Tushar Mehrotra, a student of grade 10 at Pathways School Gurgaon, has almost single-handedly transformed a rundown government school in sector 54 Gurugram
Tushar has practically adopted the small school with over 300 students, through crowdfunding (and his own savings), installing facilities like fans and water purifiers, donating books and uniforms, and even teaching the kids on weekends. He has started English and Moral Science classes for the students.
Tushar’s interest in the school began in the form of a project for his school wherein all students had to complete a project related to social responsibility. Tushar chose to donate books and set up a library in the government school, which is in his neighbourhood. “Initially, it was supposed to be for my school project. I just wanted to donate books, set up a library and leave. But once I entered the school and saw the condition, I was compelled to do more,” says Tushar.
Tushar began by starting a crowdfunding initiative online and reaching out to his family abroad for the money to procure fans for the school. “Till then, the school had no fans and I couldn’t imagine how the kids would study during the summers,” shares Tushar. His mother tells us, “The first, Rs. 2000 came from Tushar’s own pocket. He had been saving that money to buy a new golf club.”
Getting the fans installed was only the first step in Tushar’s new project. He says, “I try to come here every Saturday. I talk to the kids about topics relevant to the current times and involve them in activities based on that.” When we recently visited the school, the teenager was teaching the students about pollution through a poster-making activity.
The school administration says that Tushar’s initiative has rejuvenated the students. Balvinder Singh, the school in-charge, says, “What Tushar is doing is commendable. It’s not just about money or the things he is bringing, but also the attention he gives the kids. Since he started coming here, the kids’ interest in studies – and particularly English – has grown. They want to learn more. I wish more people followed Tushar’s example.” And Tushar is far from done. He recently bought 600 notebooks for the students and is now gearing up to gift the school a new water purifier and winter uniforms for all students.
The biggest change has been in the attitude of the students though, the young teacher says. “When I first started my activity classes here, I asked the kids what they wanted to learn and almost all of them said, English. They wanted to learn but were scared of the subject as they didn’t know how to go about it.” Today, if you ask any of the 300 students in the school what their favorite subject is, the reply is a loud “English!”
We are proud of Tushar, a pathwaysian in true sense, paving the way for future changemakers and making a difference in the society we live in.
*source – TOI November 25, 2017