Rajesh Kumar Sharma – A shopkeeper by profession, every morning he teaches underprivileged children under a metro bridge.
In his earlier years he was compelled to quit college in his third year of B.Sc. due to financial constraints, Sharma does not want anyone else to meet the same fate.
Few years ago, he visited the construction of the Delhi transit station and was disturbed by the sight of many children playing at the site instead of attending school. When he questioned their parents working at the sites they all said there were no schools in the vicinity.
Consequently, his open-air class room was born – between the pillars and beneath the tracks of Yamuna Bank metro station. Children from the neighboring slum gather here to give shape to their dreams and let their imagination take over.Every few minutes a train passes above, the children unperturbed by its sounds. There are no chairs or tables and the children sit on rolls of polystyrene foam placed on the rubble.Three rectangular patches of wall are painted black and used as a blackboard.
Anonymous donors have contributed cardigans, books, shoes and stationery for the children, as their parents cannot afford them. One unnamed individual sends a bag full of biscuits and fruit juice for the pupils every day – another incentive for the children to turn up for their studies.
“It is an unusual school in an unusual location and is also run by an unusual teacher.”