Anil Sharma explores a doctor’s effort to educate ragpickers
Every afternoon between 3 pm and 5 pm, the community centre at Neem Ka Thana town in Sikar district comes alive. Scores of children — all ragpickers — get busy studying, thanks to paediatrician Govind Singh Chappola who has opened the free study centre for them.
Chappola, who was motivated by his late father’s community work, began this centre in front of his house in Singhiwal Basti last year where he has appointed a teacher whom he pays from his pocket.
“Keeping in mind suitable timing for these children, the study centre runs from 3 pm to 5 pm every day. I started this in October last year and till the time of summer vacation we enrolled over 100 students in just four months. Of them about 35-40 children are coming to study regularly. Some of them never went to any school,” said Chappola.
“I am happy that at least 10 of these students have now joined a regular school. It was my dream that they should be motivated to join the school,” he said.
“Since the beginning of this new session about 50 days back, we have enrolled 70 such children as students,” he added.
“I am sure that in future the number will increase. My main aim is to motivate these children and their parents about education,” he said.
“I have been inspired by my father Sultan Singh Chappola who tried to help people in whatever way he could. He used to organise prize distribution ceremony at schools with an aim to motivate children to study,” he said.
After his father’s death, Chappola opened the study centre. Thanks to his efforts, even the parents of these ragpickers have now started to realise the importance of education. The doctor provides text books free of cost. To motivate these children so that they attend the classes, he offers them chocolates too. He also provides school uniform to these children.
Chappola, who works at the Kapil Hospital, offers free treatment to the children and provides medicines as well. “I want to see these children happy, healthy and educated. It is a small effort for my own satisfaction and I am doing it without any help,” Chappola said.