The Story of a Shopkeeper to a teacher and a free school under Metro Bridge
The Journey from Shopkeeper to a teacher and a school under Metro Bridge in Delhiâs Yamuna bank metro station is a story of Rajesh Kumar Sharma.
Popularly known as the free school under the bridge came into limelight few years ago when a lot of newspapers started covering the story of the school and this includes may Indian newspapers like Hindustan time and India Express and international like Al Jazeera and HuffingtonPost .
Rajesh wanted to become an engineer and he couldnât be one since he had to drop out because of the poor financial condition of the family. This unfulfilled dream gave him a mission to teach kids from the poor families. The kids are from nearby slum areas and most of them also go to the government schools.
While going to work he used to encounter these kids who were playing most of the time when he finalised on the idea of the school, he convinced the parents to send them to school. He started in 2006 and now it is close to 10 years when he is teaching at the school.
In government schools, the classes for the girls begin in morning 9 am till 12.30 pm and boys in the afternoon. So it is easy for the boys to attend the school in the morning. However, the girls attend when it is a holiday or not going to schools. The boys go to morning session and girls usually come in the afternoon session.
The students who donât go to government school, Rajesh Sharma encourages them to get enrolled to get benefits of a government schooling. He manages to keep the students ahead of the schedule at schools.
The school has evolved and now has a basic carpet, some colour on the walls and some chairs as well, some donations also come from time to time like books, shoes and utilities.
Rajesh Kumar Sharma on its mission is joined by two more enthusiasts. One is Laxmi Chandra, a tuition teacher from Bihar, a science graduate from Biharâs Magadh University. A third teacher, Shyam Mehto, a part-time tuition teacher also from Bihar
While Sharma teaches basic Hindi and English, the other teachers focus on mathematics and science.
Sharma has become an inspiration to all the people on a mission to never abandon an idea. He has been relentlessly perusing this idea for the free school for last 10 years. He has his comrades who have joined him and lot of people who appreciate helping kids, Kids who cannot afford a tutor or donât have educated family members to clear their doubts.