This Hero Turned Mud Partitions Into Blackboards for 10,000 Kids


Deep Narayan Nayak (37) grew up with restricted means in a giant household in Nandigaon village in Jamuria, Asansol, West Bengal. From the primary day of faculty until the final, he by no means wore a brand new uniform or studied from a brand new e-book. Deep and his 4 older sisters managed with hand-me-downs and worn-out uniforms which their mom would by some means patch up for them. 

Such was his want to check that he all the time stored the sources from affecting his educational efficiency. However because the 5 kids grew up, their father’s earnings, derived from a number of jobs, was simply not ample to feed the 9 mouths (together with his grandparents). Whereas all of the siblings attended faculty until Class 8, the monetary constraints grew, inflicting his sisters to drop out of faculty.

As a boy, Deep managed to complete his training, incomes a BSc in Botany. Later, he needed to cease learning however pursued trainer coaching and have become a main faculty trainer. Witnessing kids dealing with related struggles to his personal childhood, he refused to remain silent. He was decided to not let different kids, particularly ladies like his sisters, face the hardships he skilled.

Deep started by helping two kids in his faculty, offering them with new books, slates, and different necessities. This small act grew into an enormous motion to coach underprivileged kids and break the cycle of poverty. Beginning in Jamuria district, it expanded to seven extra districts in West Bengal, Jharkhand, and even Bangladesh, impacting over 10,000 college students.

Referred to as ‘Raster Grasp’ (trainer of the streets), Deep educates not simply kids, but in addition their dad and mom and grandparents. His programmes are aimed toward decreasing dropouts, offering nutritious meals, stopping baby marriages, bridging the gender hole in training, empowering ladies, and altering mindsets.

Moreover, he works on enhancing training and livelihoods by means of his Raster Grasp Analysis Centre and Worldwide Basis.

Breaking the vicious cycle of poverty

Students studying at night at the Raster Master school
College students learning at evening on the Raster Grasp faculty

Deep remembers his father working as a each day wage labourer within the morning, cleansing a medical store after, and dealing as a watchman at evening. Actually, the household stayed in the home the place his father labored because the house owners have been in another country.

“My father labored day and evening for us. However after the home proprietor returned, we needed to transfer out to a small clay home (kutia) away from the village the place there was no electrical energy. So I might get up at 3 am every single day to check, and within the evenings, I studied on the road because it was well-lit,” says Deep.

He completed faculty with out electrical energy at residence.

After Class 10, his classmates moved to cities for larger training, however he couldn’t on account of monetary constraints. He thought of quitting and dealing, like his sisters. So he started tutoring youngsters. However a gentleman noticed his good scores and inspired him to maintain learning.

Regardless of a authorities faculty being accessible, few enrolled. Deep was among the many three college students there, and he was the one one who handed the Boards.

The well-wisher additional lent him books with a situation to return them inside two years. “He was saving the e-book for his home assist’s baby, who was two years youthful than me. He motivated me to check properly and end Class 12,” provides Deep.

Initially wanting to check chemistry, he modified his thoughts as he couldn’t afford the various books the course required. So he selected botany as an alternative because it concerned a lesser variety of books. After beginning faculty, he had no books for almost three months. When the principal came upon, he organized for Deep to borrow books from the library for a 12 months.

After ending his diploma, Deep turned a main trainer in 2010. On his first day at college, he felt a wierd sense of deja vu, one thing he didn’t anticipate or want.

“I noticed kids who got here from backgrounds like mine — three to 4 siblings, no correct jobs for folks, and borrowing outdated books. These kids have been going by means of the identical ache and battle I did whereas rising up. I didn’t need to see one other baby face the identical hassles as me to get a great training,” he provides.

He began shopping for new books and slates for 2 kids at his faculty. The quantity slowly elevated as different kids additionally needed these shiny books. Most of those kids didn’t know what a brand new e-book or slate even appeared like. Whereas the ‘Raster Grasp’ tried to purchase it for as many kids as he may together with his personal cash, he knew that it wasn’t one thing he may proceed doing in the long term.

So he got here up with a novel mannequin that will be step one to what would quickly remodel right into a motion.

The 3G Mannequin

A girl teaching her grandmother to write
A woman educating her grandmother to jot down

Deep began turning the partitions of youngsters’s properties into blackboards, by portray them. This manner, when kids returned from faculty with homework, dad and mom started studying too. He calls it the 3G mannequin — educating three generations in reverse. The kid, usually the primary learner within the household, teaches dad and mom and grandparents.

He began by changing the mud partitions of the homes within the village into classroom partitions, the place he teaches. By portray small parts of the partitions black, he created a number of blackboards open for studying proper on the doorsteps of those kids.

Whereas dad and mom have been reluctant about sending their kids to those lessons, he began asking the youngsters to show their dad and mom. Now, many moms, fathers and grandparents have learnt sufficient to jot down a sentence or their very own identify. He says this methodology will increase bonding, gives fundamental training to individuals no matter age, and helps the older era realise the significance of training.

