Gurugram, Feb. 10 -- A honking truck, an ambling stray dog and a middle-aged man speaking loudly on his phone - these are some of the distractions students of Jestha Primary Free school have to deal with during their three-hour-long classes on the Sector 53/56 divider road.

Due to the absence of walls, the street school may look like an encroachment on the service lane next to Jal Vayu Towers in Sector 56. However, the fact that it imparts basic education to nearly 150 children between the ages of five and 16 years has helped it survive for the past eight years.

In a clearing along the service lane, close to 40 students sit on rugs in the afternoon sun, some of them clothed in matching red cardigans that were distributed this winter to gi...