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Young UP Police constable teaching underprivileged kids at Gonda daily

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The formula of (a + b)2, Newton’s laws of motion, Hindi poetry or English grammar and sentence construction, children are learning everything in the lap of nature under the open sky sitting on the green grass under the shade of a Peepal tree. The children are underprivileged students hailing from remote villages of Uttar Pradesh’s Gonda district, who barely get to eat two square meals a day. They are attending this free private tuition in the evening for one hour every day since the last 4-5 months.
Around 100-150 children, aged between 6-15 yearsd love and respect their ‘Sir ji’ and never miss a single class of him. They come walking from far, unperturbed by the weather or their empty stomach just to attend his class with smiling faces and eyes glowing with enthusiasm.
Their teacher? 28-year old Mohammad Jafar, a constable working at a police chowki under Gonda District Police’s, Kotwali Karnailganj Police Station who is setting an example with his selfless efforts towards spreading the light of education.

Inspiration

Talking about his initiative, Mohd Jafar told The CSR Journal, “The thought came when one day in between my duty hours I was observing the children who were loitering here and there playing in the dirt. This is an extremely backward region where parents of these children work mostly as daily wage labourers. Most of them are not literate and hence not very enthusiastic about their children’s education. They work from hand to mouth and cannot afford to send their children to English medium convent schools. The kids mostly study in free Government schools.”
“This is not my hometown so my family doesn’t stay here. Hence, after being posted here I had nothing much to do in my off time. That’s why I decided to start teaching these children so that they can brush up their lessons and I can also utilise my time doing something fruitful. Whatever education I have received, I want to share that knowledge with the young generation, especially with the underprivileged,” he added.

Mohd Jafar’s students

Mohd Jafar conducting his evening class
These children come from 5-6 surrounding villages like Chandrabhanpur, Balapur, Nakar, Guldaha, and Sakipur which are located within a radius of 3 kms from Chacheri police chowki, where Jafar is posted.
He teaches all subjects from classes 1-9, focusing mostly on brushing up their English, science and mathematics skills. The young teacher also regularly conducts General Knowledge quiz among the children to enhance their GK.
“This is an extremely backward area, so much so that if a person doesn’t attend his/her duty as a daily wage labourer for one day, they don’t know what to eat or feed their children the following day. They earn roughly Rs 150-200 per day. Their children study for free in government schools. But because the parents themselves are not educated, they cannot sit with their kids after school and guide them regarding their homework and syllabus. Hence, a lot of my students are first generation learners.
Their parents send them to me because I teach them for free. A person who earns Rs 200 or even less in a day, how can they afford to pay for private tuition for their children?” expressed the young cop.

A humble background

Mohd Jafar hails from a humble background, resident of a remote village in Uttar Pradesh’s Maharajganj district near Nepal border. He is the 4th child of his parents. They are a total of 6 siblings with four brothers and two sisters. Jafar has responsibilities on his shoulder especially regarding higher education of his younger brother and wedding of younger sister.
“I have completed my B.Sc in Mathematics. I started pursuing M. Sc and was in the first year, meanwhile, I had appeared for police service exams and got the job. My parents are aged and I have younger siblings to take care of at home. Hence I decided to start working without studying further.”

How it all began

“When I first began, I had to lure these children to come to my class,” recalled Mohd Jafar. “To lure them, I would give them free stationery like copy, pen, pencil etc. The word started spreading quickly and soon from 10 students, I was teaching 40. Now, I don’t give them free stationery but still many more students are joining every day. Now I give free stationery only to those children who cannot even afford to buy a copy worth Rs 10,” informed the police constable.
“I used to teach 50-60 children earlier but with news and social media publicity I have almost 150 students now. I am planning to make some arrangements for seating them,” he added.
Children never miss a single class

Classroom and timing

“On some days I get duty which is from 10 am to 4 pm. After that I have to go on patrolling duty in the evening. The 1-2 hours time which I get in between, I utilise it by teaching the children. I take the class under a huge Peepal tree near our police chowki. I have purchased a white board to teach them. They sit on the grass under the tree with the sky above their head. I have also arranged for a rug to make them sit so that they don’t catch cold in this extreme cold weather,” Jafar shared.

Education of girl children

Given the mindset of people about academics of girl children in India’s backward areas even today, do female students also come to his class? “Thankfully, with increased awareness and efforts by the government, these people do not stop their girl children from pursuing education. At least 40 percent of my students are girls. These girls are very bright and meritorious; all they need is a little guidance and mentoring. Given the right opportunity and scope for learning, some of my female students can very well compete with English educated girl students from big cities and urban areas coming from highly educated backgrounds,” informed the proud teacher.

Inclination towards social work

Talking about his inclination for social work, Jafar said, “I have had an inclination towards social work ever since I was a student. I have always wanted to do something which will benefit the people of my country. Finally, I have got a chance to fulfil that dream. You cannot earn money and become rich by doing social work, but you earn people’s love and blessings and this is something which is priceless!”
“I want to contribute in any way towards India’s development and what better opportunity than preparing the country’s youngsters for their bright future?” he added with a smile.

Felicitation by Police Department

Recently, Mohd Jafar has been felicitated by IPS Akash Tomar, Superintendent of Gonda Police, Uttar Pradesh. Expressing his gratitude on the same, Jafar said, “When I started teaching these kids, it was a solo effort. But now I have support of SP sir’s and entire UP Police. My Chowki in-charge sir and other staff working here are also extremely supportive about this initiative. I want to express my gratitude to the police department for their support and cooperation.”
Mohd Jafar being felicitated by IPS Akash Tomar, Superintendent of Gonda Police, Uttar Pradesh

Message for all

Urging all to come forward for this cause, Jafar expressed, “I am a single person working to educate 100-150 children from a backward area like this that too only for 1 hour in a day. I want more educated Indian citizens to come forward to this cause, take out a little time from their daily routine and teach the underprivileged children from nearby villages or urban slum areas anywhere near their home. Only then we can bring about the change and brighten their lives with the light of education.”

 

Ahana Bhattacharya can be reached at ahana@thecsrjournal.in