When the Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi, addressed a sparkling crowd of more than 60,000 people present at the Britain's Wembley stadium, and said "My India resides in people like Imran Khan" after that a primary school teacher comes on the top of search list. That day of November 2015 is listed as a remarkable day for a man, whose unprecedented success story comes in front of the world.
Many of us consistently complain about not getting something; about not achieving their goals or targets; and regretting about problems that make their life "oh so difficult". But there are some people who are so passionate about their ultimate goal, as no matter how and where they started but they will accomplish it for the betterment of ultimate society.
As there can be many definitions of success, but he is the person who enlightens the true definition of it, as "Giving back to the ultimate society from where we have taken" So let us check out the most cherishing free app development journey with the man himself:-
Meet Imran Khan, a 37 year-old primary teacher at Government Ups (Sanskrit) Kathumar School in Alwar, who moonlights as a super-creator of educational apps. With no formal education in computers, he developed many educational apps which are now listed in Google play store. Khan has learnt everything from books and from the vast hub of galaxy of data "Google Gurudev", his rendezvous with software development began only in 2005, and now he is just like "God of app development".
From teacher to a developer and then to entrepreneur, all in one
So when reading about these multifaceted skills of yours, sudden question arises in mind, how this correlation of teaching primary school kids to app development happen..and he recalls it as
"I was from a small village and studied in Government schools. In secondary education I opted Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics as technical subjects. I used to like science and Math which made my thinking logical. Due to some problems I couldn't continue my studies and joined as a teacher in 1999 just after 10 + 2. It discontinued my regular schooling. In 2009 for the very first time I used computer. Definitely like others I used it for playing games for the first 6 months. But as the time passed I thought it was not the right way, I have to use this computer for some useful purpose. So I decided to use it in a different way and thought of creating some teaching and learning material; and I did it. I learnt HTML online and from PHP books of my younger brother and other necessary stuffs to create a dynamic website."
Stepping stone in the journey
Though many of us try our hand on many things, but we did not get proper guidance, so how all this happened. Any inspiration or motivation you've got or what it is;
"That time collector of Alwar city, Mr. Ashutosh A.T. Pednekar saw my website and called me. He told me to create an educational portal for schools, and that was the stepping stone of this journey. By 2012 was able to create more than 50 websites for Alwar schools, as well as my first Android app "NCERT learn science" which has more than 50,00,00 downloads as per recent statistics. I want to convey special thanks to Ashutosh Sir for his continued support and inspiration."
Dream of becoming Scientist from the very beginning
They say I dream too big, but I think they think too small
In such a small town where basic education is at far level, your dreams of becoming a scientist, how realistic you feel and with a smile of a bit disappointment and He said..
"I am passionate for subjects like mathematics and science, and always had a desire to become a scientist, but in rural areas first to secure a government job is a priority, so didn't pay any attention to my aspiration and that's why just after completing higher secondary, I joined as a teacher.."
So was there any difficulties while pursuing your education, did you wanted to become a teacher from the very beginning of your life or is there any fascination for a government job. And he said..
"There is a vast gap in rural and urban education. Students can find almost all facilities in urban areas like good schools, educational equipments, computer, Library, Laboratories but in rural areas still a big gap. In rural areas there are only a primary school or a middle school with fewer facilities, it is not always necessary that you will find ample number of teachers in accordance with the student. I think this gap should be fulfilled, as basic facilities are required for the overall development of the student. If we are not delivering properly than ultimately it hampers the productivity of society at large extent. Talented, innovative and hard working students should find opportunities to go ahead."
Your family considers you like APJ Kalam for the nation
"Success is when your signature changes into autograph" Abdul Kalam
As your younger brother Idrees tells, that you are the inspiration for your family and they treat you as Abdul Kalam for the nation. So what is crux behind this ideology
"As you know Ramanujan and A P J Abdul Kalam are also from small villages. Think for a while if they didn't find opportunities, it would be a massive loss for the nation. The same way we are receiving a lot of loss from such a situation where we are not providing essential opportunities in rural areas. I think we have to fill this gap as soon as possible by creating educational apps and availing them free on Play Store for students. Â My target group is the students who are not able to find good books, teaching and learning material. I think they can find my Apps free for various subjects and may be benefited."
In Need of technical education
Success takes a spirit of adventure and an aptitude for bravery. It isn't that the brave don't have fears, it's that they chose to move forward anyway. So when asked about the need of technical education, Â he replied very firmly..
