Compassion gives courage: Happy Teachers Day
Strap: ‘I have always felt that the true text-book for the pupil is his Teacher’, says Mahatma Gandhi. On Teachers’ Day, today we bring you three different stories of ordinary people who were doing their everyday job and decided to be a light in someone’s life to brighten up their path.
This Police uncle teaches street kids
Constable Than Singh, Delhi Police, is a man of grit. He began teaching underprivileged kids near the Red Fort area since 2016. “It’s been more than five years since I first taught these kids. I started with only five to six and now I have more than 35 students. It was not a cake walk. These kids used to pick garbage to earn money and spend it on tobacco and drugs. Their parents are labourers and were against the classes and I had to convince them. While some of my students were a part of the classes for five to six months, some are regular for the last five years. My senior officers visit regularly to motivate these kids. Some even bring their children along and celebrate their birthday. I am doing the best I could, and Delhi Police is my strength,” says Singh, who provides masks and sanitisers to these kids who lovingly call him ‘Police uncle teacher’.
Transforming his village, one student at a time
Born in Timli, Pauri Garhwal, a district in Uttarakhand, Ashish Dabral started working in an MNC in Gurugram, but he wanted to give back to his village. “It was in 2013 when I started travelling to my village on every weekend from Gurugram. In 2016, we started a primary school, Shri Timli Vidyapeeth, to impart education. There used to be a Sanskrit school in the village owned by my great-grandfather. The primary school I started imparts Vedic education along with science and technology. Students from my school even participated in World Robotic Olympiad. I make sure my kids interact with students from other countries through video conference to know their culture, education and thought process. We even engage parents in craft activities and sell products online to generate income. I have shifted to my village to devote myself completely,” he says.
Ex-BSF officer whose heart beats for kids
He runs Birsa Munda High School, Janho-Barwaiya in the tribal region of Jharkhand. Ranjan resigned from the rank of Assistant Commandant of BSF in 2015. “Fortunately, during leave before resignation, I followed a foreigner riding a bicycle in Ranchi and met Prof Jean Dreze. We started talking extensively on various issues specially education scenario of Jharkhand. After resignation I became part of ‘Right to Food Campaign’ and started visiting the remote areas. Then I along with prof Dreze started a initiative called ‘Sahpathi’ through which we invited students of Universities to volunteer in government residential schools of Jharkhand in remote area to interact and understand problems and dreams of Poor’s students. Birsa Munda High School was started in 2018, before which the premises remained non functional for almost a decade. Now we have more classrooms, bench desk, toilets, drinking water facility, a smart TV and few laptops for smart class, playing equipment and other facilities. Most importantly, we have installed 5kv solar plant which provides power supply 24*7. Currently, more than 200 students are staying in hostel of which 70% are girls from tribal and dalit communities,” says Ranjan.
Author tweets @ruchikagarg271