Palak a journalism graduate believes in simplifying the complicated and writing about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people. She calls herself a " hodophile" or in layman words- a person who loves to travel.
Disappointed with the quality of education in government schools, a former Indian Police Service officer in Jharkhand has started teaching children at his home. The initiative has now grown into a full-scale programme with as many as 27 evening schools where more than 2,000 students are currently being taught free of cost.
Arun Oraon, a former Punjab cadre IPS officer, took voluntary retirement in 2014 and joined country's one of the distinguished political parties with a desire to serve the people. However, he was unable to get elected to the state legislature but this did not deter him from directing his efforts to work for the welfare of the community.
Initially, the IPS-turned-politician taught children from rural areas, particularly from the tribal belt, to bring them on par with students of private schools. On the request of a student, Oraon started an evening school at Uchari village on the outskirts of Ranchi.
The initiative took the momentum and spread to nearby villages. According to The New Indian Express, at present around 27 evening schools are being successfully run under his guidance in villages in Ranchi, Gumla and Lohardaga districts, at their respective community centres.
The schools are being run by more than 200 volunteers including a few retired teachers sharing the same vision. The teachers do not charge any fees for their time and contribution. Oraon not only conducts teacher training of the volunteers but also teaches them other life-skills to be passed on to the children. Classes are conducted from 6 to 8:30 in the evening.
Oraon said that the reason for the poor, tribal children living in rural areas not being able to compete with those studying in private schools is lack of basic understanding of science and mathematics. "How can one expect these children to become doctors and engineers when they don't have even basic knowledge of English, science and mathematics?" wondered Oraon. He hopes that his initiative will help give a level-playing to them.
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