For six months he and his peers, all students of the crucial Class 10, went without a science teacher. That's when 15-year-old Haryana boy Wasim Akram remembered a chapter on his rights as a citizen and decided to test it.
Within 10 days, a teacher was appointed to his school!
"Since the session started last year, we didn't have a science teacher. When no one came to teach us even after six months, we decided to do something about it," Wasim, who studies at the government high school in Kairaka area of Mewat district, told IANS on phone.
Being students of Class 10 - whose students sit for board examinations at the end of the term - he and his classmates were only too aware of the precious time being lost in the absence of a teacher.
"Our studies were suffering as we didn't have a teacher and that too for an important subject like science. All my classmates were worried," said Wasim, whose father is a shopkeeper.
He wanted to do something.
"I had studied a chapter about 'our rights' in the social sciences subject. That inspired me to follow the case and ensure that we got a teacher. But I didn't know what exactly I should do," Wasim said.
"Then someone in my village advised us to go and meet the district officer of the education department. He told us to present our problem before him," he added.
"Then along with six other students of my class, I went to the district officer. We gave him an application requesting him to get a science teacher as soon as possible," Wasim said.
To their amazement, a science teacher was appointed within 10 days.
"We were very happy. I had never imagined that the officials would listen to our request so soon. Within 10 days, a new science teacher was appointed."
Around 4.43 million children study in Haryana's government-run schools under the tutelage of 131,802 teachers. But as is true of most states around India, these state-run educational institutions suffer from basic infrastructure shortage, including lack of teachers.
The state has 5,871 high and senior secondary schools, 3,321 middle schools and 6,722 primary schools run by the government.
Asked if at any point he was afraid of approaching the higher authorities, Wasim said: "Yes, I was a bit scared and apprehensive. But then everyone around, including friends and family, inspired and supported me."
"I feel very happy and satisfied because I fought for my rights," he said. The Class 10 students have managed to finish studying the science course in time for the board examinations.
Incidentally, said Wasim, "I want to be a teacher!"