More than 30 children can be seen engaged in their studies and enthusiastic about learning something new every day in Dr. Thyelnai Dawn Khaling’s evening classes. A doctor and Wing Commander with the Indian Air Force, Dr. Khaling set up this classroom in his house for children whose parents cannot afford to send them to schools or do not have the required means to help them with their education.
Always excited about teaching children, Dr. Khaling started this initiative as an attempt to educate the children of the domestic help who started working in his house. In December last year, he asked her bring her kids so he could teach them.
Picture for representation only. Source: Heatheronhertravels.com
“People should not miss out on education because they can’t pay for it. Education empowers children to face the challenges of the future with dignity,” Dr. Khaling who hails from a village in Khangshim, Manipur told Bangalore Mirror.
His father was the first person to matriculate from the Uipo Naga community of the village. He understood the importance of knowledge and motivated others to study. Inspired by his father, Dr. Khaling is trying to do his part for the society today. As a school student, he himself faced many financial difficulties and understands how lack of money can come in the way of education. Thus, he believes that every educated person should teach someone who cannot afford it.
Dr. Khaling’s classroom slowly grew and today it has more than 30 children. He takes classes after his shift ends at 5:00 pm. Initially, he constructed the desks for the classroom himself. His colleagues from the Air Force also contribute to the project as volunteers whenever that can. After realising that almost all the students were not familiar with the basics of English while they could speak Kannada, he started teaching the children together instead of dividing them into classes. Today, most of the students can speak in English. His wife teaches the pre-primary students.
Prior to this, Dr. Khaling started a not-for-profit organization in Manipur to provide free pre-medical coaching to underprivileged children. This included the arrangements for their food and stay as well.
“In school, it is difficult to talk to teachers and many times we are not able to understand them. So I would just memorise everything to pass the tests. But here, I get to learn better.” Bhavna, one of his students told Bangalore Mirror.