Age is no bar to become a master. Harjot Kaur, all of 10, is a standing example of this axiom. The Jamshedpur girl has not only attained proficiency in Gurmukhi but also turned teacher for students much elder to her.
Every afternoon, after returning from school, Harjot rushes with her mother to the Punjabi Dharmik School in Jharkhand's steel city to teach the script to Class-10 students.
Thanks to guidance from her grandmother Ravinder Kaur, the girl mastered the language at the age of five and has been teaching for the past one year. "I want every Punjabi child to learn the language," said Harjot, a Class-4 student at a local English-medium school.
Such is the craze that parents have started sending their wards for private tuition to Harjot. Presently, she teaches around 15 students at home.
"She is more popular than me. I had first noticed her talent when she solved grammar questions for my students," said Jaswinder Kaur, Harjot's mother and a teacher of Gurmukhi.
Jaswinder added that just one class was enough to impress the school management and allow her to teach. "Despite her own hectic academic schedule, Harjot always finds time for her mother tongue," said Jaswinder.
She has been participating in Nagar Kirtan, the procession carried out on the occasion of Gurpurab and Parkash Utsav, since the age of five. She has become popular among students at the Punjabi religious centre, Kadma, for her teaching spirit.
However, Harjot's parents feel that her academic pursuits leave her with no time for physical activity. "She has friends but most of the time she is into books. This concerns us," said Jaswinder.
The girl likes to read religious books and follow the principles mentioned in Guru Granth Sahib.
"Every Punjabi should learn the mother tongue as it is our identity," Harjot said.