Source: The Better India
Constable Helps Poor Children Access Education by Setting Up Free School
BY: Michelle Liew
A police officer in New Delhi who managed to make his way out of the city slums as a child is now giving the same opportunity to poor children who spend their days skipping school to work odd jobs.
Born in Rajasthan’s Bharatpur, Than Singh grew up on the streets of New Delhi with his two siblings and sold corn while his father ironed clothes. Despite the adversities, Constable Singh never forgot the importance of school. Hence, with his free school, children could catch up with studies and not miss out on classes.
Constable Singh’s father had dreams of becoming a police officer but due to supporting the family, it never gave him time to prepare himself for it. Eventually, Constable Singh decided to take on his father’s dream and stayed in school and successfully passed the examination for the Delhi Police.
When heading back to the streets where he was raised, Constable Singh felt the need to give back to the society in order to help children who like him, had to work instead of study. He then started a one-of-a-kind school called Than Singh Ki Pathshala.
“I volunteered to teach these kids so that they are able to come a little par to their peers. For this, I started meeting the parents. Police are the only segment that go to people irrespective of their socio-economic status and get to understand their problems,” Constable Singh said as quoted from The Better India.
“After meeting their parents, I convinced them to not worry about kids and send them to our pathshala.”
Constable Singh teaches 80 children aged 3 to 15 outside of the Red Fort from neighbourhoods like Raj Ghat, Vijay Ghat, and Shantivan. To aid him, local battery-rickshaw drivers have volunteered to bring the children home from the school every day.
With the help of donations, the children are able to get books, lunches, uniforms, and other supplies.
“I want to give these children a good atmosphere because their parents go to work and there is a chance that they could wander on streets. This is why we continue to teach them after school. Also, when other children got to know that they can get admission after studying with us, more and more kids started coming,” he adds.
Last year, 70 of Singh’s students were able to enrol in proper government schools, 10 of whom achieved the highest exam scores in their class.
“There is no other peace than working for these children. I could be the reason towards bringing a change in their lives with just a little support. What could have been better than this for me?” said Singh.