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This is a scene from Bhudarpura locality in Ahmedabad. More than 150 slum kids gather on a footpath every evening for their daily tutorials. This footpath school offers quality education, along with dinner, for more than 15 years now. Thanks to the effort of Kamalbhai Parmar (65), who himself a school dropout but has managed to show the right path to these slum kids.


Kamalbhai runs an auto and metal fabrication workshop near the slums of Bhudarpura. About 15 years ago, he saw a small group of students near his shop who were returning from their municipality school after their annual exam.

When Kamalbhai inquired, he was shocked to see that none of them knew how to read and write and even as they were in Std 8. After the incident, he conducted a student survey in his area and discovered that only five of them were literate. It was right then he decided to start a free evening coaching program.

Every day after school, he conducts four-hour evening classroom sessions from 5.30 pm where he teaches everything from alphabets to tips for cracking competitive exams. After this session, the school offers free dinner to everyone. The classroom, which started with self-made desks and boards, has now grown from 10 to more than 150 students to this day.

My greatest reward is when my students can stand up with confidence to those from privileged families : Kamal Parmar

His noble act brought him global attention. Recently, students of Lycee International St. Germain en Laye (France) volunteered to teach these children. Kamalbhai Parmar was awarded with Dharati Ratna in 2009 for this unique initiative. More power to you!