“Teaching is a very noble profession that shapes the character, caliber, and future of an individual. If the people remember me as a good teacher, that will be the biggest honour for me.” ~ APJ Abdul Kalam.
Many teachers are fighting against the odds daily to light the bulb of knowledge and wisdom in the corners of India. For us, these are the inspiring teachers, and here we bring you their unconventional stories.
- Anand Kumar ( Started Super 30 program to coach poor students for IIT-Jee): The biographical drama film of Super 30 is based on the life and journey of Anand Kumar. Anand was a brilliant student with a deep interest in Mathematics, who couldn’t attend Cambridge university because of financial difficulties. In 2000, he started a super 30 program where he would help students prepare for the IIT Joint Entrance Test Examination. He also became the subject of an hour-long documentary on Discovery channel in the year 2009.
- Aditya Kumar (Cycled long distances to spread awareness about the importance of education among the poorest of people): From Lucknow to Ranchi, Aditya cycled to spread awareness about the importance of education amongst the lowest section of society. He teaches mathematics and language to students who cannot afford to go to school. For his valuable contributions, he has been lauded by former UP CM Mr Akhilesh Yadav.
- Rajesh Kumar Sharma (Started a school under a flyover of the metro station): Determination knows no boundaries proves Rajesh Kumar Sharma. A college dropout and runs a general store, Rajesh teaches nearly 200 students under metro rail flyover near the Yamuna Bank station in Delhi. Started in 2007, his initiative has grown into a full-fledged school.
- Abdul Malik (Swims across a river to get his students): Abdul Malik is based in Malappuram who daily crosses a muddy river with clothes, shoes, and tiffin in his left hand to reach his students on time, sharp at 9 am. When enquired, he reveals it takes 3 hours when the distance is covered by a bus, while he covers the same distance in 15 minutes by choosing to swim. After he became popular for his good deeds, he was offered a glass-fibre boat by a donator.
- Babar Ali (Teaching while still studying himself): There is no ideal age to become a teacher. Coined as the “youngest headmaster in the world” by BBC at the age of 16 for running a school in Murshidabad, W.B, India. The young man was a student when he started teaching. Now, the school accommodates 800 children and a total of 10 teachers. Babar, 24 has been bestowed with many honours for his noble work.
- Arvind Gupta (Invented Toys From Trash For Making Learning Fun): An alumnus of IIT-Kanpur, Arvind is a believer of “small positive actions rather than empty rhetoric.” He developed an idea for turning trash into toys and experiments to make learning a fun experience. He also wrote a book about this initiative and delivered a TED talk.
- Roshni Mukherjee (Made Videos Simplifying the concepts of PCM and Biology for 9-12 classes): Turning fear into victory! In 2011, the lady started Exam fear, posting videos on significant topics from PCM and biology in a simplified manner for the students between class 9 to 12. She has around 9. 54 lakh subscribers and 6.1k videos on her channel.
- Prof Sandeep Desai( Begs in Mumbai local to run schools for underprivileged): He begs in the famous local trains for Mumbai to collect funds for his English-medium schools for the underprivileged in rural Maharashtra and Rajasthan. He shows laminated newspaper clippings for the authenticity of his charity Shloka.
- Vimla Kaul (Began teaching the underprivileged with her husband and continues even at the age of 81): Having retired from the teaching profession, she reneged on it immediately and started teaching disadvantaged students. She also started her school in a 4-room apartment called “Guldasta.” Her husband joined her till his demise in 2009.
- Bharti Kumari (She began teaching at the age 12 while she was herself a student): Another example of there is no age to become a teacher. Bharti started to oversee the school in the village of Kusumbhara at the age of 12. She teaches English, Hindi, and Maths under a mango tree apart from attending school herself. Thereby, she is the rightful holder of the title “Youngest headmistress” of the world.
- Barun Biswas (Teaching backward students from West Bengal, he stood up for the politically motivated crimes): In the unfamiliar part of West Bengal, Sutia as political crimes and rapes were common, Barun was the man who stood up to the system. According to him, the only way out of the blood chaos was an education for the poor farmer’s children. He educated them and raised his voice against the goons, which resulted in his killing in 2012. However, his story brought injustice to light in front of media houses.
- Moitur Rahman Khan (Teaches students for the IAS, IPS and IRS for a sum of Rs.11): Last on our list of motivating teachers is Moitur Rahman Khan from Patna who coaches aspiring IAS, IPS, and IRS students for just a sum of Rs. 11.
All these teachers are a true embodiment of the philosophy “Teaching is noble.” 5th September is the day of the honourable souls, whom we call teachers. Treat them sweetly with Teacher’s day cake.