Sundar Kanta Walker
Ram Nath Kapila was born in 1905 in a village in the Rural Punjab, India.
The youngest son of a family of three sons and a daughter, he was determined to be educated at all costs. He travelled twelve miles daily to attend a secondary school in the city. He became an assistant teacher and set up a primary school in the village and continued his education alongside his job until he got a degree and a Bachelor of Teaching. Never weakening in his determination and zeal to bring education to the masses, he set about fundraising, building and running a high school. Female education was strictly forbidden in the villages. He could not persuade parents to send daughters to school but he privately coached many girls and married women to pass their Matriculation.
Much of this thinking was at odds with the prevailing traditions but he steadfastly refused to arrange marriages for his own four daughters, and instead set about educating them. He promoted Vedanta and did not attend the village temple, and ensured that his wife did not use 'purdah' still practiced among high caste women. His greatest commitment was to the 'untouchables'. Students from the Harijan castes were personally coached by him. It gave him a great joy when they achieved top marks in examinations. He also insisted that they shared his table and ate with him. He dressed simply in homespun clothes and followed Gandhian principles. For his advanced thinking he met with lots of opposition but he steadfastly refused to compromise his principles. Nothing deterred him in his campaign for basic education for all.
In 1962 he came to England to join his two eldest children who had come to study in England. He took a clerical job not commensurate with his qualifications and experience but was very happy. He liked the British way of life particularly the freedom accorded to the individual and was happy living and working in Nottingham. This changed when his beloved daughter who lived with them suddenly died and his wife became homesick and unhappy. He returned to the village for five years. During this period his health suffered and he returned to England in 1982 when he died of lung cancer.
He left his share of the money in an Indian Bank to be used to set up the educational trust in his and his wife's name. However, due to the restless political situation in the Punjab and the difficulties related to the funds being released his wishes could not be carried out. Recently the two trustees along with other family members have decided to contribute and set up the fund in England and use the interest to fund scholarships just as he had envisioned. It is his birth centenary in 2005 and the trustees are wholly committed to launching the trust in December.
He was a visionary and a progressive thinker born before his time and we are indebted to him for his contribution to his family and the Indian society. Any funds raised by the family go entirely to the Ram Daya Kapila Educational Trust Fund and contribute in a small way to the causes he held dear.
(Ram Daya Kapila Trust is a Registered Charity under the Charity Commission for England and Wales Reg. No. 1111276)
The RDK Trust News 2011-2012
In 2010 the RDK Trust decided to double the bursaries to two per college.
RDK Trust funded four bursaries in 2010 and 2011 attached to HMV College and DAVIET College Jalandhar, Punjab India. The criteria of selection is again based on equal opportunity and financial hardship. The bursary holders are all women doing postgraduate studies in the
Science Subjects and the bursaries are renewable each year. There is a rigorous criteria of selection and each bursary lasts for two years.
The free places at Senior Secondary School Rurka Kalan is now 27 students. Six of these are girl students this year. The two new class rooms erected in Ram Nath Kapila's memory by his family are being fully used for new admission classes for girls.
- Sundar Walker