Dr Hari Sen, the founder of the Tagore International Schools, was a woman ahead of her time. Highly intelligent and motivated as a student, she completed her BA in English from Bombay University in 1942 at the age of 19, and her MA in Sanskrit from Benaras Hindu University in 1947. After this, she sailed to the USA in 1947 to complete an MA-PhD in Education from the University of California, Berkeley.
After graduating from Berkeley in 1951, Dr Sen rejected several job offers from top companies and the newly-formed United Nations and returned to India to do something for her country. She traveled around India with her husband, a rising police officer, and was one of the first women to conduct family planning and women’s rights workshops in villages and small towns. She started her first school in Ahmedabad in 1959, but the family was transferred to Delhi a few years later.
The Tagore Education Society was established in 1964, with its first school in Defence Colony up to Class V. The school expanded up to Class VIII and shifted to a larger plot in Lajpat Nagar in 1966. Soon after, Dr Sen’s husband, JK Sen, donated personal land awarded to him by the government for Dr Sen to build a full school in East of Kailash. After many delays, that campus became operational in 1975. In the meantime, the Delhi Development Authority awarded Dr Sen land in Vasant Vihar for another school. This branch has been running since 1972.
Dr Sen’s goal was simple: to provide affordable yet modern, high-quality Indian education. She named the schools after Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore because she was deeply influenced by his ideas that education must promote freedom of thought and speech, and inculcate in students international humanist values.
50 years later, the school still runs on these foundational principles. Given the school fees, we provide one of the broadest varieties of extracurricular opportunities in NCR to our students. We ingrain a global mindset, be it through the 15 nationalities of students that have studied in our school, or by being the only school in India conducting a decade-long distance-learning program with a school in China. We run multiple school-wide social service programs, with nearly every senior student giving back in some way. Critical thinking is encouraged, with teachers leading discussions during zero periods for younger students, and a weekly debate-format class for Classes XI-XII conducted by the school leadership. The school community develops social-emotional skills through our mental health and well-being programs, which range from peer mentoring and life skills workshops for students to parenting classes and teacher sensitization for the adults. Lastly, we strongly uphold inclusive and secular values, be it through our pioneering LGBTQI rights campaign for schools, or through admitting a percentage of differently-abled students every year, who are then actively supported through a peer buddy program.
School Emblem and Song
The Tagorean emblem is the interplay of three letters—T, I, and S— that stand for the initials of our school. The central ‘I’ is the leaping flame of the candle, signifying everlasting knowledge. It is enclosed by ‘T’ which forms the arms and legs of the child who is never tired in his or her quest for knowledge. Like the light of the candle, the child is continuously striving to reach for the stars, denoted by the letter ‘S’.
The school has adopted the motto, Aham Yogyaha Asmi or “I am worthy.” This is positive self-realisation and this belief guides the student on the path of true knowledge. It helps a child to evolve as a confident, multi-faceted human being.
This is the simple Tagorean philosophy. Belief in self. I am what I am. I am truth and joy forever.