43-year-old Arup Mukherjee is not just an ordinary traffic constable in Kolkata. Going beyond the call of duty, this traffic cop has been on a mission to rehabilitate children belonging to one of the ethnic tribal communities.
Mukherjee has been striving hard to convince the parents belonging to the Sabar community to send their children to a boarding school that he established in Purulia district's Barabazar block.
The traffic cop's Puncha Nabadisha Model Model School provides free education as well as food to at least 126 children of the Sabar tribe.
Describing the reason for taking up an initiative of empowering the tribe, he said that his zeal to educate Sabar children arose from his childhood experience of seeing policemen frequently dragging the poor, helpless people of the community for one crime or another.
"I saw them being ostracised, and not given jobs. They took to crime. My grandfather would tell me that the Sabars were not educated, and so, were unable to find jobs. When I persisted with my grandpa what I could do for them, he told me to grow up and start earning and then think of something for the poor Sabar children. I set my goal, then," said Mukherjee, reported The New Indian Express.
Around 20,000 members of the Sabar tribe live in five blocks of Purulia district. The children who go to Mukherjee's school are provided lodging, food, clothes, and education up to Class IV.
After that, schooling continues in secondary and high schools in the area. "I use ₹20,000 of my salary for the school. We have farmlands which help me run my family," says Mukherjee. "Many poor Sabar parents came to me with a request to include their children in my boarding school because they were unable to feed them.