"Once I saw a father come home drunk after losing money on gambling, and his child stood crying at the entrance. The child was bearing the brunt of his father’s actions, and I just couldn’t sit still knowing that there were other children out there in similar situations. So I, along with 5 other teachers, decided we would put our qualifications to better use and put an end to these families’ miseries. We started a school with the aim of educating these children, who in turn can teach their parents the demerits of alcohol and gambling." - Yaduvir Singh, Principal
Extremely poor, these children never had the opportunity to pursue education until nowYaduvir Singh and his team of 5 teachers run the Sri Ram Gopal Prathmik Vidyalaya, in Etawah, Uttar Pradesh. The school, which caters to 160 students, doesn't have a proper infrastructure, let alone a classroom, and lacks every basic teaching facility.
"More than 80% of the students in our school are very poor and cannot afford to pay fees. Before enrolling in the school they were engaged in labour work to earn for their families and their parents didn't care about their education. Hence why I am running this school. As a teacher, I want to give them proper education and help them be citizens of tomorrow and acceptable members of society." - Srinivas, teacher
Without a classroom and adequate facilities, they can’t give the children a proper school experienceA farmer by profession, Yaduvir’s mission stems from his father’s vision of building a school to educate underprivileged children in the village. His father always said that education is the only way a society can grow and thrive. He’d even built a room that operated as a classroom for students, but with time, the walls withered away. Now, the classroom is old and weak and teachers always worry about the wall falling, as it has happened before. However, Yaduvir lacks the resources to rebuild it.
“Sometimes, I get the urge to quit. But, when I see these innocent children sitting here, and the way they smile when they seeing me, it gives me the encouragement I need to take this mission forward.” - Yaduvir
It also becomes tricky to hold classes during seasonal changes. Teaching under the hot sun in the summers, heavy rain during the rainy season and cold during winters become very difficult. During a storm the roof flies away and is fixed with the help of other villagers.
“There is no proper school building - it's just one half-demolished room and a few areas made with the help of bamboo sticks and asbestos sheets.We don't have a washroom for the students, and neither do we have blackboards or any furniture. Teachers sit on the ground and teach the class.I have a fear that if the school shuts down, the students will start doing labour and other work and stop education completely.” - Yaduvir
With the construction of a school building, they will completely waive off the fee for students
“These children are extremely poor - some of them don't have both parents, while some are being brought up by single parents. We rely on the fees from about 32 or so students to run the school, but our school is even open to those students that can’t afford to pay the fees. When we have a proper school building built, we have decided that we will not take any fees from any student.” - Srinivas
“The teachers here only have education to provide the children and nothing else. We can't supply them with the facilities that other schools do. We earn a negligible salary, but we don’t dwell on it because our main concern is to see that these children get educated - we wish to educate the youth of the village to build a good society.” - Ramu Tiwari, teacher
These teachers are requesting your help, not for themselves but for their students, to build a proper school and pave the way for a progressive and educated society.