Wednesday 20 August 2014

The story of an extraordinary volunteer

Babar Ali lives in Murshidabad, West Bengal. He attends the Raj Govinda School, a 10km auto-rickshaw ride away.  He is the first person in his family to go to school.  He is 16 years old and he is a model student. But it’s not what he does at school that is so extraordinary.   It’s the volunteering he does when he has left the classroom.

When he gets home at 4 o’clock each day, Babar Ali rings a bell.  At first they came in a trickle, but now 800 children from poor families line up in the yard behind his house, for lessons from Babar Ali and 10 friends from his school.  After singing the National Anthem, the students settle down to their studies.  There is no charge and no trouble.

Babar Ali is called the youngest headteacher in the world.  He knows that without an education these children stand little chance.   He is an extraordinary volunteer.

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