गुरुर्बन्धुरबन्धूनां गुरुश्चक्षुरचक्षुषां ।
गुरुः पिता च माता च सर्वेषां न्यायवर्तिनां ॥
“The teacher is kin to those who don’t have any relatives; the teacher is an eye for the blind. The teacher is father and mother to everyone who lives on the path of justice.”
We can probably never measure the impact our teachers have had on our lives. They have unveiled the world for us and lit our lives with the knowledge that lets us see things whose existence we were unaware of. As a tribute to our great teachers we bring to you five teachers who are bringing this light into the darkest corners of India.
Rajesh Kumar Sharma – Founder of a free school under a bridge in Delhi
In the picture above Rajesh Kumar Sharma (second from right) is seen writing on black boards, painted on a building wall, at the school he runs under a metro bridge in New Delhi. At least 30 children living in the nearby slums have been receiving free education from this school for the last three years. Mr. Sharma is not a teacher by profession. He runs a general store in the city, but for two hours a day he rushes to his improvised outdoor school.
Image Courtesy : http://photoblog.nbcnews.com/
Babar Ali – World’s Youngest Headmaster
Babar Ali is only 16 , but this teenager is in charge of teaching hundreds of students in his family’s backyard, where he runs classes for poor children from his village. The story of this young man from Murshidabad in West Bengal is a remarkable tale of the desire to learn amid the direst poverty. He himself is a class XII student of Cossimbazar Raj Govinda Sundari Vidyapeeth.
Image Courtesy : http://www.india.youth-leader.org/
Sugata Mitra – Building a School in the Cloud
Educational researcher Sugata Mitra is the winner of the 2013 TED Prize. He is now building a School in the Cloud, where children can explore and learn from one another. Dr. Mitra’s “Hole in the Wall” experiments have shown that, in the absence of supervision or formal teaching, children can teach themselves and each other. In 1999, Mitra and his colleagues dug a hole in a wall bordering an urban slum in New Delhi, installed an Internet-connected PC, and left it there (with a hidden camera filming the area). What they saw was kids from the slum playing around with the computer and in the process learning how to use it and how to go online, and then teaching each other. Three of his Schools in the Cloud are running in India currently.
Uttam Teron has educated children from his village at Pamohi and 10 other neighbouring tribal villages near Guwahati. In 2003 he started Parijat Academy with an aim of achieving 100% literacy in Pamohi. Parijat (meaning “heavenly flower”) Academy is a school for children of families with low income. Teron believes that education is the birthright of every child and no child –rich or poor should be left behind.
Sudhanshu Biswas – Fought for India’s freedom, now educating young minds
Sudhanshu Biswas is a 95 year old freedom fighter who continues to serve the country through his philanthropic organization Sri Ramakrisha Sevashram(SRKS) in South 24 Parganas district while unfortunately battling against financial problems. In the last four decades, he has set up 18 free schools for the poor children in remote villages in the nearby Sunderban area. The teachers of the schools belong from the same village and hence an ownership is created. Till date thousands of orphans have stayed and studied in SRKS and currently he is bringing up 67 orphan students who study and take care of all the work of SRKS.