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Police officer's free school brings ray of hope and opportunities to underprivileged children

A police officer's free school in a Delhi slum provides hope, education, and a fresh start for underprivileged children.

Police officer's free school brings ray of hope and opportunities to underprivileged children
Representative Cover Image: Getty Images | Lars Baron

A police officer from Delhi, who overcame his impoverished upbringing in the city slums during his childhood, is now giving back to underprivileged children who cannot attend school and take up odd jobs to support their families. Through his initiative of a tuition-free school, held in the parking lot of the renowned Red Fort, Than Singh assists children who have missed school in catching up with their peers so that they can reach the appropriate educational level for their age. Hailing from Bharatpur, Rajasthan, Singh grew up on the streets of New Delhi with his two siblings, selling corn while his father worked as a clothes ironer. Despite their daily struggles, Singh always remembered the significance of education.

 


 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Than Singh (@thansinghkipathshala)


 

 

Although Singh's father aspired to become a police officer, the burden of providing for the family prevented him from adequately preparing for the job. However, Singh was determined to do what his father could not and stayed committed to his education. In doing so, he successfully passed the Delhi Police examination. Returning to the streets where he grew up, Singh sensed a pressing need to assist children who, like him, were forced to work instead of attending school. This realization motivated him to establish a unique school named "Than Singh Ki Pathshala." In an interview with The Better India, Constable Singh shared," "I volunteered to teach these kids so that they are able to come to a little par with their peers. For this, I started meeting the parents. Police are the only segment that goes to people irrespective of their socio-economic status and get to understand their problems." He continued, saying, "After meeting their parents, I convinced them not to worry about kids and send them to our pathshala."

 


 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Than Singh (@thansinghkipathshala)


 

 

Than Singh dedicates his efforts to educating a group of 80 children, ranging in age from 3 to 15, who reside in neighborhoods such as Raj Ghat, Vijay Ghat and Shantivan. The local battery-rickshaw drivers have generously volunteered to transport these children home from the school premises daily. Than Singh relies solely on donations to provide essential resources for his school. Generous contributions from individuals and organizations enable him to acquire books, provide nutritious lunches, supply uniforms, and obtain other necessary materials for the student's education. In the previous year, 70 of Singh's students were successfully enrolled in formal government schools. What's even more remarkable is that 10 of these students achieved the highest scores in their respective classes during examinations. Singh says, "There is no other peace than working for these children. I could be the reason for bringing a change in their lives with just a little support. What could have been better than this for me?" Singh's story has surely inspired many. 

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