“Age is a matter of feeling not of years” – George W. Curtis
Time and again many people have proved that talent and passion have nothing to do with age. Two American presidents are the best example. Obama retired at 55 Trump started at 70. Similarly, there are many who have achieved success in early age but Anand Krishna Mishra is a little different. He is currently studying in Class 7 at City Montessori School, Lucknow. At the tender age of 12 when other children are busy in making their childhood memories for the future, he is investing his time in creating the future of India. He is devoting his time to educate underprivileged kids through his famously known platform of ‘Bal Choupal’.
An Incident that transformed Anand’s life to ‘Chota Masterji’
“The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet ” - Aristotle
During a visit to Maharashtra in Holidays with his family, he saw a kid of same age sitting in one corner and studying under the dim streetlight. He was not in good condition as felt by the condition of his tattered clothes. He will go inside the temple whenever the prayer started and will again come back to study as soon as prayer stops. When Anand and his family wanted to help him with the new clothes, he refused and instead asked for books. They bought the books for him from a nearby shop. This was the first time Anand felt that many children value education but cannot afford it.
After coming back to Lucknow, his Parents took him to the villages nearby Lucknow and there they saw many other kids deprived of their right to education. Instead of being a part of a school, they were involved in household chores or child labor. After watching all this, Anand decided to start ‘Bal Choupal’ in 2012. His parents Anoop and Rina Mishra both employed in the UP police were the biggest support for the Anand. At first, he started sharing all he learned in the class to a few kids but soon the number increases and he became the ‘Chota Masterji’ for those kids.
Method of teaching
'Bal Choupal' has already reached 125 villages around the city and Anand is devoting one hour daily to around 100 kids coming from slums and nearby villages. He teaches them mathematics, computers, and English and has inspired over 700 children to get enrolled in schools. He teaches them in a friendly manner, different from the method schools are used to. His teaching includes sharing stories and organizing acts and games for learning the subjects with fun.
The teaching of Anand’s ‘Bal Choupal’ is not only restricted to books. He wants these kids to be a responsible citizen of our country so his teaching includes social and moral responsibilities as well. The sessions at Bal Choupal begin with singing ‘Hum Hone Kaamyaab’ (We shall overcome) and ends with singing the National Anthem.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world ” – Nelson Mandela
Planning a step ahead with everyone’s Support
Anand has been very proactive while educating the kids. He is planning to start local libraries around the city at different places. His aim is to reach every single person who has been deprived of the gift of education. He has already set up a few libraries at some places in nearby villages. He is seeking help from educated ones to join this noble cause and can together make a difference in society. Anand is also very thankful to his friends who are always there for his help especially when his studies go through a tough time during exams. They help him to manage his time for learning in school as well as teaching in ‘Bal Choupal’.
Anand along with his parents has also initiated a 'Chalo Padho Abhiyan' where educated people are invited to support education for at least one child. This program was launched on the eve of Teacher’s day. Another such program 'Chalo Bahan, School Chalo' (Come sister, let's go to school), designed especially for the girls from poor families have been started on the day of Navratri. Anand believes that these small steps will soon make India an educated and prosperous country.
Education is a necessity for everyone irrespective of cast, status and, religion. It does not only makes us a well being but also influences the whole society. What Anand is doing is truly a larger-than-life-movement, bigger than the thoughts of providing help just by money. We need more Anand in our society which can think of others and can take our society to one of the best possible levels.
“Life is not a solitary activity. Live well by living for others” - Ron Kaufman