A street child from Kolkata has just enjoyed three weeks improving his English at English in Chester. Keen rugby player Arun Das is 18, and is now hoping to complete his studies and win a supported place at a UK college with a sports specialism. Until last summer he was living with a street children's charity after being rescued as a very young child.
Arun has managed to complete his GCSE equivalent exams through India's National Open School system which provides exams but no tuition, and has now started to work for the A-level equivalent.
His achievements in overcoming adversity were recognised by the Rotary Club of Kolkata, and he is currently supported by the Jungle Crows rugby network and Terra Indica, a social enterprise where he works part time. Arun has played for India's U20 rugby team as well as the Jungle Crows.
Louis Aylward, marketing officer at English in Chester, said: "It was a real pleasure to have Arun with us. He was delightful and very keen to learn everything he could. We are really hoping that he can get the sponsorship to come back and make the most of his talents at sports college."
Arun's time in the UK was funded by Merseyside-based rugby club Caldy, whose administrator Jane Corlett worked as part of the Touraid initiative with local schools and businesses to raise enough money to bring over young rugby teams from some of the poorest parts of the world. Jane is now co-ordinating attempts to fund Arun's studies at sports college.
The photo shows (left to right): Richard Day, Director of English in Chester; Arun; David Sawtell, Arun's teacher at the school.