Assam’s Uttam Teron started teaching underprivileged children in his cowshed. Today he runs Parijat Academy, a non-profit school that imparts formal education and hands-on skills to over 400 kids for free.
At 21, Assam’s Uttam Teron was just as ordinary as anyone. But his life turned when he came across some children playing in the mud instead of going to school.
To educate these children, he converted his cowshed into a classroom and started teaching them for free. Later in 2003, with Rs 800 in his pocket, the BSc graduate turned his classroom into a non-profit school called Parijat Academy.
As the word spread, more parents started sending their children. Today, along with 22 trained teachers, the 47-year-old educates nearly 400 children from 20 villages for free.
Uttam built the Parijat Academy on his ancestral property. The school runs classes from nursery to Class 10 affiliated with the Assam State Board. There is also a hostel for children from remote places.
Apart from providing formal education in Assamese, Hindi, English, Social Science, and Maths to the children, the institute teaches various crafts to upskill underprivileged kids. They are trained in computer learning, sewing, handloom, sports, and dance.
Uttam receives help from individuals as well as organisations to run the school. But it hasn’t been easy. He collects pencils, old school bags, old books, and even green vegetables and rice from people to sustain his school.
“Only with education can the underprivileged live a life of dignity,” he says.
Watch his inspirational work here:
Edited by Pranita Bhat