Camden charity founder awarded by Prime Minister for education work in UK and rural India

Prize winner Sanju Pal with ‘Yearn to Learn’ students on a trip back from the Kolkata marathon in 20

Prize winner Sanju Pal with Yearn to Learn students on a trip back from the Kolkata marathon in 2016. Picture: Sanju Pal - Credit: Archant

A Camden charity founder has won a national award for her pioneering voluntary work supporting pupils in the UK and rural India.

Sanju Pal, who grew up on the Abbey Road estate in St John's Wood, was granted the Points of Light award by prime minister Boris Johnson for setting up RISE, which provides free literacy programmes and tackles early school dropouts.

A former maths teacher in Whitechapel, Sanju founded the charity in 2009 which has since supported more than 1,000 young people through the 'ROAR Challenge'and 'Yearn to Learn' education projects.

Sanju said: "I am so happy to be recognised for this award by the Prime Minister, which is very unexpected and uplifting news.

"It has been really rewarding working with the team and knowing through our efforts the charity is making a positive contribution to the education of disadvantaged young people."

Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq added: "Sanju's work to encourage social enterprise among students, as well as bringing together those on opposite sides of the world, is inspiring."