A lot of us crib about the state of education in this country, but only a few dare to make an effort in this regard. Specially when one is 22 years old and just out of college, finding a dream job or going abroad for higher studies is the centre of their focus. However, here is a story that will reaffirm your belief in the same educated class who are going out of their way to bring about a change.
This is the story of two recent graduates from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) in Pilani, Pranjal and Navkaran, who were once discussing how fortunate they were to have had access to quality infrastructure during the course of their education. That’s when Pranjal remarked how students in a school in Ambari, his maternal village in Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh, were studying even in the absence of basic amenities such as desk and benches.
A few years ago, Prathamic Vidyalaya, the school in Ambari, used to be a grazing ground and a resting place for vagabonds. The headmaster and the teachers of the school took it upon themselves to raise the school from the ground level. From building the boundary wall to renovating the structure – they put their own hard-earned money to get the school running. For the additional amenities, they sought help from the public. It is noteworthy that this school has produced alumni some of which include Chief Ministers, Governors, Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) such as the Late Ram Naresh Yadav (Former Chief Minister and Governor), Ram Krishna Yadav (a MP), Balihari Babu (a MP in the Rajya Sabha), Ram Kant Yadav (a MP and a MLA) and Obaidullah Azmi (a two-time MP).
Taking inspiration from Pilani, the remote hamlet where BITS is situated, these BITS Pilani alumni members started a BitGiving campaign called “School Chale Hum (Let’s go to school)”. The group of students have taken upon themselves to raise ₹3 lakhs through a crowdfunding campaign for the school. The money will be used for buying desks and benches for the students to sit on and a library for the school’s students.
Their reason for this initiative is that basic infrastructure for education is a right of every child in this country. If one Birla family can build one of the best technological institutes in the country, why can’t people come forward to provide basic infrastructure for a single school in Ambari, a village of a similar demography as Pilani?