SOLYMONE BLOG

INDIAN SHOPKEEPER TEACHES POOR CHILDREN UNDER BRIDGE?

NEW DELHI, India -  Under the roof of a rumbling metro bridge, in the open heat and dust, with only a torn rug to sit on, one man is changing this little corner of the world with his missionary zeal to empower poor migrant children.

Undoubtedly, of all the gifts that can be given, education is one that cannot be taken away.

In the heart of Delhi, 43-year-old Rajesh Kumar Sharma runs a makeshift school, bringing hope of a better life for disadvantaged children with few options.

The cost of what he puts in can easily be measured — a temporary shelter and the daily two-hour labour of the teacher. But the output is simply incalculable. Who knows, one of the students may become a Prime Minister, another a bureaucrat and others scientists or renowned doctors?
The children turn up early every morning to sweep the floor clean and spread their rugs. School founder Sharma, the owner of a nearby general store, arrives at 9am, leaving his brother behind to tend to his business for the next couple of hours.

The routine, which involves teaching elementary reading, writing, arithmetic and some geometry, sometimes extends to weekends.

Starting with two children five years ago, Sharma has come a long way. His school under the bridge in Shakarpur now has over 150 children between the ages of 3 and 16.

Initially, Sharma had a tough time convincing local labourers to send their children to study. They refused as the children’s labour added to the meagre incomes of their families. 
But he managed to light the fire of knowledge in the children who now come to school willingly. Most children at his school are later admitted to various government schools.
Initially, Sharma paid all of the costs of the children’s textbooks and stationary from his own pocket, but with volunteers and donations trickling in, he can manage resource much better.

The parents are a happy lot.

Source: Agencies
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