By Abdul Gani, TwoCircles.net,
Guwahati: Raham Ali is a farmer in one of the most backward areas of Assam in South Salamara of Dhubri district. But recently, his act of generosity and kindness has left the entire village appreciating him for his efforts.
Ali, who is in his 50s, never got the opportunity to go to school, but what pained him more was that a generation later, the area still did not have a good quality school. So, Ali decided to donate a half a bigha of his land to set up the first English medium school in his area. This, despite Ali having only 3 bighas of land to do a bit of cultivation to make ends meet.
“Even though I never had the chance to be in school, I desperately want the kids of my locality to have good quality education. So, I donated my land. I know this is little but I don’t have much to give. I hope our locality will have a better school to make better human beings,” Ali told TwoCircles.net.
Ali has two sons; with the elder one having completed his class 12 and now helps his father in the field. His second son could not continue his studies beyond class VIII due to poverty.
With 59.36 percent rate literacy, Dhubri district is placed at the lowest in the state. And this area is even worst with mostly affected by flood and erosions besides numerous other problems.
The plot of land donated by Raham Ali
“I, being from that locality, always felt bad about the situation back home. And at a point of time I realised that only quality education can solve the problem of social backwardness,” said Ashiq Zaman, a deputy commissioner with the Indian Revenue Service currently based in Mumbai.
Thus, Zaman along with some of his like-minded friends started the initiative to set up the first English medium school and discussed the issue with the villagers. And the kind of response they got from the villagers especially from Raham Ali is immensely encouraging.
“Only English medium and central board will also allow them to avail all the opportunities available in the country. Because, when a poor boy or girl from that backward region will be educated under CBSE course and through English medium they will be ready to compete with any children in any part of the country,” added Zaman.
Now, Zaman’s friend Mehedi Hassan is looking after works to construct the building and other issues. “Saurav Zaman, a university assistant professor and Mokibur Rahman, an engineer based in Guwahati are looking after the academic aspects of the school. I want to establish it as a good business model so that it can be replicated by other educated entrepreneurs in their areas and slowly the entire region will have good English medium schools providing quality education,” Zaman said.
They are expecting to start the school from the January next year with at least 50 students. The school will have classes from Nursery to V.
Mehedi Hassan said that they will hire quality teachers for the students. “We want to start with less students but would try to provide them quality education. We have hired two teachers from South India and the other two will be from northeast. Then gradually we will expand,” Hassan said.
They are also planning for hostel facilities to cater the need of the poor students who are from river rine areas.
“According to our planning we will need around 6 bighas of land but as of now we are starting with one bigha,” Hassan added.