Teaching @ 85

Teaching @ 85


Teaching is considered as the mother of all professions. We have schools and institutions that run on the regular structure of imparting knowledge to students. But, there are a few people who work for the development of the society through their invaluable contribution.
They ­fight against all odds to share knowledge and see to it that students excel in their respective ­fields. The reward for them is to see students excelling and that is what makes them the ‘person of the month' for us.
A living legend
At the age of 85, when most people retire, Vimla Kaul goes to school daily to teach underprivileged children at ‘Guldasta’, her school-cum learning centre. Her passion for teaching is a great inspiration for aspiring teachers.
She retired from a government school twenty odd years ago, but continues to teach underprivileged children till date.
Inspiration
Vimla has dedicated her life to educate and nurture young minds. In 1993, Vimla Kaul and her husband Prof. Hari Mohan Kaul, retired from their professions and wanted to create an impact in the society with charitable work. As part of a Rotary Club drive, they visited Madanpur Khadar village with biscuits for the kids there. A local woman praised their effort of feeding the kids, but remarked that instead of feeding them, the couple should teach the children to earn their livelihood. This comment stayed with the couple and motivated them to start a school.
Guldasta
The visit to Madanpur Khadar gave feathers to their charitable work. Mr. and Mrs. Kaul decided to start a school for the village children. In 1995, ‘Guldasta’ was started with five students under a banyan tree at the village Chaupal, in Madanpur Khandar. Due to lack of teachers, they split the work and managed to teach English, Mathematics, Social Studies and Environmental Science. The aim of the couple was to give proper education which would help the children earn a living in the long run.
Challenges
 
The journey of the school had its own challenges and hurdles due to lack of finance, teaching staff and space. But, the determination of Mr. and Mrs. Kaul helped overcome those challenges. Since Guldasta was not a regular school with big banners, regular fee structure and teaching staff, it had to move from one place to another. The couple shifted it to their housing complex, where around 150 students enrolled to study.
In the complex, the neighbours complained about the noisy kids and forced them out. This compelled the Kauls to close the school in the housing complex and look for an alternative. After an endless hunt for an appropriate place for the school, Guldasta was shifted to an MCD Park in the Dairy Farm near Sarita Vihar.
When Prof. Kaul passed away in 2009, Vimla Kaul took over the management and began running all the school affairs on her own, and continues to do so. She has also formed an NGO called ‘Vasundhari Society for Social Action’ to care for Guldasta.
The NGO runs tailoring classes, beautician course, henna application course, basic computer course and dance classes for children and women of Madanpur Khadar. The girls trained here donate a part of their earnings to the NGO, which they earn at the eve of Karwa Chauth.
New beginnings
Guldasta continued to function in the MCD Park for a few years, until the school fi­nally managed to get its own space after it was adopted by an NGO called Mahamana Malaviya Mission in 2011. With the help of the NGO, Guldasta has managed to rent a three-room building with all the basic amenities.
Curriculum
At Guldasta, classes are run in two shifts, morning and evening, on a daily basis. Morning shift is for the young children of KG, ­first, second and third standard, the other for coaching classes in Mathematics and English for middle school and high school level students.
Vimla Kaul is also assisted by two of the alumni of Guldasta, one of them has a Computer Science degree and the other works as a mechanic.
Recognition
Vimla Kaul’s self‑less service has earned her many awards and recognition. Among the several awards, Vimla Kaul was given the CNN IBN Real Heroes Award 2010 and Jijabai Women Achiever’s Award 2014. With the unending support in the field of education, Vimla Kaul has set an example that age is just a number for those who believe in change and enlighten the lives of others through their invaluable contributions.

This article was originally published in TheTeacher.in magazine in the month of June, 2019.

source: Freepressjournal.in, Thepatriot.in