Having retired from BSNL in 2010, Shyam Prasaad took a decision to move to Delhi only to spend time with his daughter and grandchild. But after a few years, he made up his mind to start new innings after retirement.
He intended to teach underprivileged children on Delhi’s footpath and he considers all of his students to be his grandchildren.
In a world where education plays an important role, many underpriviliged children aren’t getting access to education and as there were nobody to help the children out, Shyam Prasaad sprung into action to teach the fundamentals of education and is en route to turning the chapters of children’s lives. Now let’s learn how his journey had started.
After moving to the national capital, Shyam developed a habit of visiting a temple near his residence regularly. While coming back from the temple, he stumbled upon a group of children who used to stop him begging for food or money.
The 69-year-old gentleman always believed that every child deserves a chance at basic education and so Shyam decided to take it upon himself to teach the children the much-needed basics in all subjects like English, Hindi, Mathematics, Science and Social.
Initially, it was a tad tough for him to convince the kids to come to the class, so he started motivating them by giving them tasty chocolates and super cool gifts.
Talking about his starting experience with those children, in an interview with India Today, he said, “When I started these classes, I had only one mat to sit on. Gradually a lot of people started noticing and started helping me by providing more mats, tables, chairs, blackboard, pencils, notebooks, copies and other forms of stationery and books needed for these classes,” he added.
The class begins in Delhi’s footpath and most children he teaches did not even know alphabets when he started teaching.
But slowly and steadily, the children started paying good attention to Shyam’s lessons and now are showing good improvement. Interestingly, the number of children who are attending the class has also enhanced significantly.
The children also nurture dreams and aspirations of becoming engineers, doctors and teachers. But with no support from NGOs or government, Shyam most often uses his savings to purchase books and other necessities for the children. Talking to Barcroft about his teaching without a roof over head, he said, “I couldn’t find any space that would accommodate poor and underprivileged children. And it is costly to afford a place on my own.”
During rainy season, he used the temple nearby to teach children and they still have no comfortably place to sit and study when the climate is terribly hot or cold. At those times, most children miss out on marking their presence.