Published: 19th November 2018
This Ranchi Army man's classes are keeping poor kids from begging
Mishra has been giving tuitions to a group of poor children for free at a temple in Ranchi’s Harmu Housing Colony — three hours each for tuitions, including physical training and discipline
‘Service before self’ is the Indian Army’s motto. For retired Naib Subedar Lalan Mishra, it’s his way of life. For the past one-and-a-half years, 55-year-old Mishra has been giving tuitions to a group of poor children for free at a temple in Ranchi’s Harmu Housing Colony. At least three hours each day are spent in tuitions, including physical training for half-an-hour to instil discipline. A glass of milk and biscuits are add-ons.
It’s because of Mishra’s efforts that several of them have started going to school. It all began when Mishra spotted children of poor labourers loiter around the temple throughout the day picking up coins from stacks of flowers and ‘belpatras’ offered by devotees. They actually collected coins for fun since they had nothing better to do.
“They came to the temple after their parents went out for work and hunted for coins and sometimes begged from the devotees. They did not go to school and had nobody at home to look after them,” says Mishra.“I decided to offer basic education so that they could at least write their names. I started by talking to two brothers who came regularly to the temple,” said the retired army man.
After four-five days of cajoling, they agreed to study and came with their two other brothers, he adds.
“Later, I talked to their parents and convinced them to enrol the kids in the nearby government school. The children continued to come here after school for tuition. After a few weeks, more children joined, and now I have a batch of 45 kids of different age groups ranging from nursery to Class X,” says Mishra.
Sushila Devi, a mother of two, is all praise for Mishra. “Since my kids started attending his classes, their interest in studies increased and there have been no complaints from school."