Jalaluddin Gazi : Promising himself that children of his neighbourhood in the Sundarbans won’t have to crush their dreams of education like he was forced to do after his Class II owing to abject poverty, Jalaludin Gazi continues to steer the wheels of literacy for hundreds of have-nots. Gazing longingly at bubbly school-going kids while he was scavenging for food as a teen in Kolkata, this former taxi driver has thrown his doors open to impart free primary school knowledge to poor kids. Having understood the importance of becoming self-reliant and the role that education can play in earning self-respect, Gazi has also set up a tailoring institute. Besides, he also sponsors typing lessons for students in other schools of his village. Moreover, he himself imparts driving lessons to the deprived to ensure their upliftment.
Previous Inspiring Stories
Babar Ali :
Inspired by Swami Vivekananda’s teachings, Babar Ali is a living narration of the strong will power that defies even
tender age, rightly earning him the title of the 'world's youngest headmaster' in 2009. Having lived a life of penury, Ali refused
to allow poverty to destroy the joys of learning amongst the poor rustic children in the impoverished district of Murshidabad.
The wheels of his journey started moving when as a nine-year old, he set up ‘Ananda Siksha Niketan – Home of joyful learning’ in his own backyard. Meanwhile, Ali’s first batch of eight students have not only got themselves enrolled as college students but are also rendering their volunteering services as teachers amongst the 500 students today.
Syed Feroze Ashraf :
A firm believer of the notion that an educated woman makes a firm foundation for a balanced society, Syed Feroze
Ashraf turned into ‘Uncle: The school in himself’ to become the wind beneath a girl’s educational flight. Ashraf has been reaching
out to children of grave diggers, hawkers, rickshaw drivers, watchmen and other such disadvantaged sections of the society dwelling
in the slums of Jogeswari East Mumbai since 1997.
‘Uncle’s Classes’ have fought many battles against the ills of gender bias, poverty, unemployment, religious ideas that plague the society and scripted many success stories. A few of his students are today engaged in law, aviation and hospitality industry. Instilled with Ashraf’s ideology, the students have carried forward his legacy by helping to lighten up underprivileged lives with knowledge from their homes.
Ramesh Panse: Tapping into his vocation of igniting the young minds with knowledge, Ramesh Panse resigned from his faculty post at a university in 1991 to nurture and mould the little hearts that throb in the marginalized sections of Maharashtra and Goa. Striding out of his comfort zone, he scoured tribal villages where water, electricity and other basic amenities of human life are still a far cry. He strode on to generate awareness and acceptance of high quality, learner-centric and development-appropriate childhood education through his NGO ‘Gram Mangal’ that practices flexible pre-school and health clinics. Panse’s philosophy has touched the lives of kids across 200 pre/primary schools and trained thousands of teachers spread over tribal, rural and urban region.
Mittal Maulik Patel: A resident of Ahmedabad, Mittal Maulik Patel has been working tirelessly to give identity, dignity & voice to the nomadic and de-notified tribes since 2005. She has persevered in her efforts, both at the grassroots and policy level, to bestow human and citizenship rights, social identity, education, health facilities, housing and livelihood options to the tribal communities. She is striving to re-establish Societal Recognition of Nomadic Tribes and De-notified Tribes (NT-DNT). She has been assisting the members of this group in creation of alternate employment opportunities for the community members in lieu of their traditional occupations in keeping with the changing times. Today, her Vicharta Samuday Samarthan Manch continues the crusade across 47 blocks of 9 districts in Gujarat.
Kapil Pandey has guided Kutumb Foundation in his capacity as its President in serving the society through various programmes, which include literacy to the less privileged children. Beginning in 2002, the Kutumb Foundation is dedicated to promoting the total development of the individual by polishing his/her language skills, bridging developmental gaps, and addressing issues of identity. The Foundation was one of the foremost organisations to use non-formal education methods with young volunteers, infusing many lives with 'Happy Lives'.
Moved by Mother Teresa’s words at an event, Jyotinivas Kumar Sinha walked back many years down memory lane to 1969 when as a young police officer in Bihar, he was surprised to see the pitiable living conditions of a Musahar ghetto while on a raid to apprehend a gang of criminals. Shocked to find that time had stood still for 40 years, this former RAW official founded Shoshit Seva Sangh in 2005 post retirement. His main aim was to improve the literacy rate, which stood at just three per cent, of the members belonging to this rat-eating landless community. His dream to empower the Mushahars with education took shape with Shoshit Samadhan Kendra, a fully free English medium residential school, with only four boys in 2007. Second to none, his kids had also stumped late APJ Abdul Kalam with their questions during the former President’s visit.
Ram Ingole is the secretary of Amrapali Utkarsh Sangha that has been working for needy children from different categories in Nagpur area for over three decades. The organisation have been running residential schools, family centres, community based programmes and coordinated care intervention, especially for children of sex workers from Ganga Jamuna Red Light Area in Nagpur and also children of quarry workers in Panchgaon area since 1980.
Arman Ali is associated with Guwahati-based ShishuSarothi for Rehabilitation & Training for Multiple Disability as its Executive Director since 2009. He has played a pivotal role in ensuring better education to children with cerebral palsy and mental retardation through the Centre for Special Education.
Armene Modi gave up her teaching career in Japan to return home after stumbling upon India’s 1991 census that 61% of Indian women were illiterate. Her Ashta No Kai (ANK) is a literacy and empowerment project for rural women in 10 villages of Maharashtra.
The Friends of Tribals Society founder observed that running full-fledged schools in a tribal area was almost impossible. Hence, he designed a new concept, EkalVidyalaya -- One Teacher School, that started off with 60 areas in Jharkhand as a pilot project.
Wizdoms Library developed 820 libraries and donated 2,50,000 books, benefitting 1,200,000 students in rural areas. Conceptualized in 2007 by Lt. Cdr. VikramB.Naik (Retd), this organization believes in ‘While People Go to Libraries-Let Libraries also go to People’.