Where the winding roads take you to a paradise,
Where the cedar and pine lined rocky landscape call u from a distance,
Where life and living is simple,
Where smile lights up a face, many a times without a reason,
I belong to that land, the land of God!!!
“Charity begins at home”, is a very popular saying and most of us know and believe it to be true. However how many of us, including me, are able to live this saying? Speaking for myself, I confess,that most of the times I am unable to meet my own expectation! But I salute those who are able to live the saying, overcoming odds which might stop many of us from traversing the path.
In a place, where getting food daily is more challenging than writing an All India Examination, Chandrakumar Pradhan dared to dream differently. The dream of a land where the light of education reaches every little household and pushes away darkness of illiteracy, wrong beliefs and superstitions. Because education is the foundation and growth/ development will always depend on how strongly the foundation has been laid.
Situated at the remote hill station of Megma, in Indo Nepal Border Pradhan has created his own world. A “School”, which is different in ways more than one, from the schools we know.
Little smiling faces come there, to learn! But learn what? A, B C or 1, 2, 3?
No, they learn much more than this! They learn to fight, fight poverty, fight rough weather, fight hunger! They learn from their teacher, who has pledged to devote his life, to educate these not so priviledged children, “his never defeating spirit”! They learn the importance of education, the only means which can take them out from this life of despair, and make them competent to face the world.
Shaky benches, peeling walls and eroded blackboards are not enough to break Mr Pradhan’s will. His burning desire to make a difference and the children’s effort to do full justice to his efforts, is exemplary to me as a human, a human who had the luxury of going to a “School”!
I feel fortunate to be having the opportunity of knowing and writing about this son of India, who is trying to lay the foundation of educated India at the grass root level.
With this spreading awareness about Pradhan and his efforts, I hope relief in the form of required stationery and blackboards will reach this magical school soon.
The other half of the story, will have happy and content faces of Pradhan and his children, in a school where children come to acquire education but not hungry, where little eyes are not strained to make out, what is written on the blackboards, where students don’t topple off the benches and hurt themselves. Where education come to them comfortably and beautifully!!!
Aritra Chakrabarty Sengupta