sulabh swatchh bharat

Thursday, 27-April-2017

SCHOOLING THE RURAL POOR

This engineer from Ghazipur, now working in Mumbai, had gone through poverty and has now set up a school for the poor

Surya Sen Singh struggled through poverty and lack of infrastructure to get education. He is now an engineer in a corporate company located in Mumbai. But the 31-year-old engineer didn’t forget his formative values.

Those values were formed when he was struggling against poverty, and he is firm that he will personally do whatever he can for children from his kind of background. He works hard to ensure children in rural UP get the education they deserve. Doing corporate job, he also funds a school in Ghazipur district, a remote area of Uttar Pradesh that teaches poor kids, especially girls for a mragre fee of Rs 200.

Not only that, the school also promotes girl students for higher education. Singh is now also working to open a library in the district with the aim to provide free and easy access to educational material to the poor children.

As a child, Singh has witnessed extreme poverty, and one of the things poverty affects the most is education. Singh, however, was one of the lucky ones.

After completing class 10th, he went to Lucknow in order to receive higher education. He became an engineer and took a job in Mumbai.

But he couldn’t forget the struggle he had to go through to get there, a struggle most of his fellow villagers couldn’t afford to pass through. Poverty creates illiteracy and illiteracy creates poverty, and the vicious cycle goes on. Unless someone breaks the chain, this cycle will be perpetuated, as is the case in most places in the country, and that is exactly what Singh did by opening a school near his village.

He founded the Ajivam School near his village Kansahari, Ghazipur district, back in 2015. He said, “There are other schools in Ghazipur district as well, but I clearly wanted to start something specific that would encourage children from the village to come out and study.”

The school has classes from lower kindergarten to class 5 and charges fees as little as Rs 200 to 500, depending on the student’s financial condition.

With the school he aims to at least teach every child in the nearby villages at minimal costs. Although the school is not affiliated with the CBSE board, it runs on its own curriculum and is on the path to receive its affiliation as soon it starts teaching students up to 8th class.

While Singh lives in Mumbai, his father and brother live in the village, taking care of the school. He calls up his family many times every week to check in on the developments and requirements of the school.

The school started its first year with a small number of 49 students which has now grown to 160 students and nine teachers. The number of students increases every year. As the school grows, Singh is now working to open a public library in the district. Lack of resources kills the passion for learning. Poverty forces the students to compromise with their studies leading to many dropouts. Hence, Singh has decided to open up the library. Singh’s idea is that even if the village students drop out due to financial stress on their families, they will at least keep reading books and learn.

While he used his own money to set up and run the school, the library is a much expensive and diverse concept. Therefore, Singh is now raising funds for the project.



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