MADHYA PRADESH: Mukesh Sharma (37) is the eldest of his four siblings; three of whom are afflicted with haemophilia - an inherited genetic disorder that impairs the body's ability to produce blood clots that prevents internal or external bleeding after an injury.
Treatment of this genetic disorder is expensive, which results in people bleeding for a longer than usual post injury and an increased risk of bleeding inside the joints/brain. To pay the bills concerning his treatment, his family had to sell their two houses in Delhi and shift to his maternal grandparents' place in Bhind district.
Struggling past those hardships and acute financial problems, Sharma is now a teacher at a middle school in Fanda village of Bhopal district. Since 2013, he has guided over 500 students till date with his impeccable grasp over the subject of social sciences.
"My aim now is to not only shape the educational journey of Classes 6 to 8 students, but also fund all students who cannot afford to buy notebooks and stationery, despite getting free textbooks and uniforms from the government," says the school teacher.
Every month, he spends a portion of his monthly remuneration to fund the needs of these students. "I see my childhood in them, which on some days was devoid of two square meals due to my parents spending all they had to fund mine and my medical treatment two other haemophilia-afflicted brothers," says Sharma.
While Sharma is shaping the educational career of students at the Fanda government school, his second brother Brijesh is a schoolteacher in Delhi, and the youngest brother Ravi is a law student in Bhopal, aspires to be a Supreme Court judge and work for the needy.
"The family's financial condition caused major hurdles in our education. Brijesh offers free coaching to classes 8 to 12 students in Wazirabad, Delhi. I exhaust a major portion of my monthly salary of Rs 40,000 on my treatment, but still manage to help the underprivileged students," Sharma said.
In the adjoining Sehore district, two visually impaired teachers, Hariom Jamini and Gopal Dutta, have been endlessly engaged in spreading education among students. Originally from Sehore, Hariom lost his vision due to measles when he was only three.
He studied at schools for the visually challenged children in Indore and Bhopal and later completed his graduation and post-graduation degrees with the help of an NGO.
In 2001, he secured the schoolteacher’s job under the category for the handicapped and since then has been teaching Social Science, Hindi and Sanskrit at the government middle school in Singpur village at Sehore district’s Nasrullaganj block.
Today, he travels 18 km daily to the school, using the bus and auto rickshaw, and delivers lectures in Braille. "I am lucky that many of my past students, over 400 of them, including an anganwadi worker Rekha, still connect with me and tell me that I have inspired their lives. This is my biggest consolation," says Hariom proudly.
Gopal Dutta, a nearly 85 per cent visually impaired primary school teacher, is also shaping the lives of children at a primary school in Nasrullaganj, Sehore district. "I had to leave college abruptly during the second year in B Com, when my vision started to deteriorated," he says.
Soon after, Dutta went to Sankara Nethralaya in Chennai, where the famous specialist Dr Rajiv Raman diagnosed his ailment as Retinitis pigmentosa - an eye disease in which the retina is damaged.
"My world plunged into darkness. Dr Raman told me to use a writer to complete my education and also take a government recruitment test under the enabling category. Using the services of a writer, I passed the D. Ed course in 2010 and then cleared the recruitment test of MP primary school teachers. In 2014, I was posted at a primary school in Horeri village at Ashok Nagar district. Today, I travel almost 65 km every day to chase my dream of becoming the best school teacher in MP," says Dutta.
It appears Dutta's goal may have already been realised according to Pavni, a Class 12 student in Ashok Nagar district, who recalls, "I used to have a phobia of attending school. Then, Gopal sir joined our school and began teaching. His approach of using songs and poems in between the lectures, and distributing chocolates, ended my problem as I started enjoying school, and in time it became the most treasured place for me."
Helping the visually impaired like them
In the adjoining Sehore district, two visually impaired teachers, Hariom Jamini and Gopal Dutta, have been endlessly engaged in spreading education among students. Jamini travels 18 km daily to the school, using the bus and auto rickshaw, and delivers lectures in Braille.
Dutta, a nearly 85 per cent visually impaired primary school teacher, travel almost 65 km every day to teach at a primary school in Nasrullaganj, Sehore district.