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Teacher in uniform: GRP constable runs free school to educate underprivileged children in UP's Unnao

Yadav’s father, a retired IAF personnel, had started a school at their village in UP’s Etawah district years ago but had to shut it down after facing opposition from some of his family members.

Published: 06th December 2020 08:54 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th December 2020 08:54 AM   |  A+A-

GRP constable Rohit Kumar Yadav distributes study material to children of his school in Unnao

GRP constable Rohit Kumar Yadav distributes study material to children of his school in Unnao

Express News Service

UTTAR PRADESH: Rohit Kumar Yadav, a Government Railway Police (GRP) constable posted in Unnao, always wanted to fulfil his father’s dream — to provide free education to underprivileged children.

Yadav’s father, a retired IAF personnel, had started a school at their village in UP’s Etawah district years ago but had to shut it down after facing opposition from some of his family members.

In September 2019, during a duty trip from Unnao to Rae Bareli section, the GRP personnel realised what the calling of his life was. When he came back home from that trip, the image of a few kids begging in the train kept haunting him.

“The hands which should have wielded pen and paintbrushes were holding begging bowls,” Yadav says. Unlike others, he didn’t just keep brooding over the fate of these children and reached out to them and their parents, with a resolve to convince them that education was the only magic wand to take them out of the abyss of darkness.

“I kept visiting these families of gypsies, who used to inhabit the railway land near tracks, and slum dwellers for a month every day to convince them for sending their children to school but most of them were reluctant,” says Yadav, who joined the force in 2005.

He adds that sending their children to school would have resulted in the loss of earning hands in those families. Besides, most of them were not ready to go through the school admission drill.

Realising the problem, Yadav just tossed up an idea before them — the school would come to them. And he would run it. Finally, early this year, an open air school — ‘Har Haath Mein Kalam’ (a pen in every hand) — near the railway track of Unnao station came into existence. The first batch saw only five students, and within a month, the number jumped up to 15. For the first couple of months, Yadav was the sole teacher at the school.

After his duty hours, he would devote his time to the school. Although it caused a big strain on his pocket, he kept bearing the initial cost of his students’ books and other expenses. As the word about his efforts spread, some NGOs came forward to help him and the school got a roof at a nearby rented accommodation. A few months later, the school has now been shifted to Korari Panchayat Bahwan building, thanks to the help from the District Panchayati Raj Officer.

Now, the school has two more teachers who take care of more 90 students. The GRP has also extended help to Yadav to run the school. “My passion to run the school outdid the fatigue and stress I used to have after hours of duty on trains. The passion became the mission of my life as it gave me the feeling that I am living the dream of my father,” says Yadav.



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