His motto is, “The place there’s a wall, there’s a approach,”

Walls of homes turned into blackboards
Partitions of properties changed into blackboards

“After I started educating youngsters, I observed that their training usually stopped round Class 10. Boys would begin working, and ladies would both get married or work as properly. The 3G mannequin helps to stop this. It makes dad and mom conscious of what they missed and emphasises the significance of training,” says Deep.

Surojit, a scholar of Deep’s for over seven years, mentions that each one the children eagerly await Deep’s visits to their Bankura village. Surojit, now 20 and learning engineering, credit Deep for his important assist. His father does odd jobs, and Surojit would be the first engineer from their village. “All of us anticipate the Grasp’s arrival, particularly the youthful youngsters. He additionally will get meals for us, which the youngsters, who in any other case eat mid-day meals, get pleasure from very a lot,” he says.

Because of Deep’s efforts, quite a few youngsters at the moment are pursuing numerous levels like engineering, nursing, arts, and extra, outdoors their villages and even past the state. The trainer feels immensely proud, sharing tales from a scholar learning psychology at Delhi College to a different securing a authorities job, amongst many others.

“Earlier, a baby would exit of the village solely as a labourer or after getting married (with respect to women). Now, they’ve the freedom to dream and pursue an training of their selection,” he shares.

Shalini from Sukhbazar in Howrah is the primary from her village to go to Delhi to check. She was certain that she needed to pursue a level in psychology and labored in direction of it. Whereas most ladies in her faculty obtained married throughout faculty or after Class 12, Shalini took Deep’s assist to persuade her dad and mom to pursue her training.

“Everybody in our village desires to get ladies married early. They really feel {that a} woman ought to exit of the village solely to her husband’s home. It’s due to Deep Sir that I used to be in a position to pursue my psychology honours at Delhi College,” says Shalini.

Beginning in Jamuria, Deep’s initiative steadily expanded to different districts in West Bengal and Jharkhand. He now has a workforce that trains different lecturers as they’ve college students from age 5-50.

“One has to show in a approach that matches how every age group learns. We’ve got a workforce of 150, which consists of fifty lecturers and 100 associates. After coaching, the associates turn out to be lecturers. We go to every village and select lecturers from there as they’re finest geared up to show the youngsters,” he provides.

The ‘Raster Grasp’ training mannequin is nearly a zero funding system with nice returns. The trainer says that it prices Rs 100 to transform a road right into a classroom. It helps bridge the digital divide for college kids who can’t afford telephones, don’t have web and have patchy electrical energy.

Every baby is taught 5 languages — Bengali, English, Hindi, Urdu and Ol Chiki — by means of the 5L (language) mannequin. They will learn, converse and write in all of the languages. The lessons are held earlier than and after faculty, and Deep himself is on the streets from 8 am to eight pm. He continues his authorities trainer job and takes lessons earlier than and after faculty. 

He additionally gives nutritious meals to kids as he doesn’t need them to be a sufferer of malnutrition. He pays for all this from his personal pocket, exhausting all his financial savings and wage for the trigger.

‘I really feel responsible about my sisters dropping out’

Deep ensures that all girls get an education
Deep ensures that each one ladies get an training

When Deep was younger, he didn’t discover he was the one one inspired to check, owing to his male gender. As he grew up, he observed ladies nonetheless face boundaries in training at the moment. This impressed him to make it his mission to assist ladies and discuss to their households about giving them higher training alternatives.

“Even at the moment, persons are not blissful when a lady is born. Regardless that intercourse willpower checks are unlawful in India, individuals nonetheless discover a approach to discover out and abort the newborn. I need to be sure that each baby, particularly ladies, get a great training,” he says.

Deep started visiting hospitals and houses at any time when a lady was born to encourage dad and mom to have fun her arrival. He items sweets and offers them 10 saplings, which develop into precious timber over 20 years that may be bought for a great value. “I give timber like mahogany which promote for about Rs 1 lakh per tree as soon as grown, which takes roughly 10 years. I inform them to water these timber fastidiously which might tomorrow turn out to be an asset for them,” provides the trainer.

He believes caring for the timber is like nurturing your goals. Initially, individuals didn’t belief him, however as they noticed timber rising in numerous properties, their belief grew within the Raster Grasp. To encourage dad and mom to coach their ladies, he brings again former college students from the village who at the moment are profitable engineers and graduates.

“Earlier, I might deliver large officers to offer inspirational talks, however that didn’t work. When a lady whom they’ve seen since childhood comes with a level, dad and mom join extra, as they arrive from the identical background,” he provides. He exhibits them real-life heroes who they’ll join with and relate to, which makes them really feel that these goals are inside attain.

His aim now, he says, is to unfold his centres worldwide and make training accessible to all. “I don’t need anybody to undergo what my sisters did. I’ll be sure that each woman and each boy will get an training,” he says.

He was chosen among the many Prime 10 lecturers for the 2023 World Instructor Prize, introduced by the Varkey Basis in partnership with UNESCO. 

He wants extra funding to increase his mannequin and supply extra sources for college kids. For those who want to assist, you may contribute to:

Raster Grasp Worldwide Basis 

A/C No – 40715717111

IFSC – SBIN0006188

Department – Jamuria Bazar


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *