History of D.A.V
The Indian society was at its cultural, social and political nadir when Maharishi
Dayanand Saraswati was born in 1824. He grew up in an environment of political subjugation,
where he witnessed extreme casteism, superstition, religious dogma and social oppression
of women and marginalized sections of society.
He openly stood up against all the social evils such as discrimination on grounds of caste, creed, sex, economic status and social bigotry, male chauvinism and religious dominance of higher castes over the backward castes and classes. He fought for the rights of women and opened "Kanya Vidyalayas" to empower and enlighten them. Unfortunately, the task of social resurgence was too vast to be completed during his lifetime and when Maharishi attained Samadhi in 1883, the Indian society was only partially reformed, with the onus of completing this unfinished task falling on his followers.
Taking a stock of the ground realities of Indian society and the nature of the task undertaken by Maharishi, his followers decided to commemorate his life and works not by building lifeless statues, but by opening temples of learning - schools and colleges where all the values advocated by Maharishi would be inculcated in the children so that they could carry forward his message and work ceaselessly throughout their life to carry out the reforms suggested by him.
In 1885 the first DAV School was established at Lahore which was subsequently upgraded to become the first DAV College. In 1886 the DAV College Trust and Management Society was established and registered. The DAV Society visualized that the DAV Schools shall produce men and women of sterling national character and social commitment. The commendable objectives of the DAV attracted several committed individuals and groups to serve the society by striving to collect petty donations and gather humble resources to set up DAV Schools to spread Maharishi's message for enlightening all the Indians. Thus the crusade against ignorance, illiteracy, injustice and inequality was revived and it gained further momentum with the opening of each DAV School.
Thus started the movement, which right from the beginning was led by missionaries, visionaries, nationalistic and other like-minded people. As the times rolled on, there emerged new needs, new challenges and new decisions in tandem with the changing scenario.
The vision of a powerful and enlightened India had been conceived by Maharishi Dayanand
Saraswati (1824-1883). He devoted his whole life to awaken the ignorant, illiterate
masses of this country. He knew that it could be possible only through education
and literacy. The vision and philosophy of the fearless reformer, Maharshi Dayanand,
was given a practical shape by Mahatma Hans Raj, who led the educational renaissance
As his most important legacy, the Mahatma left behind a pragmatic and enlightened approach to education. One aspect of his approach was his choice of English- oriented Science-based education with a blend of Vedic values. Another was the great emphasis he laid on women education. Lastly, true to the egalitarian basis of Arya Samaj philosophy (as conceived by Maharishi Dayanand), Mahatmaji believed in equality for all students irrespective of their caste, colour or creed were welcome to join the DAV institution. The first institution was established at Lahore in 1886 with Lala Hans Raj (Later Mahatma Hansraj) himself as the dedicated Headmaster.