A near-perfect rendition of Schubert’s ‘Impromptus’ rings out of the music room’s colonial-era windows, the sound carrying all through the school’s pristine grounds. Even in India, a country famed for its sharp inequalities, there are few places where privilege is so obvious. Set in the foothills of the Himalayas, the Doon School, a private boarding school for boys aged 12 to 18, is probably India’s most elite institution.
A short walk away from the school’s main gate, children live in slums plagued by dengue fever. But here you’ll find a campus which last year won a Unesco award for cultural heritage conservation, one equipped with its very own hospital. Although the school rejects the label, there’s a good reason that many describe it as the ‘Eton of India’.