Makeshift School for Children of Farmers Protesting in Delhi

Volunteers who teach here say it’s the enthusiasm of the children that keeps them going.

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Video Producer: Kanishk Dangi
Video Editors: Purnendu Pritam & Vivek Gupta

"If you can carry the weight of the pen today, you don't have to carry the weight of stones tomorrow," these are words spoken by a child.

When asked what he means by this statement, Santosh said, "If you receive education today, you don't have to be a labourer tomorrow and carry the weight of stones."

Santosh Kumar is one of at least 100 kids who to come to Savitribai Phule Pathshala in Delhi's Ghazipur border everyday.

Amid the ongoing farmers' protest in the national capital, The Quint 's Shadab Moizee visited Savitribai Phule Pathshala a makeshift school for the children of farmers protesting at Delhi's Ghazipur border.

I have come from Chhattisgarh to join the protests. When I visited Savitribai Phule Pathshala here, I was inspired to teach the children.
Limbati Maurya, Resident of Bastar, Chhattisgarh & Teacher at Savitribai Phule Pathshala

'Attempt To Save Agriculture and Education'

More than 100 children come to this makeshift school daily. What started as an attempt to educate children of the protesting farmers, soon opened its doors to all. In no time children who collect garbage here, children from economically weaker sections, and those from the neighbourhood, started attending classes here.

Children are taught alphabets, numbers, rhymes, and painting. When The Quint visited the school, the children, most of whom said they aspire to join the forces, were seen learning to draw and paint the national flag.

Amid the ongoing protests against the contentious farm laws and given the COVID-19 pandemic, most schools are still shut. This is just an attempt to save agriculture and education. We are not really sure how long the protest will continue. So, to ensure that the kids’ education does not get hampered some of us have gathered to open this makeshift school.
Mahendra Yadav, Member of Savitribai Phule Pathshala

'The Kids' Enthusiasm Keeps Us Going'

Volunteers and activists who teach the children in the makeshift school say that it is the energy, curiosity and eagerness of the children that keeps them going.

Deb Kumar, a UPSC aspirant and activist who teaches here daily said that some of the kids have gone to other schools too, but many kids here have never really been to school and this is their first experience of receiving formal education.

I was preparing for the UPSC exams. I am a social activist. I teach the kids here. The children who come here are very enthusiastic. Our classes start at 11 am. Often, they gather here by 9 am. It is their enthusiasm that keeps us going.
Deb Kumar, UPSC Aspirant, Activist & Teacher at Savitribai Phule Pathshala

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