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Itishree's school under Banyan tree.

Unique approach to motivate slums’ children; private school operates complete differently


May 17th, 2018

Our Bureau/


She doesn’t have any ‘way’ but due to her strong ‘wills’ she  appropriately  proves the old-aged proverb : ‘where there is a will there is a way’.

Meet 25 year-old Itishree, a pretty looking  married girl who sets an example of how with limited resources a positive atmosphere for basic education especially for the wards of underprivileged could be created. She also creates example for the government’s institutions for basic primary educations for the children which are generally in defunct modes despite the fact that lakhs of rupees are spent on government run primary and middle schools in Bihar.

Her free school starts when classes in government school are over and crowds of students mostly from nearby slums assemble in the school’s varanda or sometime under the Banyan tree or sometime in the premises of local Thakurwaris (temples). She once started her  free school with just 5 small children and today the number increased into 750.

Itishree of Manikpur locality in this ancient silk city who first started her free school from her house hardly some 6 month back. “But later I shifted the school at the varandas of some local government’s school after the classes were off. Really it was very tough job for me to bring the students and also convince their parents, mostly slum dwellers. The students of the schools who hardly used to visit their school,  in many occasion protested me with brick battings and their parents also discouraged me,” Itishree recalled.

Itishree who completed library science from TMB University here inherits the concept of social service from her father, Late Mahanand Mishra. Incidentally, her husband, Prasant Mishra also associated with NGOs provides her additional moral courage, she said.

“I used to teach students freely  at Mount Abu when I was there with my husband  who worked at an international NGO there. Everybody appreciated my teaching style there. In the meantime my father died on July 2017 and mother was left alone at Bhagalpur. I have no option rather to retuned back to look after my mother here,” she recalled.

“Since I had times, I decided to teach some poor children at my resident. But when I observed how they were lacking basic ideas, like a student in class XII didn’t even write the alphabets of Hindi or English properly, I decided to start the school in off hours and started it under a Banyan tree at Samrashpur here on last week on November 2017,” she recalled.

Itishree presently having some 30 volunteers mostly students and some local homemakers who joined her to operate the free school. Today her school starts as usual at HarijanTotal Mohiddi Nagar in the locality from 4 – 6.30 pm. “I think Itishree contributes her best for the society and just to help her  in her mission I also joined her,” said Nilam Sharma (32) a homemaker here. Similarly, Vipin a 2 year  BA student in local Marwari college who also teaches in the free school, feels proud for his such contribution towards a novel cause.

Itishree runs her school on the varanda of a school.

“My sons didn’t know how to write properly even reading in class V and III some months back, they just attain the schools for mid-day meal and other governmental benefits. But Itishree Didi has transformed them, today they could write words and sentences,” said Putli Devi, a nearby slam dweller whose husband pulls rickshaw.

“It’s a good job done by Itishree, students in this school not only started their classes regularly but also we observing improvements among them,” said a head mistress of a local government primary school on condition of anonymity admitted today.

Deputy mayor, Bhagalpur Municipal Corporation (BMC), Rajesh Verma recently donated Rs 12,500 to Itishree for purchasing black boards for her free school. “We have decided to help her so that her efforts for introduce educations among under privileged in the society could run smoothly,” Verma said while adding that more contributions would be collected for the school.

“It’s really a great example created by the girl, she should be encourage. People should come forward to encourage her mission,” was the general opinion of people here who also started providing helps to Itishree.

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