RANCHI: “Our parents are not educated enough to guide us, but Upendra Sir has been guiding us in completing our courses at a time when our schools are closed,” said Aarti Kumari.Aarti is a Class III student and ‘Upendra Sir’ is a teenager studying in Class XII. Physically challenged, it takes him about half-an-hour to cover a distance of one km to reach his ‘class’, which is an abandoned school near Sarrayakandri village in Jharkhand’s Maoist hotbed of Chatra district. But he does not mind taking the pain because it gives him immense joy to help these 60-odd children, who come from poor families and cannot afford to pay for private tuition and do not have access to online classes.
Upendra Kumar Yadav, 18, has been giving free-of-cost lessons to these children every day for 10 months because he doesn’t want the children to remain uneducated. It all started when a man approached him to guide his son as schools were closed and he could not arrange a smartphone.“I started in September 2020 with only three children, but later the number rose to 20. As the space at home was not adequate enough, some of the parents asked me to conduct classes in the abandoned school.”
Yadav, who will be writing his Class 12 exams this year, said he wanted to become a teacher so that he can continue this drive to make everyone educated. He said he approached his seniors to guide him for Class X board exams but they refused due to his disability in both legs, saying he could achieve nothing by studying as he was ‘good for nothing’. The spirited teenager says he holds no grudges for that against anybody, but he does not want any child to suffer simply because he/she is underprivileged in any way.