07 November 2012
New Delhi, India
Every morning, children from nearby slums arrive in small groups, barefoot and carrying mats and brooms and start cleaning a portion of a land under a metro rail bridge, which will be their school for the rest of the morning. Rajesh Kumar Sharma, along with his friend, founded the free school for underprivileged children under a metro bridge a year ago. He teaches at least 45 children every day. Sharma, a 40-year-old father of three from Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state, was forced to drop out of college in his third year due to financial difficulties. He didn't want other children to face the same difficulties, so he decided to start the free school.
He persuaded local laborers and farmers to allow their children to attend his school instead of working to add to the family income. He prepares these children for admission to government schools and hopes to equip them with the tools necessary to overcome their poverty. Millions of dollars are given to fund the education of poor children in India, however it often doesn't reach them because of corruption and arduous administrative procedures.