Brij Chawla is a man who is originally from Islamabad in Pakistan. He came to India from Pakistan at the time of partition. Now he is a man of 74 years. Years ago he had decided to play his part in the progress of the country. He wanted to make an identity of his own and now he is renowned for his social work.
In the year 1993 he visited the village of Badhua in Bihar. He realized that even then there were a lot of tribal communities that were deprived of the basic necessities of life. He saw that the people did not get proper drinking water. There was no electricity in the village and most importantly there was no means of education in the area. He knew that education was the only way by which he could bring these people in connection to the modern world.
He made an enquiry on the matter and what he found out was astonishing on his part. He found that about 8 crore tribal people did not have proper access to the basic amenities of living a proper life. He decided to educate these people. It was in 1999 that he started teaching about 50 tribal children from the village of Ghatshila.
When he started this he was alone but with time his work grew bigger and now he has about 3000 children who come to seek education from him. He opened up schools in that region. He was helped a lot by the Art of Living society in his work. Chawla completed his engineering education from an institution in Delhi in 1960. He started working as an engineer in Calcutta at that time.
At a young age of 47 he retired from work to help these tribal people. He opened up a teacher training centre in the region. Almost 100 teachers have been qualified to teach from that centre. He keeps a balance of teacher to pupil ration at 1:30. His works are really appreciated in the context of the 21st century. He was helped by the art of living society.
When he started he got a few matriculate students to help him out. The people were not the best teachers but they managed to bring the students to school. Now he has set up 14 schools including high schools to provide education to the 3000 students of that region. He strictly believes that educating students only till class 12 will only increase the number of unemployed people in the country.
He said that he is planning to open a technical centre where students above class 8 will receive training and workshop. This will help them to earn at least Rs 7,000 to Rs 10,000 every month. He said that the building for this centre is almost complete and the technical centre will be started soon in order to help the students of this area be self sufficient and earn a proper and healthy living.
Educating Rural Children