Blooming Minds And Grooming Humankind: Meet Mr Intakhab Alam

On Saturday and Sunday, he used to take sand from a non-permanent land nearby all by himself and slowly and gradually he built a classroom that got damaged during the flood and named it “Blooming Mind”.

A brilliant teacher can teach calculus with a paper clip and literature in an empty field. And it suits very well this for Mr Intakhab Alam, a headteacher of Rajkiyakrit Madhya Vidyalaya, Sultanpur Paschim, Samastipur, Bihar. He is an epitome of an excellent teacher, an amazing leader, and an inspiration for many.

Lockdown Means ‘lock’ Not ‘down’

As the Prime Minister of our country announces the nationwide lockdown amidst COVID-19, it took a heavy mental toll on everyone, but Intakhab Alam had a different outlook for the word “lockdown”. For him, he was only ‘locked’, his spirit didn’t go ‘down’ and he made sure that everyone around him and especially his students should follow this mantra till the time the world goes back to normal.

During the lockdown, he was constantly in touch with his students and their parents via IVR calls, and to make them feel connected and spiritually high, he used to sing for them and the children enthusiastically took part in this joyful event. Not only this, but he also used to share motivational movies to his students to boost their self-esteem and to inspire them to become a better person every day. When the lockdown got extended and they asked the schools to remain closed, children became restless at home.

Intakhab’s happiness lies in the happiness of his students, so in order to cheer them up and brighten their smile, he took an initiative with full precautions and started calling his students in an odd and even pattern in the school playground and taught them chess. Chess and Intakhab’s relation go back to the time when he won the Bihar State Junior Chess Championship, and he believes that playing chess results in better brain function and it also improves memory, cognitive abilities and strategic thinking. Because of this, his students started taking a keen interest in mathematics and also has taken part in the district level chess competition.

An actor to teacher

Intakhab Alam spent his crucial 12 years of life in Darjeeling and Siliguri, West Bengal, and did his education from the renowned universities. He learnt how to be simple and humble from the native people to his teachers. From a very young age, he wanted to try his luck in Bollywood as Rangmanch was his first love and he proved that he was no less than a superstar by winning the 2011 Bihar Champion Yuva Utsav.

Despite having many career options and opportunities, he shifts his focus towards the upliftment of the government schools in the eyes of the people and to break all the barriers and stigma prevailing in the present scenario regarding the same. He wanted to change the mindset of the people that only ‘pitiful and poor people’ send their children to government schools. And sooner he realized that things won’t change just by having a casual debate over a cup of tea about what’s wrong or right, so he got on to the road, take the steering wheel and ride his own journey for the betterment of the entire children going to the government school and the education system. In 1999, he appeared for BPSC (Bihar Public Service Commission) and got selected and from the year 2000 he is working for the same and has contributed a lot till date.

 Intakhab Alam is not only a teacher but a noteworthy dancer as well. He had tried his way in Bollywood dance and Indian classical and therefore he has created such an ambience in his school that not even a single child wishes to leave the school premises even after the last period. This idea came to his mind after understanding the notion that children think that a school is merely a jail and therefore, they never enjoyed going to school. After spending days to find the solution for this, he finally got an insight from his students they love to dance and movies. This gave him an exciting idea, and he started teaching them to dance as a fun activity which helped him and the students to develop a powerful bond. Even his students think that he is his friend first and then his teacher.

Blooming Mind–grooming Humankind!

On 16th March 2016, he got appointed as the school head teacher of Rajkiyakrit Madhya Vidyalaya, Samastipur, Bihar. The location where the school is situated is a flooded area and because of the heavy flood the school got drowned and the classrooms got completely damaged. He asked for help from his department, but nobody bothered to help him, so he helped himself.

On Saturday and Sunday, he used to take sand from a non-permanent land nearby all by himself and slowly and gradually he built a classroom that got damaged during the flood and named it “Blooming Mind”. He kept a hammer, a broken toothbrush, a wire, cardboard, colours in order to help the students to give freedom to their minds and also to help them express their personality and emotions in a well-suited manner.

All the creations and the inventions made by the students get displayed in that classroom. One more difference which blooming minds have made is that those last bench students who don’t connect with their teachers that well also started taking a keen interest in studies with the help of those first bench students. This shows a complete change of cycle that how the students are helping their own classmates to climb up the ladder by becoming their guide.

Home Away From Home!

The important thing is not that we should teach every child, but we should give every child the wish to learn.

The most common thing which everyone has experienced but overlooked is that a lot of students enrolled themselves in school, but we see regularly only a few percentages of them. And the reason behind is that many government schools are in the rural areas and students often work outside to earn their livelihood because of the financial crisis at home and as a result, they don’t get time to go to the school.

What Intakhab Alam did to make school a better and exciting place for children to come is that he changed the infrastructure of his school. He asked his fellow teachers to treat the school as their own house, as it will attract children to come to school more often. He also along with the help of his fellow teachers talked to the students and understood their problems and helped them to solve it. Also, it’s very common that how students are only staying at school till they get the mid-day meal but in Rajkiyakrit Madhya Vidyalaya, students often forget that they have to go to their house as well. And they made this possible by Intakhab Alam as he engages the students in dancing, singing, plantation and many other fun activities. He made his school a home away from home for his students.

Mr.Intakhab Alam was awarded by the Anand Shala Shiksha Ratan award in the year 2017 for being the outstanding teacher and a head teacher who has worked enormously great to enhance the condition of government school and education system in India. salutes Mr. Intakhab Alam, who is working nonstop to nurture the young minds of our country. He has worked consistently with utmost loyalty towards his profession and students, and especially when the entire world was at rest. We congratulate him for his hard work and we wish him all the very best!

(With Aditi Singh Rajput)

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About the author: Abhishek Ranjan

Abhishek Ranjan is the Founder and Director of SarkariSchool.IN

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