Migrant worker teaching low-performing students. Can't crib about the Covid situation though.

khageswar maijhi

Ever since the pandemic hit, lives have gone distorted. Elders struggled to feed their families; children lost the chance to play outdoors. Schools are closed and bags are sacked at the corners. Children who had inclination towards studies used this free time to learn new things and did various activities with the help of parents and internet. This was not the case with those in the rural areas who had limited or no access to the resources. Those children who just went to school and came back to do other menial activities, lost complete access to education with the school doors being closed. That means, a part of children’s productive life is dissolved in the dangerous waves of pandemic. On the other hand, the plight of migrant workers needs no mention. Not being able to meet their people, unable to get back to their hometowns, having no access to work and basic needs – their situation is beyond doubt pathetic. Somehow, many of the migrant workers were sent to their hometowns by the government, NGOs, private organizations etc. These migrant workers still had no food to eat and work to do. One such migrant worker belonging to Uparpita village of Khariar block in Nuapada district is Khageswar Maijhi who set to work as an MGNREGA worker post his return from Mumbai during the lockdown.

Two Birds In One Shot:

After Khageswar returned to his village from Mumbai, he struggled to find a job. Finally, he found work under MGNREGA and started to earn his bread. Once Khageswar happened to notice that the children in his locality are roaming aimlessly having got completely disconnected from learning. Then, he came to know about a local NGO, Shramajeebee Bikash Sangathan that’s organizing remedial classes to children and is also involving local youths to teach them. Khageswar, who had to refrain himself from pursuing higher education to shoulder family responsibilities  knows the importance of education in child’s life. He doesn’t want these children to go through the same patches that he had to go. So he couldn’t stop himself from being a part of the NGO’s initiative. He feels that, with pandemic, those children who already had limited access to education, got completely disconnected from learning.

I realised that COVID-19 crisis has meant little or no education for many children who cannot afford the cost of internet or digital devices. The remedial class is useful for these low performing students, said Khageswar.

While the state government’s online education hasn’t been reaching majority of these children due to lack of devices like smart phone, computer, or TV, Khageswar thought that this initiative of the NGO is beneficial to children and decided to join the initiative. So, this way, he can occupy himself with good learning activity after his working hours and on the other hand, benefit students as well. 

Can’t Go Beyond Class V:

Khageswar finds it difficult to teach children above class five. However, with an objective to help students with learning and keep them connected with books, Khageswar didn’t step back but tried all sorts to teach them how much ever he could. His efforts to teach children inspired the local youth as well who also came forward to take remedial classes for children.

“Local youths like Khageswar have come forward to help children of their villages to teach in these crucial times voluntarily. Their commitment and dedication for society is commendable and inspiring others to be good Samaritans”, Saroj Kumar Suna of Shramajeebee Bikash Sangathan, Nuapada said.

As public space is not available to conduct classes, Khageswar is conducting classes in his own house by taking necessary precautionary measures in view of pandemic. Since August 15, he has been teaching six students in the morning and evening daily. Parents and the locals of the community have been lauding his efforts in raising the graph of the low performing students.

People like Khageswar are truly an inspiration for others to do something for the society because those who themselves suffer from lack of resources venture into serving others, isn’t that something great! He has no education, he was deprived of work because of pandemic; still, he chose to help those who are way below him.

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