Babar Ali: The world’s youngest headmaster of India!
Education, is the single most important necessity today probably the fourth basic necessity after food, clothing, and shelter. Some take it seriously and believe that education can get us a living. Some believe that sole education will get us nowhere, but the integrity and practical skills are important in surviving out there. But, as the great man once said, “Knowledge is just potential power. To make it kinetic (applicable), you need to know about how to apply it in real life. How to impart those same skills in someone else is the real test of life. There is one such living example in Babar Ali.24 year old Babar Ali, popularly known as the world’s youngest headmaster started a school when he was just nine. Little did he know where his future deeds will take him. His selfless acts have definitely started changing the way people look at the value of education in the villages.
Let’s learn more about him.
Early Life and Background
Babar Ali was nine when, one day, while returning from his school, he saw a few kids working in the fields. The next day too, he saw that the kids were not in school but helping their parents at the farm by doing odd jobs. Babar did not recognize at the time that his concern for these children would change not only his own life but that of hundreds of other children who did not have the opportunity to attend school. He was lucky that his father, a jute trader, could send him to school, an opportunity not many kids of his age in his village had. This is how Babar’s makeshift school started under a guava tree in his own backyard where, every day, a few village kids would wait for him to return from his school. He would, like a dedicated teacher, come back straight to his house from school and talk about what he had learned there.
At age 9, when most kids cannot even do their own homework, Babar started a school of his own
Babar would take broken pieces of chalk from his school after classes and use terracotta tiles at home to make a blackboard. He didn’t require any fancy resources to run his school; all he needed was his students’ passion to study. When his teacher found out about his homeschool, she started giving him a full box of chalk. The students too enjoyed their young teacher’s classes. As they did not have any resources like pens, pencils, notebooks, or even a syllabus, they used newspapers as reading material.
“When the will is ready the feet are light”
He just wanted to impart education somehow. He didn’t care about the syllabus; he simply thought if they learn any small thing, it will be an achievement. Those were the ideologies of Babar who was quite a thinker. Gradually, Babar’s school became more popular and more students started joining him in his backyard. “Sometimes, I would not even have lunch, I would just come back from school and directly start teaching them,” he says. As he saw the kids regularly attending his school, he took a few half-used notebooks from a rag picker for his students.
To convince their parents to send them to his school, he would collect some rice from his relatives and give it to the parents — such was this nine-year-old’s dedication to impart education! He would also organize various activities like sports, dance, and music to make school more fun for the students. Babar never skipped going to his own school, since he replicated everything he learned there in his own school.
“Turn your fear into curiosity, and everything will work out”
He couldn’t afford to miss school because what would he teach my kids if he didn’t learn something there? He felt responsible for the kids he was teaching
However, Babar’s father began to worry that his son may be neglecting his own studies. But such was Babar’s dedication that he was able to balance both teaching and learning, and eventually, his father had to relent and let him continue running his school. It wasn’t easy. Especially because he was so young. People would often doubt his intentions and say that he was trying to mislead the kids. But it was because of his students’ belief in me and his family’s support that he managed to continue my work.
“Never give up on what you really want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than one with all the facts”
“Problems are only opportunities in work clothes”
We believe that if you are passionate about something then you can achieve anything. Age, finances, other hurdles, they just don’t matter and eventually, everything works out. If you don’t have the passion required, all the myriad things like the ones mentioned before become excuses. They’re no longer obstructions that you can overcome with sheer hard work and passion. Babar Ali did not have any resources, nor was he old enough to impart education to the children of an age similar to his! Still, he didn’t give up. And he successfully was able to educate 3000 children at such a tender age.