Vimla started teaching underprivileged kids after retirement. It’s been 20 years now and 80-year-old Vimla still faces her students with the same enthusiasm. Know all about her journey.
Twenty years ago, sitting at home and not doing anything after retirement was never an option for Vimla Kaul and her husband. A visit to a village called Madanpur Khadar in Delhi was enough to give her the motivation to do something to improve the lives of the people living there.
She started with teaching kids who could not attend school and, since then, the couple has never looked back.
For 20 years, Vimla has been spending her time, energy and money to provide quality education to these underprivileged kids.
“When I first went to the village, I saw kids roaming around and wasting their time. So I gathered five students who were interested in learning and started my first class in 1995 at a chaupal in the village,” she recalls.
Vimla hired a local teacher to make sure the children’s studies did not get affected when she wasn’t in the village. But when the teacher left the village, Vimla decided to bring the students to nearby Sarita Vihar in the city of Delhi, where she moved from one park to another to conduct classes.
“We could not afford a school building so we would sit in the open and learn. We kept moving from one park to another because we would not be allowed to teach in many of them. Finally, we moved to MGD park where we taught for 15 years,” she says.
Starting with just 5 kids, Vimla reaches out to 110 students now with the help of four teachers.
At one point, when Vimla’s classes were in danger of being shut down again because they were held in the park, the Malviya Trust contacted her and offered to help.
Thanks to their support, Vimla’s school now has a building with four rooms where she teaches students up to Class 2.
All the services provided to the students are free of cost and Vimla, along with her husband, has managed to sustain the school with help from donations from friends and family.
“It was so difficult. We were a retired couple. We had no money. But we didn’t want to stop doing what we were doing just because of lack of finances. We kept managing somehow and, thankfully, we now have an organization supporting us,” she says.
Thanks to Vimla’s intervention, there has been a remarkable change in the attitude of the kids. They are more active and confident now. They also participate in summer camps and extra curricular activities like dance.
For children who had never even seen a school and had no hope of getting an education, Vimla’s efforts are no less than a blessing.
In the future, Vimla wants to reach out to more students and construct a school building to cater to the needs of students of higher classes as well.
“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,” she says.
Vimla is 80 now and her determination to make a difference in her environment is still as strong as it was 20 years ago. If you want to support her cause, you can either help financially or volunteer at her school.