An amazing man from Ahmedabad has transformed a footpath into a school for the slum kids
Every day after the school, more than 150 slum children of sweepers, laborers, security guards, lorry pullers, drivers, house maids, etc, are seen at the footpath school in the Ambawadi bazaar area of Ahmedabad. Interestingly, this has been a daily activity for more than 15 years. Thanks to the efforts of Kamalbhai Parmar that now, many of these kids who were once illiterate are now doctors and engineers.
Kamalbhai Parmar is not the one among those thousands of tuition teachers who makes money from the students who flock to them in dozens to fetch higher marks. Kamalbhai Parmar has played a dual role of a teacher and a mentor for these socially and economically backward children.
I was standing outside my factory and saw around 20 students from the Municipality School going back home after their exams. I was shocked to learn that none of them knew how to read and write. And the most surprising part was that they all were in eighth grade, said Kamalbhai Parmar.
After the incident, Parmar conducted a survey of 400 students in his area, and discovered that only five of them were literate. That’s when he decided to start the program. Every day after school, Kamalbhai Parmar teaches them everything from the alphabet to preparing school exams to higher education material. It’s been over 15 years and the program has grown from 10 students to 155 today.
I teach them for two hours every day, and then we all have dinner together. Due to the dinner, a lot of students are attracted here. Imagine those who couldn’t read and write are now engineers and doctors and managers at banks. For me this is success, said Kamalbhai Parmar.
For his noble cause, Kamalbhai Parmar was awarded with Dharati Ratna in 2009. Kamalbhai Parmar’s footpath school story has also caught the media’s attention. Several stories have been published so far in the newspapers like Times of India and also in the world famous magazine, Readers Digest.
In order to provide financial help, one may contact at the below addresses. You can also contact if you are living in Ahmedabad and wish to volunteer for coaching to the 11th/12th students (Science/Commerce).
Footpath Shala, Bhudarpura, Ambawadi, Ahmedabad
47/4, L.Colony, Near Polytechnic, Ahmedabad – 380015
Phone: 079-26421587(Kamalbhai Residence), 98251 59024 (Tushar Anjaria’s Mobile)
Email: [email protected] (Tushar Anjaria)
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Image Credit: rihaan