Juin Dutta and her team of people from Pathshala are doing something for our nation which many of us have dreamed of doing, which is providing the right to education to each and every individual, and they are well on their way into making our dream a reality.
These inspiring words are from a visionary- Juin Dutta, who is on her way to changing the course of the life of thousands of underprivileged children.
Juin Dutta knows the value of education, being a well-educated person herself. After completing her post-graduation in Economics, she also got her masters and Ph.D. in ‘Library and infomercial Sciences’. She went on to work as a librarian and a coordinator in at New Era and Navrachna schools. Finally, In the year 2013, she took the most important decision of her life. Juin Dutta decided to leave her job and pursue her lifelong dream of giving back to the society through the medium of education. And thus was born Pathshala.
What is Pathshala? The fundamental concept of Pathshala is that of a ‘mobile school’.They take the school to the children since these children can’t make it to traditional schools due to their dire circumstances. Juin was drawn to educating underprivileged children from seeing the children of construction workers in her locality. The classes are conducted free of charge, and students are provided with basic essentials like meals, books, and stationery items. Additionally, in the hostel, they are taught drawing, music, danapart from the academics. From being barely literate, the children have now begun to read and improve as students. Yoga is also taught to the children studying at Pathshala.
Juin believes in moving forward and working harder and this has enabled her and her team to overcome any difficulties that they have faced. From their first teaching space at a construction site in May 2013 and then on Sardar Estate footpaths and the Parshuram Bhatta slums, they have reached a phase where they are now building a hostel for a 100 kids. It’s not an easy task of teaching children who have had different lifestyles and no education at all, but they have been able to do it through hard work and determination. These children do not have a proper place to stay. Names of these kids are registered in a school but the irony is that they are never sent to school. They have also sent about 45 children to Navprerna, which is part of the Navrachana Education Trust. Juin’s struggles have helped them to have a better life.
Even after trying so hard they still face trouble, many parents are unwilling to send their children over, especially if the child is a girl. Some change their hearts after seeing the efforts of Juin and her team. Generous donations from good wishers around them have helped Pathshala to grow further. No money is collected from the student’s side. The teachers and staff are also volunteers who collect no remuneration for their services. A flat was also donated by Juin’s husband which is now being used as a hostel. Every time they overcome one challenge, Juin looks for the next one, and this is what has led them to success. Juin’s vision is to teach the children to choose their own paths instead of forcing them upon one. Irrespective of their age, the classes are divided based on the ability of children to learn.
Juin Dutta and her team at Pathshala are an inspiration to the nation and the society. The language of love is the same everywhere, Juin quotes. They have had the courage to set aside their lives and give something back to the society. The supports from their friends and family have helped them to achieve and their goals. Here is to hoping that more people are inspired by her life and they continue to educate the children and the nation through their ventures.