|Economics teacher SK Pathak points out 1977-batch topper Amit Khare’s name on the school’s honour board. Telegraph picture|
On the day RJD chief Lalu Prasad was awarded five years in prison, a Ranchi school was holding history classes on the Rs 950-crore fodder scam and then West Singhbhum deputy commissioner Amit Khare who unearthed it.
Incidentally, 52-year-old Khare, now joint secretary, Union ministry of human resource development, New Delhi, is the alumnus of the school. Proud alma mater Kendriya Vidyalaya, Hinoo, taught plus two students about him on Thursday.
Khare, an IAS officer of 1985, had topped the school in 1977, securing 79.3 per cent marks. In the 1970s, a nearly 80 per cent aggregate was thought to be superlative.
His elder brother Atul, an Indian Foreign Service officer, had done even better in 1975, scoring 85.8 per cent marks and topping Kendriya Vidyalayas across India.
Khare went on to complete his physics honours from St Stephen’s, New Delhi, and snap up a masters’ degree in management from IIM-Ahmedabad.
On Thursday, when The Telegraph visited the school at 9am, students of Class XII Arts were studying: “What we must know about the fodder scam”.
Rahul Kumar, the history teacher, was telling students about the scam.
“Today is a day of justice. Seventeen years ago, a courageous IAS reported the fodder scam. He is an alumnus of this school. How the scam was orchestrated is one part of the story, but it is more important to understand that truth always wins,” he said.
Then West Singhbhum deputy commissioner
After class, student Md Saif Ali said: “We learnt a lesson in values. Misdeeds can’t be hidden forever and standing upright pays in the long run.”
“I can take pride in saying that I study in the school where Amit Khareji studied,” said classmate Shiv Pujan.
School principal R.C. Gond said they taught children “honesty is the best policy” not as a phrase but the truth of life.
Even former students said they felt proud that Khare had studied in the same school.
Sumit Prakash, Kendriya Vidyalaya alumnus and now a student of IIM-Ranchi, said: “When people talk about convicts of the fodder scam, they also talk about the man who unearthed it. I feel proud of Amitji and my school.”
When Khare was asked if he had a message for the current crop of students, he said over phone: “I learnt about honesty and fearlessness from my school principal R.R. Prasad. Honesty begets good results. It’s my own learning from life. My best wishes to teachers and students.”
Khare’s life can be a good subject for a biopic.
As the DC of West Singhbhum between April 1995 and January 1997, he was in his early thirties when he smelt a rat while investigating inputs from Bihar finance department about cash irregularities at the district animal husbandry department.
On January 27, 1996, he found that in November and December 1995, withdrawals amounting to Rs 10 crore and Rs 9 crore had made from the animal husbandry department without details.
The sums were abnormally large, but given the prevailing political scenario of Bihar at that time, another DC would have perhaps kept quiet.
Khare was different. He made raids in Chaibasa, Ranchi and Dumka treasuries. The rest, as they say, was history.
Is there a sterling value you learnt from your school?