76-Year-Old Bengal Teacher Charges Only Rs 2 in a Year to Teach 350+ Tribal Students
Ever had that one teacher who not only inspired academic prowess but to be a proactive citizen, an empathetic human being? Prof. Pijush Kanti Ghosh of Department of Physics at the Vishwa Bharati University talks reverently of his mentor, the 76-year-old Sujit Chattopadhyay, who continues to inspire his students with his life-long passion of teaching and making an impact on the poor and needy students of villages in and around Aushgram, Burdwan.
Following his retirement as principal of Ramnagar Uccha Madhyamik Vidyalaya, Chattopadhyay, popularly known as Master Moshai, has been tutoring students at his school, Sadai Fakirer Pathshala (The Eternal Fakir’s School) at Rs 2 per year per student. His pathshala starts at 6:30 am to 6:00 pm, and he teaches social sciences to secondary classes and degree-course Bengali to undergraduate students. Many of his students have gone on to secure coveted ranks in board examinations, in spite of lack of good schools and colleges in the area.
Besides being an active teacher who conducts regular parent-teacher meetings, he has also brought about changes in the lifestyle and mentality of the village people by promoting concepts of social equality and eco-friendly living. He has also raised funds to sustain around 60 thalassemic children in the village.
Chattopadhyay’s efforts were recognised by The Telegraph Education Foundation awarded him with the much-deserved Lifetime Achievement Award to acknowledge his relentless efforts towards education and social upliftment of the financially backward students of Bengal.
In an age where teaching is considered by many as a thankless job, lifelong teachers as Chattopadhyay have proven that teachers are the leaders of the society if they have the passion and motivation to be so.
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