Rajni Kumar
Born5 March 1923 (1923-03-05) (age 99)
Spouse(s)Yudishter Kumar
AwardsPadma Shri
Gr8! Women Award
WebsiteOfficial web site

Rajni Kumar (born 5 March 1923) is a British-born Indian educationist and the founder of Springdales Group of Schools.[1][2][3] The Government of India honored her in 2011, with the fourth highest civilian award of Padma Shri.[4]

Rajni Kumar as a guest of honor in Oct 2012
Rajni Kumar as a guest of honor in Oct 2012


Rajni Kumar, née Nancie Joyce Margaret Jones,[3] was born on 5 March 1923 in England.[2] She graduated from the London School of Economics in 1941,[3] married her co student, Yudhishter Kumar, at the age of 23, moved to India and took up the Indian name, Rajni.[2]

In 1950, she joined a local school, Salwan Girls School, as its Principal and worked there till 1955.[3] During this period, she joined the National Federation of Indian Women, in 1953, as one of its founder members.[2] In 1955, Kumar started her own school, Springdales School, as a kindergarten in the living room of her house.[3] The institution, has over the years, grown to four schools in India and one in Dubai and is reported to have over 6000 students in its rolls.[3]

Kumar is a former chairperson of the Lady Irwin College[3] and vice president of National Bal Bhavan.[2] She has taken part in the Global Peace Conferences in Geneva and the World Congress for the Rights of Children in Moscow. After her retirement in 1988,[2] Kumar is involved with the Springdales Education Society as its chairperson. She is also associated with the Delhi Schools Literacy Project, an initiative under the National Literacy Mission.[2][3]

Kumar was felicitated by the Government of South Africa on the International Women's Day in 2005.[2] A recipient of the Gr8! Women Award, Kumar was honoured by the Government of India in 2011 with the fourth highest Indian civilian award of Padma Shri.[3] In 2012, she was awarded the Order of the Companions of O. R. Tambo (Silver) by the Government of South Africa.[5]

See also


  1. ^ "Springdales". Springdales. 2014. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Rajni Kumar : A Class Apart". Boloji. 25 December 2005. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "The woman behind the legendary Springdales School". Gulf News. 17 April 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  4. ^ "Padma Shri" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  5. ^ "Rajni Kumar conferred with prestigious award in South Africa". Hindustan Times. 5 November 2012. Archived from the original on 30 November 2014. Retrieved 27 November 2014.