The Naveen Nursery & Primary School was founded by Benett and Ida Pratap in Benares (also known as Varanasi), a town in northern India, in 1976. Benett studied English, Geography and Theology, worked all his life as a college lecturer in Varanasi, and was also director of the school’s boarding school together with his wife Ida. Based on his school experiences and his humanitarian outlook, he fulfilled his life’s dream when he retired by building a small school for children from underprivileged backgrounds.
Initially he and his wife taught a group of children in their own home. News of the atmosphere and pedagogical approach of their school spread quickly, and soon Benett and Ida were inundated with requests from parents for their children to be admitted to the school.
With his meagre savings and the help of friends, Benett built simple, open classrooms along the outside walls of his small property, and hired the first teachers. The necessary costs, which were kept extremely low, were covered by minimal, and rather symbolic, school fees paid by the parents of the children who went to the school. Where this was not possible for the parents, the school fees were waived.
And so the Naveen Nursery & Primary School began. It was named after the Prataps’ son Naveen – a word meaning “new” -, who died suddenly at the age of 23.