MY KOLKATA EDUGRAPH
ADVERTISEMENT
Regular-article-logo Monday, 24 June 2024

His classroom runs for annual fee of Re 1

Metro takes a look into the lives and works of some of the real champs

Debraj Mitra, Nadia Imam And Jhinuk Mazumdar Calcutta Published 07.09.19, 08:44 PM
Sujit Chattopadhyay receives the award from Surojit Biswas, COO of the Techno India Group.

Sujit Chattopadhyay receives the award from Surojit Biswas, COO of the Techno India Group. Pictures by Gautam Bose and Bishwarup Dutta

Metro takes a look into the lives and works of some of the real champs honoured at The Telegraph School Awards for Excellence 2019

From sir, with love

ADVERTISEMENT

The verandah of a house in a Burdwan village has turned into a classroom for hundreds of students. Most of them come from poor tribal families in and around Ausgram, 46km from Burdwan town. The tuition fee — Re 1 per year.

Sujit Chattopadhyay, 76, the former headmaster of Ramnagar Uccha Madhyamik Vidyalaya, did not let his retirement in 2004 deter him from continuing to touch the lives of students. On Saturday, he received the Dr (Mrs) N.B. O’Brien Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award at Nazrul Mancha.

He still spends half of his pension on his students. Chattopadhyay says that he has no regrets about his highly subsidised tuition fees. He has proudly named his school Sadai Fakirer Pathshala — the eternal fakir’s school.

But Chattopadhyay is determined to teach more than history, Bengali, English and Sanskrit in his ‘school’. He gives them lessons in humanity by involving them in his efforts to collect money for thalassaemia patients.

In 2015, he saw a neighbour crying because she could not afford treatment for her son who was recently diagnosed with thalassaemia. Chattopadhyay then requested his students to contribute half of the money that they had raised for their annual picnic for the boy’s treatment. They agreed and have since raised sums of up to Rs 35,000 every year.

“I am happy just to hear my students and neighbours address me as mastermoshai, but being recognised from such a platform is very overwhelming,” he said. One thing he wants — more pedestal

fans for his students at the verandah. It now has just one fan that the teacher and students take turns sitting near.

Ashikatun receives the award from Sharon and Vijay Singh Chauhan at Nazrul Mancha on Saturday.

Ashikatun receives the award from Sharon and Vijay Singh Chauhan at Nazrul Mancha on Saturday.

Slow but steady

Ashikatun Nesa was hit by a speeding bike in January this year outside her home in a Barasat village. The accident robbed her left eye’s vision.

Her nerves were also damaged and caused severe trauma and memory loss. Her school, Mukulika Nursery and KG School, extends all possible support. Her father, a former embroidery worker, lost his job after a problem in his right arm. Ashikatun, 9, is in Class II now. “She takes time to learn but tries very hard,” said a teacher of Mukulika.

She received the Sonika Chauhan Award for Courage on Saturday. When Sharon Singh Chauhan, Sonika’s mother, embraced Ashikatun tightly, the applause from the auditorium was deafening.

Follow us on:
ADVERTISEMENT