Table of Contents
‘Babar Ali’ is based on the true story of Babar Ali, a hero from Murshidabad, West Bengal, India. At the age of 16, he becomes the school’s youngest headmaster. Babar, who was still a student at a government-run school in Beldanga, West Bengal, established a school in his parents’ backyard in Murshidabad in the afternoons. He desired to support impoverished children with their schooling. Babar, who came from a wealthy family, knew he needed to do something to help the other students in his town.
About the Author
Samarpita Mukherjee Sharma works as a freelance writer and editor full-time. She is a part of a dynamic online magazine network that focuses on action. She has received several awards, including the United Nations Volunteer Award.
“Anand Shiksha Niketan”
‘Anand Shiksha Niketan’ began as a game and became an institution in 2002. Babar eventually gained the support of the local Ramakrishna Mission, IAS officers, and police personnel. The West Bengal State Government quickly appreciated his initiative. He educated pupils in the outdoors with the help of other volunteers. From class I through V, all textbooks were free. The pupils benefit from the narrow age difference between them and the teachers. Everyone was welcome to learn. Deprived students discovered a passion for studying.
Babar was a class XII student at the ‘Cossimbazar Raj Sundari Vidyapeeth.’ He was a high achiever and the first in his family to pursue higher education. After school, he went to an afternoon school where, at the age of 16, he was the headmaster of 800 kids! The youngest Headmaster in the world!
A Noble Step Towards Education
His school was a run-down concrete facility with half-torn posters all over it. Babar sat inside, in a cramped, dark room. A gate leading to Babar’s house was located behind the office. Rows of poor, underprivileged children sat beneath the wide, sky and joyfully learned.
In his community, Babar was lucky and privileged since he attended school and had a formal education. Nasiruddin, his father, a high school dropout, feels that education is man’s fundamental religion and first funded his son’s initiative with his own money. Babar believed that education was out of reach for most low-income households.
Even if government-funded education was free, the additional costs of uniforms, books, and other fees discouraged parents from taking their children to school. As a result, they became maids, mechanics, day laborers, grass mowers, cattle herders, and so on. Babar Ali had a different vision for these kids.
He wanted to teach these kids who were willing to walk kilometres in order to study. As a result, the ‘Anand Siksha Niketan’ was established. In reality, because children loved studying mathematics, the school began as a game and quickly evolved into a genuine endeavour. In nine years, an institution that started with just eight children and a young headmaster had 60 regular attendances, ten volunteer teachers, 200 pupils on roll-call, and 800 total students.
It’s important to remember that the school’s true strength came from the selfless service of ordinary people like Tulu Rani Hazra, an uneducated fishmonger who encouraged parents to send their children to school, Debarita, a college-bound teenager who had the noble desire to help the underprivileged by teaching them. The school’s strength stemmed from the fact that all of the teachers were volunteers who utilized their spare time to teach the less privileged, and the fact that they were not extremely senior to the children helped them gain their students’ interest.
Babar Ali’s story proves that if you have a solid desire, you will find a way. The fact that a 9-year-old can alter the world on his own should be enough motivation for all of us to take a step forward and help make a difference. It is time for us to start being the change we wish to see in the world. Today, it’s Babar Ali, tomorrow, it may be one of our own.