Social change in India has been on the rise in recent years, and here is another ‘Change Maker’. This wonderful boy called ‘Babar Ali’ is doing his bit to help his friends and villagers become literate. He has accepted the corrupt environment and carrying on his inspiring work. This is a story of the capability and willingness of an individual to help others. It is people like him that the underprivileged people in India wake up every morning hoping a good day.

Babar Ali’s day starts early. He wakes, pitches in with the household chores, then jumps on an auto-rickshaw which takes him part of the 10km (six mile) ride to the Raj Govinda school. The last couple of kilometres he has to walk.The school is the best in this part of West Bengal. There are hundreds of students, boys and girls. The classrooms are neat, if bare. But there are desks, chairs, a blackboard, and the teachers are all dedicated and well-qualified. Babar Ali  takes his notes carefully. He is the model student. He is the first member of his family ever to get a proper education.

At four o’clock every afternoon after Babar Ali gets back to his family home a bell summons children to his house. They flood through the gate into the yard behind his house, where Babar Ali now acts as headmaster of his own, unofficial school. Lined up in his back yard the children sing the national anthem. Standing on a podium, Babar Ali lectures them about discipline, then study begins.

Babar Ali gives lessons just the way he has heard them from his teachers. Some children are seated in the mud, others on rickety benches under a rough, homemade shelter. The family chickens scratch around nearby. In every corner of the yard are groups of children studying hard.

“Our area is economically deprived,” he says. “Without this school many kids wouldn’t get an education, they’d never even be literate.”

Read this excellent article here.

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