It was in 2007 that Kanpur-based Nitin Kumar completed his Class 10 studies and began offering free tuition to children from the city slums.
Now a final-year law student, the 28-year-old is in charge of Ek Nayee Raah Foundation, an NGO that runs a school at Kamleshwar Ghat along the Ganga River, offering free education to over 200 children that come from low-income backgrounds.
While Nitin’s mother struggled to make ends meet as a domestic help, his elder brother quit schooling after Class 8 to support their family of six. “Even as I managed to attend school, we did not have enough money for notebooks, pencils, pens, uniforms, and other expenses such as class projects or contributions for school events. My classmates attended private tuitions, but I had to rely on myself for studies,” he said.
Realising that education could help several children like him gain financial agency, he began evening coaching sessions for those from government schools.
Nitin, who also helps fund students’ school fees and higher education, continues to find a job for himself and tackle monetary issues heightened by the COVID-19 lockdown.