23-year-old Satyendra Pal is in BSC final year and along with his studies, he teaches children from first to tenth grade here.
Yamuna Khadar’s slum camp in East Delhi is home to many people seeking employment from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Jharkhand. The people living in these slums either do daily wages or grow vegetables on the vacant land nearby and sell them.
The condition of this slum is the same as you and we often see on television. Children playing here and there in randomly constructed slums, open drains, and careless, who are written in government schools, but do not go to school. The parents of these children also do not have enough time to pay attention to their studies.
But still, you will hear a loud voice in this slum in a tone of “A to Pigeon,” B to Rabbit or “Doo Dooni Char, Do TiyaSix….”. Following this voice, you will reach an empty space in the middle of some stone slabs placed for the construction of a flyover, and under one of these slabs, you will see the source of this voice.
A flyover slab, below which some children will see you writing on your slate and then repeating it aloud with your teacher.
All these children are residents of Yamuna Khadar slum camp and their teacher, Satyendra Pal is also a resident of this slum camp. The 23-year-old Satyendra is in BSC final year and along with his studies, he teaches about 200 children from first to tenth grade under this flyover slab here.
Talking to The Better India, Satyendra said, “Since 2015, I have been teaching these children. I started with just five children and today I have 200 children. Two more companions, Pannalal and Kanchan are also associated with me in these four years, they also teach these children.”
Satyendra hails from Badaun district of Uttar Pradesh and shifted to Delhi in 2010 with his family in search of a better life. His family is associated with farming. Satyendra, who passed the Class XII examination from the UP Board, also had to leave middle school for two-three years due to financial constraints of the family and then migration. Satyendra, who considers education as everything, did not give up and then came to Delhi and enrolled in graduation from Agra University as soon as he got a chance.
“I noticed here that most families do not go to school. There is a reason that the government school is one-and-a-half kilometers away from here, so it is not easy for the parents to leave the school and bring them to small children. Apart from this, the children who are in big classes also drop out after eighth-ninth due to the environment and situation. I used to feel sad to see all this,” said Satyendra.
He slowly started collecting and teaching the children playing around him. Seeing this passion for Satyendra, many families appreciated him and then started sending their children to study with him. On seeing this, a small school of Satyendra started under this flyover slab.
He named his initiative ‘PanchsheelShikshanSansthan’. Their institute is not registered yet, but currently, their aim is only so that the children’s classes here continue in this way. Satyendra does not charge any fees from any parent in return for teaching children. They are teaching these children with their happiness. They teach first to fifth grade from 5 to 11 am and students from sixth to tenth grade from 2 pm to 6 pm.
Satyendra explains that “Many of the children who have come to them have now been admitted to a government school and the children who did not go to school earlier now go to school every day.”
“The best thing has happened that this time 7 children of Yamuna Khadar have passed the class XII exam, otherwise most of the children of this place had left their studies before this. So, the achievement of these children is huge for us. Apart from this, the level of all the other children studying here has increased considerably in school. They are also getting prizes in many school activities. So, there is the satisfaction that these classrooms are bringing some change in the lives of these children,” he added.
This initiative of Satyendra is getting praise not only from the people of Yamuna Khadar but also from outside people. Anyone who sees these children studying here in such a place is stunned. Many sincere people have also arranged for stationery, books, boards, etc. for these children.
But the thing that these children need the most at present is a good place to study, a good class. They do not have any space of their own which they can adapt to their studies in their own way. Satyendra, who wishes to do B.Ed. after graduation, just wants a good place for these children to study.