Little Hero Kay Jun : 7th Grader Raises Funds For Alternative University

Arjun Singh Rajawat uses Kay Jun as a stage name and I have separate channel by that name. Here’s his story…

Scene 1: 

India International Center, auditorium. Delhi International Day

A young 7th-grade student is dragged reluctantly by his dad to a talk by a recent Rolex award winner for Innovation. The speaker shares about his alternative school in Ladakh, where the only criterium for admission is being a failure in the academic system. He also invites people to come forward and invest in an Alternate University where students will ‘Learn Differently’

Cut To…

Scene 2: 

School classroom / Int / Day

The reluctant 7th-grade student has transformed into a convinced investor who intends to invite others on board through his YouTube channel. He even sends out messages via his mother’s social media platforms to rope in more people.

Cut To…

Scene 3

SECMOL School, Ladakh International Day

The educator-innovator who has recently won the Rolex Award for Enterprise receives an e-mail. While he has pledged nearly Rs. One Crore of his winnings to building an Alternative University in Ladakh, the amount is only a seed amount. So much more is needed. Where will that come from?

On opening the e-mail, he receives happy news. The young boy has managed to collect cheques worth Rs.35,000/- and pledges of more. Is this a film? No it isn’t.

While this reads like a screenplay, it really is happening. A new generation of students is getting the opportunity to receive a more vibrant and relevant education system thanks to different thinkers.

The educator-innovator is none other than Sonam Wangchuk and the 7th grader is Arjun Rajawat from Ridge Valley School in Gurugram. The Himalayan Institute of Alternatives, Ladakh is now richer… not because of the amount, but because of the faith and belief of a bunch of young students who are backing this initiative.


On his social media Sonam Wangchuk writes: “We are thrilled to share with you that HIAL has thus found its most valuable donor so far. We at HIAL value this Rs 35,000 as much as 35 million rupees from a corporate house. We consider this as the greatest expression of a felt need and the biggest vote of approval for the alternative University. 

His Holiness Skyabgon Chetsang Rinpochey

P.S:  His Holiness Skyabgon Chetsang Rinpochey, one of the highest spiritual leaders in Tibetan Buddhism after HH the Dalai Lama, has also been working tirelessly to promote environmental stewardship in the Himalayas is a great promoter and Chief Patron of the Himalayan Institute of Alternatives, Ladakh.

On Republic Day, while children are rewarded for their bravery, here’s one who should be applauded for his enterprise! Here’s a conversation with Arjun Singh Rajawat, whose YouTube video is reminding people to open their hearts and their wallets.

Your stage name is Kay Jun … Does that mean you have a spicy, creative mind?

I use Kay Jun as a stage name and I have separate channel by that name where I have several videos, maybe you can check it out when you get the time. I have videos there about how to learn all 10 subjects from me. I try to be funny in these videos.

There is even a video about what does b\Batman chill in?

I am writing a series called Shaun and one called Crown they will soon be out on my blog.

How did you find about the Alternative University of Ladakh and Sonam Wangchuk?

My father had taken me to Sonam Wangchuk’s talk in Delhi at India International Center, I liked what he was doing for students in Ladakh, particularly for those who fail in exams. I did not know that such a school existed anywhere in the world and I really loved what he was doing.

I also liked how he has built ice-rink and a girl’s team. I don’t think anybody else is doing what he is doing anywhere in the world. Even my friends did not know about anything like this.

Did you meet and speak to Sonam Wangchuk?

I met him and he asked me what are my favorite subjects and did I like Maths? I used to like Maths earlier but I don’t like it anymore. But I do like science and English. He was very nice, and he asked me a lot of questions about my school. I also like football and I am the school’s vice sports captain, and also play with Ryders Academy.

What made you feel like you should support this University?

He asked people to support the university during his talk, I thought it was really cool of him to start a University. I did not know that you could just start a University and one man could do it.

Q) What made you believe that your friends at school would be willing to give their money to a bunch of students, far away in Ladakh?

My Principal Mrs. Ohri at Ridge Valley School says that the school kindly agreed to help me. Our school also has a symbiotic relationship with another school called the Happy School which is a government school. They all have very good hearts and I am sure if they had/have money they would / will donate.

I am making a presentation to all the students in the school and will go to other schools also. I might also be going to G D Goenka schools to speak to students. I think a lot of people are there who will help students,

How much did you think that you would collect? What’s the amount so far?

I have got cheques of Rs 30,000 already and this is from people I know. I have not even reached out to other people; this has come after I shared my video with them on WhatsApp and video. I am even getting cheques from Hong Kong, USA, and China, some of them are my mother’s friends. And I used her for Whatsapp and Facebook for sending my video out.

Have you heard about crowd funding before?

Yes, I heard about it in a diary that my brother got after a Film Festival.

What do you tell your friends to convince them to contribute to this fantastic initiative?

I think the video is very clear about it.

What other schools or groups will you be approaching soon?

I am going to other schools also, and I mean I don’t know where else, but if you have any ideas tell me.

Would you also like to one day get admission at the Alternative University? 

Yes, I would love to! It would be very fun living in the cold environment in such a different school.

Next Stop: Hogwarts!

The crowd funding platform Milaap is the platform:

The YouTube video made by the team of HIAL, shared by Arjun

About the Author

Suhana Bhatia
Suhana Bhatia
Features Editor