Aditya Kumar is popularly and lovingly known as 'Cycle wale Guruji' and has travelled over thousands of km on his cycle and taught underprivileged children of the country free of cost. His efforts and contribution to the field of education have been widely recognised and registered in the Limca Book of Records and Guinness Book of Records.
With quality education becoming a luxury in a country like India, such efforts for the sake of humanity and making the country a better place deserves all appreciation. In a developing country, many children are still deprived of education simply because they cannot afford it. During such times Aditya Kumar or the cycle wale guruji emerged as nothing but a messiah for the country.
Wherever his cycle stops becomes his homestay for the day. He aims to teach over one crore children in the country how to read and write.
“My father was a majdoor, having nothing left at home apart from poverty during my college days I understood how difficult it is to receive a quality education. When I was admitted to college it was extremely challenging for me to survive and hence I started giving tuitions. It was back then that apart from my students, some underprivileged children also started joining my classes stating they want to study but cannot afford it. As I came from such a background, I could relate to them and I decided to teach them for free and that's how it all started” added Aditya.
Aditya was born in Farrukhabad, Uttar Pradesh. Many times due to tight financial constraints in the family he had to go to bed hungry.
“I completed my BSc back in 1995 and just like any other student, post its completion I was wondering which pathway I should choose to excel in my career as I was already receiving a lot of appreciation owing to the noble work I was doing. Some people told me ‘aap padhate rahiye naukri toh sabhi karte hai’. I then decided that if I have the talent within myself to excel in business or service why not make my students capable? Today when I see my students excelling in different career paths I see it as my highest reward. Some of my students are even judges and some are working in big companies. I believe this gives me the highest satisfaction, more than any other job could have given” said Aditya.
Aditya's family wanted him to get married and get a job in the government sector post his graduation. As most families expect from their children, they even wanted him to settle down and have a decent life ahead. However, he had set his mind to other things.
“It was not easy for me to explain my choices at home and there were clashes every day. We are three brothers and two sisters and my elder brother even told me that he will get me a job but I should work and not engage myself in all this. When things were getting worse at home, I left home and decided to teach children who are underprivileged and lost on their way. Back in those days, there were no mobile phones and later I moved to Lucknow. Having no home or permanent address of my own I started staying in the railway station and teaching children in the nearby area there, which gradually increased the number of children and soon I had my class. Slowly, people started recognising my efforts and also came forward to support them. It was in those days that someone gave me a cycle and hence the name” recalled Aditya
Owing to his excellent contribution to the field of education Aditya has received numerous awards and recognition so far for this commitment to education. He was honoured with the title of National Hero Award. Back in 2018, Google even awarded him with the tag of being India’s No. 1 teacher.
“Aao Bharat Shatchar banaye was my slogan, following which I decided to go on an India tour. On this tour, I used to organise my classes in different cities where I also got a chance to meet and greet people from all walks of life. I used to receive a lot of appreciation from them for the kind of work I was doing. It took me around 5 years to complete my “Bharat Yatra” and today I can proudly say that I organised nearly 4 lakh classes during my journey” added Aditya
Education is the greatest power of mankind. Until today, all positive changes across the world have become possible only through education. Recalling one of his favourite incidents Aditya shared with us:
“I remember when I was on my Bharat Yatra I visited Sikkim and it is one of those states in India where you cannot enter with a cycle. Right at their entry point, they will send you back stating obvious reasons. However, somehow I gathered my guts and explained my story to the SP sir who then learnt about my Bharat Yatra mission and was quite impressed with my background. He then granted me entry into the state and I travelled till zero point on cycle, spreading the wisdom of education”.
Education plays a central role in the life of mankind. It paves the way giving each of us a direction to meet our career goals and thereafter reach our highest potential. When we throw light on the importance of education, the role of teachers in such cases cannot be overlooked. With teachers like Aditya Kumar making a positive difference in the future of our country, we realise that when we decide to do something with all our hearts, it is imperative that we will excel at it.