Ambition

  • Continue to provide free education, materials & supplies, and uniforms, including shoes.

  • Expand tutorial classes - these are held in villages and give students a greater depth of understanding. Going to the villages reaches children who cannot attend school - they may be working.

  • Provide vocational & handicraft training. Computer skills enable students to get jobs with government departments and handicraft skills enable a trade to be learned.

The Impact

  • Over 650 children have received education at the school

  • Aspiration’s are increased - children attend not only primary but also high school

  • Children’s health is improved through regular health check-ups.

  • They enjoy vastly increased life opportunities.

  • They model to others what is possible.

  • Learned skills enable self-sufficiency.

  • Learning a trade enables poor uneducated women to provide for their families.

GBFS classroom.jpg
We visited a class and ended up talking with the children and answering all their questions. We taught them some written words and even found ourselves singing to the poor dears! The kids are diabolically gorgeous and bright.
— Anake Goodall - intrepid singer

How you can help

The simplest and most effective thing we can all do is to donate funds to Gautama Buddha Free School:

$50 Enables a health check-up for the students

$150 Provides school uniforms, books and a school bag for a child

$200 For one child to receive education for a year

Gautama Buddha Free School also requires support with:

  • Lease costs of the classroom

  • Purchasing a sewing machine and support women into business.

  • Unrestricted donations to develop further programmes.