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Lighting up lives: Handicapped teacher educates elderly women

Age is no bar in pursuit of education and it is equally important to have willpower which can help elderly meet any challenge in life. This is what inspired a handicapped teacher to educate elderly women in four villages of Hisar village.

punjab Updated: Nov 10, 2015 21:58 IST
Bhaskar Mukherjee
Age is no bar in pursuit of education and it is equally important to have willpower which can help elderly meet any challenge in life.
Age is no bar in pursuit of education and it is equally important to have willpower which can help elderly meet any challenge in life.(HT Photo)

Age is no bar in pursuit of education and it is equally important to have willpower which can help elderly meet any challenge in life. This is what inspired a handicapped teacher to educate elderly women in four villages of Hisar village.

Pyare Lal, a teacher at government senior secondary school at Kirthan village in the district is paralysed in both legs following a road accident on February 3, 2000. But his disability has not deterred him to root out illiteracy. Lal told HT: “After the accident, my family and friends helped me to come of this trauma.”

He said: “I started my job as a teacher and on June, 2012, 80-year-old Rammurti aunty of Kirthan village came to the school with her grandchild. She asked me masterji bacchon ko to padha dete ho, kabhi hum buzurgon ko bhe padha diya karo (you teach the children, take out some time to educate the elderly women in the village). From that day, I decided to teach all illiterate women of the village.”

“We found out that there were 350 women in Kirthan village who are illiterate. I invited them to my class. The next day, some 150-odd women came. Now, 700 women have passed class 5,” said Pyare Lal. (HT Photo)

“I returned to my house and started thinking about it. Later, I came up with an idea that from now on each one will teach one. From that day, I started teaching the elderly women of the village,” Lal added.

He said: “With help of my friends, we conducted a survey and found that there were 350 women in Kirthan village who are illiterate. I invited them to my class. The next day, some 150-odd women of the village came to the class and I started educating them. Now, more than 700 women of Kirthan, Ludas, Shahpur and Salemgarh villages in Hisar district have passed class 5 from the National Open School (NOS),” said Lal.

His friends, Bhup Singh, Begraj Singh, Dilip Sharma who are also teachers, said: “During summer vacation, winter vacation and after school time, he takes out his wheelchair and goes to the village to teach the elderly women.

“Later, after having our lunch we also join him. We feel proud that elderly women of our village are now educated and have cleared class 5 . During our free time, we visit villages to motivate other women to join our classes for free and get educated. Recently, 1,500 women of other villages promised that they will also join our class.”

“I lost my legs, but I am capable to educate others. I am a commerce teacher in the village school. We will soon conduct a survey of school dropouts and will motivate them to join our classes. I want to see everyone educated in every village. And those who clear the exams can educate other illiterates in the villages. Hence, I decided this name: Each one will teach one.”