Last Updated on by
A Shopkeeper in Delhi has been running a makeshift school for last 8 years for more than 300 poor children below a metro bridge at the Yamuna bank River. Till now, he has not received any kind of help from the government or NGOs but still, all this has not discouraged his spirits.
“The Free School Under the bridge” the founder of this school is Mr. Rajesh Kumar Sharma, hundreds of children who are living in cottages & coming to the school fighting hunger, extremely poverty even at the adverse weather are getting education from this school.
The 49-year-old, Rajesh Sharma is the only earner of his family of 5 members, he is basically from Laxmi Nagar, Uttar Pradesh, Hathras district and he runs a small grocery shop, so that he can support financially his family.
He started his journey of teaching in 2006 with 2 children and now he has more than 300 poor children who belongs to slum residents, rag pickers, rickshaw pullers & beggars. Now he run the school in 2 shifts one is from 9:00 am to 11:00 am for 120 boy’s students and another from 2:00pm to 4:30pm for 180 girls. He run the school with the help of 7 teachers, volunteers to teach the students aged between 4 years to 14 years.
The roof of the school is a Delhi metro bridge, the resources they have like 5 blackboards, some chalks, duster, pen & pencil. They bring their own notebooks, the children used to sit on the ground covered with carpets. The place is far from traffic so the students don’t get distracted due to noise.
Mr. Sharma said, they receive a genuine contribution from a few people not in a monetary form but they help by distribution biscuits, fruits, notebooks, water bottles, food package. Even they celebrate their birthday with these children.
No one wants to discontinue their studies but at the same time, they have to help their families, sometimes the children are not coming to school for a few days. They all dream big. Mr. Sharma also teaches his students the importance of cleanliness and has separate toilets for girls and boys.