The three most common reasons for children dropping out of schools in India have been poverty, availability, and accessibility to schools. When a family is financially unstable ensuring that the children go to school is far down on their list of priorities.
The protagonist of this story is Ahmed Ali, a rickshaw-puller from Madhurbond village under Patherkandi circle of Karimganj district, Assam, who had to drop out of school ages ago due to the poverty-stricken conditions he and his family suffered.
This man has made it his life’s mission to ensure that every child in his village who wishes to study does so without having to drop out due to unavailability of funds.
The very first school he established was in 1978. He was able to do this by selling off his land and collecting small amounts of money from the villagers.
Over the course of the last four decades, this septuagenarian has established nine schools – three lower primary schools, five middle schools and a high school in Madhurbond and its adjoining areas.
Ali’s target is to establish ten educational institutions. With nine already set up, he now wants to establish a college in the area. “I am getting old and want to make my village a developed one through education,” he said. “Illiteracy is a sin, the root cause of all ills. Most families face problems because of lack of education,” he said, as reported in Telegraph.
At a time when everyone jumps into philanthropy only to have their name everywhere, Ahmed has just one of the nine schools named after him. That also, because of the insistence of the villagers who urged him to do so.
For his life-long efforts in spreading the light of education in his village and the adjoining areas, Ali was recently felicitated by Patherkandi MLA Krishnendu Paul.
Lauding the septuagenarian’s philanthropic work, Paul said Ali was a “rare personality” and announced having sanctioned Rs 11 lakh for the development of Ahmed Ali High School from the multi-sectoral development programme fund under the Union ministry of minority affairs, reported the publication.
Here’s hoping that Ahmed fulfils his dream of setting up ten schools and also goes beyond that and sets up many more.
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