English Chants Humming in Dens Forests
Dense forest, rocky ways and lack of basic facilities; a place where survival is full of struggles but amid of all these; dedication and handwork of a teacher is preparing his students for competing this vital world. Primary School, Dongipaani of Chhattisgarh’s Raigarh district is setting an example for millions of government schools of India.
Students of this school are famous for their English fluency worldwide. Yes, you read right; they are famous worldwide. Dongipaani, a village where people struggle to even speak proper Hindi, their students are mastering English. The credit of this marvel goes to their teacher Mr. Shashi Bairagi, who is preparing his students for a better tomorrow.
Dongipaani, a village 260 km away from Raigarh city, where people are surviving by doing labour, where education had no importance and where outsiders stay with a fear of life. Here Shashi Bairagi decided to bring the children to the school and make them understand the importance of education.
He came to this village of 250 residents in 2010. Initially, it was difficult to even convince the parents to send their children to the school. Once Shashi Bairagi convinced the parents to send children to school, Shashi started to teach them basic things and moral values but soon he realised the importance of English in those student’s life. He realised that English can add more values and importance to the education they have. So he started working towards this. First, he himself learnt the basics of English and then he taught it to his students. He adopted a way by which students can learn English while playing. He tried to make it like a game so that students can willfully learn it rather than like a burden on their head.
In Shashi’s school, English is compulsory to be spoken by every student. They do prayers in English, learn rhymes in English and many more. He started with making them understand small sentences, tense structures and easy words and now those students are able to speak basic English very confidently.
When Shashi Bairagi shared the video of his students talking in English on Facebook, it got viral. Millions of views and shares popularized this step of Shashi and he started getting fame and support not only from government and people of India but also from abroad. The school where hardly anyone dares to come now became a place to visit due to its students.
A very small place with only 15 to 20 enrolled students is stepping towards making a great tomorrow for their children. When Shashi came to Dongipaani, he found the situation of the village and its children very terrible. He took them out from habits of intoxication, abusing and taught them basic manners and ways of living. He not only gave them bookish knowledge but also moral values.
Rather than mugging up the things he made students understand them by practical learnings and his hard work not only got popularity but also more means to make future of students who were living in such a terrible situation brighter.
Shashi has came a long way. From a school building where parents don’t even send their children to learn, now those students are competing with the students of world, those who struggle to even communicate properly now chanting in fluent English. But this is not the end, Shashi believes. He has to go a long way. He want to arrange the similar kind of education for his students after primary classes as well so that all his efforts could make a a hopeful future for those young bloods of village.
As we say “Handwork never wastes”, Shashi’s hard work also not gone in waste. Today the school and children are getting government support, donations of school bags, books, cash, computers everything from people.Today, school has developed a good infrastructure and also trying to make further studies better for those students.
A desire of doing something great for mankind opens thousands of ways to reach the goal. If you are right, you are never alone; the universe has planned great support for you. And this is what happened with Shashi Bairagi. His intentions were good, he saw a dream for those toddlers and his dedication gave such a wonderful result. Teacher’s like Shashi Bairagi is an inspiration for not only teachers but for everyone. Acts like this gives us a different perspective of seeing the world. Problems of society can be seen by everyone, social issues are in front of all of us but the courage to deal with it, a passion of changing the things and dedication to achieve it are only with people like Shashi Bairagi. And we have to learn it from him.
Salute to the selfless service of Shashi Bairagi, who is spreading rays of hopes and bright future in the dark world of poverty and helplessness of those villagers of Dongipaani.
We had invited Shashi on our 100th special episode. Do watch our interaction with Shashi Bairagi here
(With Shreya Nakade)