Home / More Lifestyle / Faridabad’s IRS officer teaching children to fight the pandemic and life struggles
Don’t say it, do it! — This is the philosophy of Aditya Prakash Bhardwaj. An officer in Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Faridabad, Bhardwaj has been teaching the underprivileged for last three years. “The biggest tool to fight against child labour is education,” he feels, and adds, “I’m trying to not just educate but also guide the younger ones.”
On World Day Against Child Labour (June 12), we speak to Bhardwaj about his journey so far, and how he has set an example for others by teaching young children while fighting all odds.“I experienced that there are more opportunities for urban students as compare to the rural students, and it’s because of the lack of guidance and resources available to the latter.”
“Born and brought up in a small village of Haryana, I studied in a government school till standard five. And I experienced that there are more opportunities for urban students as compare to the rural students, and it’s because of the lack of guidance and resources available to the latter,” says Bhardwaj, adding, “To help students in this aspect, I started visiting some government schools nearby, in Faridabad, on weekends. I started with this one school, where I interacted with kids above Std VIII, and set-up a questionnaire to understand their issues and guide them. These students are from economically backward families, and I felt that providing them with right guidance at the right time could change the direction of their lives.”
Aditya Bhardwaj has also been providing food to some of the kids who have been rendered helpless due to the pandemic.
In 2017, Bhardwaj initiated this cause, and today his list includes 67 schools. “After I visited one school, principals from other government and charitable schools started requesting me to visit their schools as well. I started teaching them finance, and explained them about tax in the form of a story to make the concepts easier. Wherever I go, I share my number with students, so that they can be in touch with me (to clarify any doubts). Ever since the lockdown happened, I have been getting WhatsApp messages and calls from those students who want my help. And it’s a beautiful feeling when they message me; I feel I do make a difference in their lives,” he adds.
The officer divides the students into three groups and ensures they are imparted knowledge according to their inclination and grades. He informs, “The first category of students belongs to those who want to earn money as soon as possible, second is of those who want to grow up to be doctors and engineers, and the third sections is of those who aspire to crack civil services.”
The lockdown, however, changed priorities for many of them. “From providing them with food to motivating them for study, I try and do it all. For instance, I found two distressed kids, 8 and 11, since they were stuck in Faridabad without their parents and didn’t know how to cook. We fed them three times a day until their parents returned. There are many stories like these that I have lived during the pandemic; so I formed a team of people from all walks of life under the banner of ‘We Care’, to help these children. Once the schools reopen, I plan to start visiting them, and teach them in batches of not more than 10 students, to ensure social distancing,” he concludes.
Author tweets @ruchikagarg271
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