Unstoppable from last 26 years: Meet Akhileshwar Pathak
There is a shloka in sanskrit: “ “उद्यमेन हि सिध्यन्ति कार्याणि न मनोरथैः । न हि सुप्तस्य सिंहस्य प्रविशन्ति मुखे मृगाः ॥” which means, ‘Only thinking will not do, you have to act accordingly’. National Teacher Awardee for the year 2020, Mr. Akhileshwar Pathak is one such person, who believes in Karma.
Presently working in Middle School, Chainpura, Bhaismara in Saran district, Bihar as a Head Teacher, he worked for the enrollment of girl children in school, motivating the dropout girls to rejoin school through various attractive schemes in a truly recommendable manner.
Unstoppable from last 26 years
When we asked him about his views on getting this award he says,”It seems like the fruit of my 26 years of service has come in the form of this award. I fall short of words when it comes to describe my feelings.” Akhileshwar ji has worked for a long time in Kasturba Gandhi Aawasiya Vidyalaya as a gender coordinator. He spent 12 years of his life for developing this school and taking the girls of this school to new heights by following the government policies and executing his innovative ideas.
Akhileshwar ji believes that no school can progress without the support of the community, management, parents concerned and society of that area where the school is situated. He did a survey and found that most of the girls of the age group 11 to 17 years, belonging to the Dalit section of society are either dropouts or never went to school and are working in the fields, taking animals for grazing and collecting woods etc. He interacted with the parents of various girls and informed them about the various schemes run by the government for educating girls and the benefits they may get; such as scholarship of Rs.1800, uniform allowance of Rs.2500, policy of Rs. 1 lakh as well as free of cost fooding, lodging and education.
Measures taken for a change
He also emphasized on remedial teaching so that they can easily grab the concepts. For this purpose he began tutorial classes, requested passed out girls of this school preparing for competitive exams, pursuing M.Sc, B.Sc to devote an hour and teach these unprivileged girls, the subjects they are comfortable with.
He also trained the girls in Computer Education. He encouraged Learning with the help of a projector, with the support of Senior politician Mr. Rajeev Pratap Rudy and developed audio content for the entire syllabus of classes 1 to 12. He kept this Projector period and sports period after the lunch so that out of interest all the children will remain within the campus.
He continued his work when he got transferred to Upgraded High School, Biraunia. He faced lots of hurdles such as poor infrastructure, unavailability of proper toilets, and eve-teasing of the field at the entrance, as a result of which, the students did not show up. People had lost their faith in this school, because a few years ago five teachers of this school were transferred forcefully. This school was also running short of land due to which no development could take place.
To solve all these problems, here too, he integrated the society and the community to this school and convinced them that “Only the good deeds done by them will remain in this world and they will be forever cherished and remembered for the same.”
He introduced people to the government policies, according to which the person who will donate land for school, shall have the school named after his ancestors. He made them aware of the fact that if the school does not get land within a week it will be shifted to some other place. Coming to the rescue, Mr. Rakesh Kumar Singh donated his land for the construction of the building and a fund of Rs. 74 lakhs 86 thousand rupees got approved from the government. With the support of other community members such as Mr. Uma Singh, Mr. Amrendra Kumar Singh, Mr. Vikas Kumar Singh, and Mr. Chanchal Kumar Singh, he repaired the existing damaged building and removed the walls in between and made arrangements for students to sit and have their lunch. He fixed a T.V, on which, while eating, the students could listen to patriotic songs,and watch annual function programmes and various other videos related to education.
Ensuring safety and security
He created two security councils to tackle with the mischievous, ill-behaved boys. One including the passed out students of this school and the other comprising of the senior educated members of the village. He himself sat outside to look after the matter and put the school under CCTV surveillance. He stopped the people playing cards, sitting in the premises of a temple which was situated in the campus of the school. With these measures he won the faith of the guardians and they started sending their girls to school. Later on, girls of Kasturba Gandhi Vidyalaya also joined this school. In the year 2013, classes for Standard 9th and 10th began, and in 2014, the first matriculation batch passed with flying colours.
Source of inspiration
He says that for doing all these things he took inspiration from his mother who always encouraged him to do better and give his best to his work. Thus he dedicated this award to his mother. The keys to his success were honesty, time and sense of duty towards his profession. He also trained many teachers at the district level to help them achieve their goals in their respective schools.
He was also a part of the Setu Pathyakram under which he ran Utpreran Kendra, Unnayan Kendra, and Uththan Kendra only to fulfill the purpose of educating girl children of this country.
Do watch our Interaction with Akhileshwar Pathak here
SarkariSchool.in congratulates him on receiving National Teacher Award-2020 and appreciates him for his contribution to the society, especially for girls’ education.
Swarn Kant - September 3, 2020
Your stories are very inspiring