A School Under a Metro Bridge in Delhi by Simon de Trey-White
13th March 2014, Shakarpur, New Delhi, India. Teachers from left to right: Mr KK Gupta; Rajesh Kumar Sharma and Mr Laxmi Chandra at the blackboards at a makeshift school under a metro bridge near the Yamuna Bank Metro station in Shakarpur, New Delhi, India on the 13th March 2014
Rajesh Kumar Sharma (born 01/02/1970), started this makeshift school in 2011. Six mornings a week he teaches underprivileged children for three hours under a metro bridge in Delhi while his younger brother replaces him at his general store in. His students are children of laborers, rickshaw-pullers and farm workers. Beginning in 1997, this is the third site from which he has taught under privileged children in the city. Surprisingly it was not easy convincing the children's parents to let them attend a school and it remains one of his biggest and constant challenges today. Because they are poor and mostly illiterate they often see no need for their children to be educated and prefer to put them to work at home and also worry about possible costs involved. Despite this at the current school up to 70 children between four and fourteen years old turn up early each weekday morning, sweep the floor clean and put down foam mats to sit on. Mr Sharma arrives around 9 am with his friend Laxmi Chandra and other volunteer teachers and they teach the children for two hours, - mainly elementary reading, writing, arithmetic and some geometry. Since they began to receive donations from well-wishers Mr Chandra has been able to give milk, biscuits and clothing to the children as well as the stationary items they need for study.
PHOTOGRAPH BY AND COPYRIGHT OF SIMON DE TREY-WHITE
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