'Tired of earning' tutor starts free classes
Saying he is "tired of earning money", a tutor who prepares students for competitive examinations is now doing the same for poor students - free of cost.
"I am tired of earning money. I have taught the best of students and now I want to work with students who cannot afford costly coaching," Puneet Sharma said.
Sharma has worked for several leading private coaching institutes like TIME and Career Launcher for nearly three years and is also a qualified Company Secretary.
He has now started coaching classes in collaboration with an NGO - Institute of Social Studies Trust (ISST) in the working class Kalyanpuri neighbourhood of east Delhi. The classes have started this August and the students are being taught for both engineering and management entrance examinations.
At present, four classes have taken place and there are more than 20 students in the batch for management and engineering each.
Sharma is open-ended on the number of students he is willing to teach, saying that if necessary, the classes could be run in multiple batches.
The idea of starting the coaching classes struck Sharma and ISST activists while they were interacting with a government school student who had scored well in his class 10 exams but had chosen the wrong combination of subjects to achieve his ambition of becoming an engineer.
The boy told them that he had opted for the commerce stream with mathematics to realise his dream.
"His answer not only shocked us but also made us realise how unaware students of the area are. We realised that they need proper guidance and after brainstorming we developed this idea," said Amita Joshi, a social activist with ISST.
"We already have a lot of students. We have spread the word and posters have been pasted in government schools in and around Kalyanpuri inviting other interested students," she added.
"We have also asked school authorities to help us identify students who are bright but are not able to fulfil their ambitions due to lack of finance. We have received encouraging response," Joshi said.
Sharma was very upbeat about the project.
"I am a very ambitious person and I want to contribute in changing the lives of people. If someone achieves success with a little help from me, I will be the happiest person," he said.
He has also asked his friends to help him in the project.
"My friends are all ready to help me. I like the challenge and hope that others in the city will also come up with such initiatives," Sharma said.
"I want to develop it into a cutting edge educational group that will be known for its competence and values. We will slowly take it to other parts of the capital," Sharma added.
A similar group, called "Super 30", is functional in Patna. It takes in 30 meritorious students from among the economically backward sections of society and coaches them free of cost for the Indian Institutes of Technology entrance test every year.