Sunday, July 17, 2011

BABAR ALI = YOUNGEST PRINCIPAL OF INDIA

Babar Ali from West Bengal, has just one passion in life, education for all. That is why 16 year old Babar is perhaps Indias youngest school principal.
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Another day has ended at this school in West Bengal Murshidabad district. But for one particular student it is time to start a new chapter.
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This is the extraordinary story of Babar Ali who studies in Class 11. Since 2002, every evening, between 1600 hours and 1900 hours, he takes on the role of a principal perhaps Indias youngest at a school - the Anand Siksha Niketan in Gangapur village. Babar Ali says, Unlike other kids I never wanted to play football or cricket. In my younger days I used to play the role of a teacher and student.
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What started off as childs play took the shape of a school on October 29, 2002. At the tender age of 9, with a little help from his parents, Babar set up a room to teach on his ancestral land.
Ali says, When I was in Class 5 I started this school with 8 students¡­it has been a long journey since then,,from 8 students we have almost 600 students now

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But getting 600 students to enroll was no easy task. In this hamlet, abject poverty means education is a luxury few can afford. So Babar makes sure that the education at his school is absolutely free.
Today the school has classes from 1 to 8 and a staff strength of 10 including 5 teachers aged between 13 and 18, students themselves of classes 9th to 12th.
There are some hard realities that Babar faces even today. The government provides funds for the midday meal and books till class 4. For other expenses he has to depend on donations from well wishers¡­which is never enough.
Ali says, We still do not have a school building.

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Plans are many, so are the hardships. But Babar knows that all these years, running the school has never been a burden on his young shoulders.

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