I’m from a remote village in Bihar.
I went to government schools due to the lack of money or sometimes because of the unavailability of private schools during my school days. Where learning never entirely happened owing to the poor standard of the schools. While we now have computers and smart classrooms in almost every school in urban areas, as a kid we had to sit on the ground to get an education. And I believe the conditions are still the same in my small remote village and many other schools in rural areas.
All of this used to disturb me growing up, and I couldn’t concentrate on studies. Finally, I moved to Delhi and started working in private companies to look after my education and family too. In 2012, I secured a job in Indian Airforce and was happy about this achievement. But whenever I went back to my village on leave, the situation of the schools disturbed me – as it was still ruining the lives of many children with their poor infrastructure and quality of education.
We finally decided to start ‘Paathshala’ to facilitate quality education in rural areas. Now, we provide quality education to children by charging only a small fee to meet the school’s expenses. In the last 15 month of this journey, we have provided free basic computer knowledge to about 45 girls and free education to 40 students, and almost 200 kids are studying at the Paathshala by paying a small fee for its upkeep.
In addition to this, we are also running a few campaigns to improve rural education:
1. Recently we opened a library which is available for all sections of people without any charges.
2. In the area we are currently working in, there are more than 100 kids at a radius of every 5 Km who do not go to school. To motivate them, we have launched a programme named “स्कूल चलें” – where we visit their homes and distribute free educational kits that include books and other school supplies. We have distributed these kits to about 500 kids till now.
We aim to take our initiative to a higher level to connect with more rural areas in the future.