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Ayodhya Cop Teaches Beggars’ Children in His ‘Apna School’ Under a Tree

Indian Masterminds’ special feature on Teacher’s Day 2022. On this special day, we present the story of a teacher with a difference, Ranjit Yadav, a Sub Inspector with UP Police posted in Ayodhya. He takes out time to teach poor children in a makeshift school under a tree, and has fondly named it Apna School.
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Most residents of the holy city of Ayodhya are often greeted by the mornings with a beautiful sight of a policeman in uniform teaching basic Hindi, English and Maths to a group of underprivileged children under a tree. This policeman takes classes every morning before his duty starts, and then travels back 10 km to attend his duty. He is locally known as ‘Vardi Wale Guruji’, meaning the ‘teacher in uniform’. By his selfless work, Sub Inspector Ranjeet Yadav has attained a hero status in Ayodhya. 

Today, on Teacher’s Day, we bring you the story of this UP policeman, who, by his own example, is proving that that to do something positive for society, one just needs the will to do good and the doors start automatically opening.

Indian Masterminds interacted with Sub Inspector Ranjeet Yadav to get more information about his inspiring initiative.

Ranjeet Yadav, Sub-inspector

SETTING AN EXAMPLE

Only a few days’ back, we had written about another UP head constable, Rohit Kumar, of Unnao, who is setting an example by teaching underprivileged children. Today, we present another UP policeman, Ranjeet Yadav, is 2015-batch sub inspector posted in the office of the DIG, Ayodhya Range. He also teaches around 80 underprivileged children on his own. The students are mostly children of beggars who roam the narrow streets between temples and monasteries on the ghats of Saryu in Ayodhya. Some of the students are orphans.

Mr. Yadav named his initiative ‘Apna School.’ Classes are held from 7 am to 9 am every day under a big tree located near Khurja Kund.

Teaching the children

APNA SCHOOL

Speaking with Indian Masterminds, Mr. Yadav said, “It all started in November, 2021, when my posting was in Ayodhya’s Naya Ghat police chowki. There I saw small children begging on the ghats and around the temples. I was very disheartened as I felt that the future of these children would be spoiled. I made enquiries and found out where they lived. I met their guardians who told me they cannot afford a school education for their children. There and then, I decided that I would teach those children myself.”

True to his word, the next day, he reached there with copies, books, pencils and all necessary study materials for the children, hung a blackboard on a tree and started his school under it. In the beginning, only 10 or 15 students attended his classes, but gradually the number increased. Now, 80 students attend his classes.

With Children at Apna School

Mr. Yadav said that although the children were not so enthusiastic about studying in the beginning, gradually they started taking interest in it and enjoying it.

DISCIPLINARY DEVELOPMENT

His focus is not only to teach the children school lessons, but to focus on their overall development. He said, “I am trying to change their thinking, too. I show them videos, tell them stories, let them play games and dance on patriotic songs. These activities help in their personality development. I also motivate them by telling them that if they study, then everyone will salute them. Now, they understand that begging is not a good thing to do in life.”

Interacting with children

TRAVELLED 10 KM DAILY

He travels 10 km daily to take his classes. For this, he has to wake up early in the morning, ride the 10 km on his motorcycle and take the classes from 7 to 9 am. Then he rides back 10 km again and goes to office and attend his duty at 10 am. He said, “I believe that with good thinking and proper time management, everything can be managed. All I want is that children should not beg, they should study to create a better future for themselves. And I am ready to do anything to help them with it.”

GETTING HELP

Seeing his devotion, many people from across the country are coming forward to help. He is getting help from Lucknow, Rajasthan, and many other states. Sometimes shopkeepers don’t take money for the stationery he purchases for the children. “It is really nice to see people understanding the value of education and recognizing my initiative,” he said.

Study Hard

BACKGROUND

Ranjit Yadav hails from Azamgarh, UP. He has been posted in Ayodhya for almost 10 years now. He comes from a family of five brothers and has seen poverty from close quarters. In the midst of hardships and struggles, he became a constable in 2011, and then a sub-inspector in 2015. At present, he is posted as a sub-inspector in the DIG office in Ayodhya.


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