India’s 10 Most Unconventional Teachers You Would Love to Learn From

This Teachers’ Day, we are honouring some of the most unique teachers from all over the country. They inspire, amaze, enlighten and motivate. In these pictures, have a look at them doing their brilliant jobs.  

“The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called ‘truth’.”

– Plato

It’s September again, and bringing back this famous quote by Plato is kind of necessary for an added dose of inspiration. Because it’s that time of the year when we celebrate some of the most important people of our lives. The day on which we remember all our teachers; those wonderful people who shape our lives and help us be all the things we want to be.

So here’s wishing a very happy teachers’ day to every person who has ever been a guiding light in someone’s life.

While Facebook walls and Twitter feeds have been flooding with messages of remembrance and gratefulness since midnight, here is another shout out for some of the most inspiring teachers from all over the country. These are people who have conquered extremely difficult odds, have innovated unique teaching methods and have unfailingly amazed the nation with their selflessness.

Babar Ali – because one can begin teaching whenever one wants to


21-year-old Babar Ali has been teaching since he was 9. At 15, he became the headmaster of his makeshift school which teaches about 300 students today and has 6 full time teachers.

“I believe that if you are passionate about something then you can achieve anything. Age, finances, other hurdles, they just don’t matter and eventually everything works out.”

– Babar Ali

Read more about him here.

Aditya Kumar – taking education to places where schools can’t reach



Source: Facebook

Aditya Kumar, better known as ‘Cycle guruji’, rides about 60 to 65 km on a bicycle every day, and provides free education to children living in the slums of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. This inspiring man has been doing this since 1995.

“Where ever I got students, I would sit and teach — by the roadside, in parks, near slums. I had a board on the cycle, and students would just read it and stop me. I was one of them, I understood what it meant to be poor and without support.”

– Aditya Kumar

Arvind Gupta – when learning is all about having fun



Arvind Gupta is famous for creating toys from trash. What’s special is that he explains many different concepts of science in the process of making these toys. He also generously uploads videos of his techniques on YouTube, explaining the scientific stuff behind each one of them for students all across the world to learn.

“I work with children. Whatever I see that children can do, whatever I see that brings a gleam into the child’s eye, that’s the work I do.”

Arvind Gupta.

Read more about him here.

Rajesh Kumar Sharma – because education does not require a building



Source: Facebook

Rajesh Kumar Sharma runs a school under a Delhi metro bridge, where he teaches students from the nearby slums. He calls it ‘Under the Bridge School’ and about 200 students attend it every day. Started in 2005, the school also hosts some exemplary personalities from different walks of life, who come in on various occasions as volunteer teachers.

“Knowledge increases when it is shared.”

– Rajesh Kumar Sharma.

Abdul Mallik – crossing all hurdles to be with his students on time


Source: YouTube

A primary school teacher in Malappuram district of Kerala, Abdul Mallik swims to work every day. Why? Because that is the shortest route to reach his school.

“If I go by bus, it takes me three hours to cover the 12-kilometer (7.5 miles) distance. But swimming through the river is easier, faster and I reach school on time.” 

– Abdul Mallik.

Anand Kumar – training dreamers, teaching dreams


Source: Facebook

Well known for his Super 30 programme, Anand Kumar of Patna has been coaching students for IIT-JEE entrance exams since the last 14 years. By 2014, 308 of his 360 students had made it to the IITs.

“To crack the target, one should have thirst for achieving it, next come positive thoughts and passion.”

– Anand Kumar.

Roshni Mukherjee – unleashing the power of the internet to reach many


Roshni Mukherjee has an online education platform called where she teaches students with the help of videos which she uploads on YouTube.

“I receive messages from so many people. Recently, a student messaged me that he has been following my videos for three years now, and they have helped him score well in his exams without having to join tuition classes. He has now got admission in NIT. Such examples keep me motivated.”

– Roshni Mukherjee

Read more about her here.

Professor Sandeep Desai – begging for an outstanding cause


Source: Facebook

Professor Desai boards local trains in Mumbai every single day asking people to donate money for his charitable organisation Shloka which develops and runs schools in rural Rajasthan and Maharashtra.

“Good Afternoon to everybody, donating for education is the ultimate form of charity.”

– Sandeep Desai is heard saying every day on the trains.

Vimla Kaul – because age is just a number


This 80-year-old teacher has been teaching children of a village called Madanpur Khadar in Delhi, since the past 20 years. Because of the lack of teachers in the village, she brought the students to the nearby area of Sarita Vihar. And since there was no proper building to teach, she used to move from one park to another to conduct classes for them in the city. She finally has a building where she teaches students up till class two now.

“These children are very talented. They just need support and guidance. If they are given the same opportunities and facilities like mainstream kids, they too can do wonders.”

– Vimla Kaul

Kamlesh Zapadiya – because education is the biggest gift


Source: Facebook

Kamlesh Zapadiya travels 20km each day from his village to a nearby cybercafé with the aim of making education a lot more interesting for students. He has developed a website called Edusafar, where he uploads the entire school syllabus from class 1 to 10, in the form of a quiz.

“It is like Kaun banega Crorepati.”

– Kamlesh Zapadiya

Read more about him here.

And this one? Well, is there anything better than learning from friends?


Picture Credit: ILO / Mondal Nitai (Flickr)

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