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Meet India's youngest headmaster

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The Men Inspired by Debacles

Calcutta: In a country where we are in a continuous hunt for heroes and demi-gods to inspire us, the search ends in a small hamlet in West Bengal.

Known for his passion for education, Babar Ali is perhaps India's youngest school principal who is teaching hundreds of poor students of his village in his own backyard.


16-year-old Babar says his only motto in life is 'education for all'. Since 2002, every evening, he has donned the role of a principal at the Anand Siksha Niketan in Gangapur village which makes him India's youngest headmaster. The students line up in Babar's backyard, where he teaches them just the way his teachers teach him in school.


Babar Ali in an interview said that he never wanted to play cricket or soccer when he was young but what he loved the most was enacting the role of a teacher. What started off as child play took serious shape in 2002 when Babar Ali, with the help of his parents, set up a room to teach on his ancestral land.


He also added that when he was in class V, he started the school with eight students. From a humble beginning, the school today provides basic education for almost 800 students with the help of 10 well-qualified teachers. What is most notable is that the students are taught for free as they come from poor families - some even work as maids and cleaners in the mornings and come to attend Babar's school in the afternoon.


But even most of the inspiring stories have some grim realities which Babar has to face daily. The government only provides funds for midday meal and books till class IV and for the expenses he has to depend on donations. He, however, hopes for better support in the coming years so he can make all his fellow students and village kids literate, and able to stand on their own feet.





























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