At a time when an outbreak of coronavirus has forced the school students to stay at home and continue their studies online, children of labourers and daily wage workers have no choice but to skip their studies as they can merely afford a smartphone or 24 hours Internet connectivity. Keeping this in mind some Delhi Samaritans, who themselves are students, have started teaching these children.
“Yamuna Khadar Pathshala” runs under a flyover at the banks of river Yamuna in Delhi’s Mayur Vihar, Phase-1. Around 250 students from the nearby slums every day come here to continue their studies offline.
This ‘under the flyover’ school is being run by six teachers who are also students. One of these teachers is Panna Lal, a 12th pass and has done a one-year computer course while another one is Devender, a law student.
The third teacher is Deepak Chaudhary, who is doing M.A. and has done a two-year computer diploma. Fourth is Rupam, a B.A. student, fifth is Mukesh, a Class 12th pass and holds a one-year computer diploma, and the last one is Dev Pal who manages all the activities in this school.
These people are running the school for those children, who do not have much money nor any other system to pursue studies in these corona times. The parents of these children are daily wage wagers, labourers or rickshaw pullers, etc. who toil hard every day to meet their basic requirements.
Panna Lal told IANS, “I have been teaching children since a year ago. There are some problems here due to which children are unable to study properly, and their parents also cannot afford smartphones.”
Dev Pal, who manages everything in the “Yamuna Khadar Pathshala”, told IANS: “We were planning to start this school in March last year but could not implement the idea due to enforcement of the lockdown. Then we decided to start online classes but this idea could also not work in absence of electricity and smartphones.”
“After some time we began physically teaching students from Nursery to Class 10. We have a total of six teachers to teach these students,” said Dev Pal.
He further said: “We never pressurise children for a fee. They give us some money as per their convenience.”
“All the teachers who teach here are students themselves. We have requested many to help us meet the basic requirements. Thereafter, we also urged people to at least send a teacher here for our help if they cannot give money, but no one helped,” said Dev Pal.
According to Dev Pal, the teachers here have also faced similar adversities in their lives. They aim to make these children succeed in life. However, they also have to earn a livelihood.