Grocery Store Owner Holds Free Lessons for Slum Children Under a Bridge in India
There are some truly kindhearted teachers in this not-so-kindhearted world, and then there’s this grocery store owner.
Rajesh Sharma, 45, has been holding free lessons under a bridge in New Delhi, India for slum children of the area who otherwise — most of them, at least — wouldn’t be getting an education.
He’s been teaching for seven years now too, all the while still maintaining his own business.
Sharma dropped out of college long ago for financial reasons, but afterwards felt inspired to help out the children in New Delhi. Many children are unable to take lessons at nearby government schools.
“I was strolling by and saw children of laborers playing in the dust and mud when this metro bridge was under construction,” Sharma told BuzzFeed News. “I spoke with the parents and asked, ‘Why don’t you send them to school?’ They said, ‘We want them to be educated but we can’t afford their education and the school is too far.’ ”
A lack of affordable schools in India can lead to consequences, such as child labor in the nation.
At first, Sharma began teaching just a few pupils, but now his classes hold around 200 and go on from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. The students learn English, Hindi, science, math, history, geography and on weekends play sports such as cricket.
There is no school bell, seats, or tables — just a wall of a railway ridge (which is still active).
Additionally, there is no government funding for Sharma’s school, it exists purely off donations of books, uniforms, footwear, sports equipment and food from the public. He is also accompanied by other volunteers from the area, too.
And each day after the lessons end, educator Rajesh Sharma goes off to work at the grocery shop he owns until 10 p.m. daily.