Where there is will, there is way. The quotation is apt for retired Indian Police Service (IPS) officer JK Sinha who established an English medium residential school named Shoshit Samadhan Kendra for boys of Musahar community in 2006, who have just around three per cent literacy rate in Bihar.
Describing the life of these people, Sinha mentioned, “Musahar catch rats in the fields due to which the society marks them untouchable. As a result they have been leading a life below poverty line. In this scenario, parents never think of educating their kids who assist them in this rat catching process. Many of them are like bonded labourers living in ghettoes in the outskirts of villages in Bihar.”
For Sinha, who began his school with four boys it was not easy to convince these poor parents to send their child to school. “Parents felt that it was a waste of time to send their children to school. They would instead make their child follow their own profession,” Sinha said.
With each passing day he persuaded the Musahar of many villages of Bihar to think for their child’s schooling.
He said, “Today there are overall 320 students from class one to 12th in my school. The government never resisted or helped me in this school work. Even the corporates approached me themselves when they found my work a unique effort. Once, the Sony television network requested me to send a student from my school in Kaun Banega Crorepati’s charity episode. I was overwhelmed when that boy bagged an amount of Rs 25 lakhs and decided to utilize the same in school’s development rather than gifting it to his family.”
Sinha, today, aims to increase the student strength of the school to 500 by 2015 and to 1000 by 2020. “With the blessings of almighty my NGO Shoshit Seva Sangh is bearing the entire academic requirement of all the students accommodated in a hostel. Every month, an amount of Rs 3001 is spent for a student,” Sinha maintained.
Three months back, Sinha’s school received the affiliation of Central Board of Secondary Education. He said that this year the first batchwill appear for their intermediate exams. “I am determined that they will pass with excellent marks and pursue higher education. Afterall, they will shine the name of their community,” said the former IPS officer.
Sinha was at state capital’s Academic Staff College (Ranchi University) on Monday to address lecture on this school for Musahar Community, a dream he had been weaving since 1968. The staff college is conducting its 76th Orientation Programme from January 25 to February 21.
As many as 19 faculty from various universities of India are the participants hearing words of speakers like JK Sinha. Most of them appreciated Sinha’s work and said that none of the Public Servants from the Musahar Community have thought of educating their community people. “Sinha has done what the government officers of Musahar Community cannot dare to think,” said Magadh University’s Dr DP Singh, a participant of this programme.
Sinha joined IPS in 1967 and went on deputation to the Cabinet Secretariat in 1971. He retired as Secretary from this service in 2005 and has then dedicated his life towards the uplift of Musahar Community.
Interestingly, young scholars who quit a handsome salary job for charity are working as Teachers and Administrative Staffs in Sinha’s school.