How a Kolkata based Customs inspector is changing lives of underprivileged students by giving them free tuition

Through free coaching to students of financially weak backgrounds, Akash Tripathy trains them for competitive exams

Akash Tripathy, an inspector at Central Excise, Customs, and Service tax, has become a beacon of hope for several underprivileged students. Through free coaching to students of financially weak backgrounds, Akash trains them for competitive exams. All he needs from them in return is a promise that his students will help someone in need.

Belonging to a humble background, Akash credits his success to the mentors and friends he had while growing up. He claims that his father, Jaishanar Tripathy, also believed in the importance of education, and migrated to Kolkata from his small village in Uttar Pradesh to ensure better education for Akash. Despite leading a modest lifestyle in a one-room house, which he shared which his wife and four children, Tripathy prioritised Akash’s education above everything else and helped him excel in academics and graduate from a Hindi-medium school.

As per a report in The Better India, Akash recalled how his success could not have been possible without his mentors. Among those who guided him was his school secretary Shri Jagmohan Bagla who relieved him of paying his class 12 fees due to financial crisis after seeing his academic record.

His relatives Nisha Dubey and Dilip Pandey also contributed to his education, paying his admission fees for MCA. His friend, Mohommad Ali lent him money for books, and his school teacher persuaded him to take competitive exams before pursuing his ambition of becoming a teacher. Akash credits this network of supportive teachers, friends, and relatives to have helped him achieve success in life.

Akash, while pursuing his graduation and post graduation worked as a part-time teacher and took tuitions to pay his fees. Indramani Shukla helped him by offering him a small room where he could take his classes. Hence, despite financial barriers, he pursued his education and worked hard to get a government job in DRDO.

In 2015, when he felt that he had become financially stable, he began to give back to the children in need. After being posted as an inspector in the income tax department of Bhubaneshwar, he worked to improve the lives of underprivileged children by teaching them in his free time. Just like the mentors who guided him, Akash took efforts to help as many children as he could, travelling back to Kolkata on weekends and training children for competitive exams.

Akash’s aspiration to make the world a better place was helped by his professional success. After he was posted as an inspector at Central Excise, Customs and Service Tax, he rented a room to teach students on a temporary basis. The rent of the room is divided amongst Akash and his students, who are charged a modest fee Rs 8 per month. This fee too can be relieved if a student is unable to pay.

Akash takes four to five batches of 150 students a year, who are charged a refundable amount of Rs 600 at the time of admission to ensure that the studies are taken seriously.

Along with training students at an academic level, he also works on their social responsibility and urges them to spread their knowledge and teach children in their locality for free. He conducts plantation and cleanliness drives, and spreads knowledge by distributing free books and posting a free module for competitive exams.

In his own way, Akash has started a network of socially responsible citizens. He has received support from officers who visit tuition centres to motivate students.

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