This amazing news comes to us from Jaipur, India.
Nanda Kishore Prusty, a class 7 pass out, moved on towards eradicating illiteracy. He wanted to join a Government service but his father was not willing to send him out of home. It was in 1948 when he decided to start teaching and made a shed of bamboo and straw and provided education to kids in the morning and elders in the evening. He does not charge a penny for imparting education and is a part of Bartanda GP.
Chatashali, a non-formal school for primary education at Odisha may have stopped running long before but it still exists because of Nanda Mastre. The timings are scheduled as 6am to 9am for kids and 6pm to 8pm for the adults. Nanda Kishore recalls, “When I completed primary education (class 7), my uncle arranged a job at Cuttack. But my father was reluctant. The financial condition was not good and I helped out my father in farm work.”
As he was not highly educated, he decided to spend his time on teaching the students of the village and nearby areas after his agricultural work. When he turned 26, he decided to educate the elders of the Kantira district who were mostly laborers and farm workers. They were illiterate and could not even sign on legal and official documents. They used to put thumb impression and do the proceedings. This made him realise that they must be at least capable of signing, reading and writing in their mother tongue.
Even after four generations, he is still continuing in the age of 98. Many of his students are now successful doctors, lawyers, engineers, political leaders and teachers. Many of them have passed away. The bamboo shed has now changed into a make shift house near the Hanuman temple of the village. The Bartanda Sarapanch Rabindra Kumar Sahoo says, “His mission to eradicate illiteracy from our panchayat without taking a single penny from anyone is an unparalleled act of devotion. We regard him as the village head and he resolves all issues of my panchayat amicably. We are proud of him.”
This story of ‘Nanda Mastre’ not only inspires us but also proves that nothing is impossible at any stage of life. His devotion towards imparting education to illiterates is praise-worthy and must be a lesson for every person who desires to be literate. People like him will surely bring a positive change in a country like India.
Image Source: EPS