Several underprivileged children in Rajasthan’s Churu found a new lease of life, thanks to this police constable. Dharamveer Jakhar started school, ‘Apni Pathshala’, three years ago for children who are forced to child labour or begging.
The constable decided to do something for them after he saw several children begging outside the Khariya Village police station premises.With a strength of just 5-6 children in the beginning, the school now has over 180 students enrolled in it.
“We started ‘Apni Pathshala’ from 1 Jan 2016, for the children who were indulged in begging and child labour.” We started teaching 5 to 6 students with just blackboard duster and chalk for an hour. We realised that those who beg their needs can only be met through education”
The students are provided free food, uniform and conveyance. “We also bought a van so that the students who live far do not have trouble commuting, We don’t take even a rupee from their parents.”says 35-year-old Dharamveer.”Like the government schools, we provide them meal in the afternoon – sabzi roti and lassi,” Dharamveer added.
Though in the beginning, Dharamveer and his few friends had to incur the cost, over time they have found several well-wishers whose donations keep the school going.
Students say their lives have changed after joining ‘Apni Pathshala’.”I used to collect waste, my friend Ravi told me about this school. We get dress and food from here. So I came to study here,” says Gopi, who has been attending the school for the last four years.
When asked what he wants to become in the future, a student said, pointing to Dharamveer, “I want to become a police officer like him. “