My background is not technical but I think it is not necessary to create something useful, one should always have a technical background and at the same time a person from technical background always creates or innovates something useful. This depends on it.. how you think, How you learn things from books, from schools and did you ever think that how I can use "what I learnt" to create something that can be used in society. So definitely there will be "a way waiting for you and you will definitely create something amazing, something useful and something new"
After a lot of hard work, the day of felicitation arrived
You have participated in a national seminar on education organized by the ministry of human resources in September 2014, and undertook sessions on IT in education at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie, with trainee IAS officers as your audience. So please enlighten us on the role of the education system in today's society at large.
"I want to mention here an initiative of education taken in Alwar district that is project EKTA. In this project some members from education department tried to fill the gaps in primary education at Alwar district. We've tried to generate funds from various dignitaries, NGO and companies as well, and dedicated these funds for the betterment of education in rural areas. I am also a member of project EKTA. In the last couple of years, I met various dignitaries and learnt a lot from them. Recently I had a meeting with our HRD Minister Mrs. Smriti Irani in an " education policy Summit". She was fond of my apps, appreciated me for this initiative and invited me to Vigyan Bhavan for National ICT Conference"
So how it feels to be associated with such dignitaries, do you have any offers for a tie up by the government of India, like how was your meeting with our HRD minister Mrs. Smriti Irani and education minister Mr. Kali Charan Saraf
"When I reached there, I was excited as well as nervous both at the same time, but everybody treated me with great appreciation and respect, Mrs. Smriti Irani introduced me to all Â the people present there. I feel privileged to have a word with Education Minister of Rajasthan, Mr. Kali Charan Saraf and Prof. Vasudev Devnani.
I still won't be able to believe, as my dream come true.... Mr. Saraf also invited me to Jaipur and felicitated. Recently I find a chance to go to "All Abrader Castro IAS academy" Missouri. I presented my apps and websites to trainee IAS officers. It was an amazing experience for me."
Department of Science and Technology offered me a post of project officer in DST department and Sanskrit education department. They also wanted to create a I.T. officer post for me. If anytime I find an appropriate opportunity, then I will spread my efforts to use, I.T. in education. I will definitely accept offer, but not as an officer, I think the post is not important, but to work hard and to create something useful, if an offer only provides me an upper post or increment in salary I think I will not accept it, but if I find opportunities to do something creative I will definitely accept them.
The Language barrier is still a major problem
In 2012, you had developed your first app "â the NCERT Learn Science "â for the Class 9 students. Of all the apps you made so far, General Science in Hindi is the top grosser, with more than 50,00,00 downloads. So is it because as a student who belongs to Hindi medium background didn't have the proper exposure to learn in their native language, as most of the content available on the internet is in English.
"In North India our mother tongue is Hindi but nowadays there is more focus on English language as a global perspective. As per the research, various psychologists have emphasized on the need of native language in education at primary level, but we are not following it. As most of the private schools today is providing education in English language.
If we talk about the government education system in Rajasthan government schools, it is being run in a Hindi medium language and in rural areas where the poor families have no other option to send their ward to these Government schools because they do not have to pay fees in these schools. So in that case I think there is a need to create educational content and apps in Hindi medium. As always said my targeted group is the students who didn't find the proper educational content. Though I am not against with teaching English language, as it acts as a medium of global communication. But still every country is promoting their native language, So that children can abide to their roots."
Bridge the gap between education and employment
Please share your views on the role of quality education, imparting knowledge as well as employment, As the youth of today is massively frustrated with the rat race of getting a good job, With the cut throat completion of getting higher ranks, good marks.etc. But when we do a reality check, it is all about just mugging up the things without actually understanding them. So what all majors should be adopted to improve this situation?
"Quality of education is one thing that should be provided continuously. We think that education means finding a job, but I think it is not right tendency. Actually Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits. Students should move towards startups and self jobs as well as private sector after their education."
The True definition of success is giving back to society, you have created more than 100 websites and 50+ apps on play store. So how it feels, we believe you must be satisfied, happy with your contribution. So what is your vision in the long run?
"I don't know it is successful or not, but I think I am happy with this," Says an always smiling Imran Khan.
What I am currently doing is, I create some drawings on a paper for a new app, some new ideas and do a lot of hard work, consecutive four weeks of struggle with quotes and then I succeed, I find my salary that is 'satisfaction'. To give back to society is a duty of all, we find a lot from society, a lot from nature, a lot from country and we should try to give back. With a vision to convert "dreams into reality", he shares with us the road map for the betterment of ultimate society
"I am planning to create a team to spread my efforts for Universal education that too free of cost and I want to use information technology to fill the gaps of educational facilities in rural and urban areas. I want to provide educational content free to all in Hindi language and other local language students of India and at the same time I will also create educational content in English, but in the free domain. I think it will be of great help to the needy students. In future teaching, learning procedure may be changed, I think students should not go to school to get an education rather virtual teaching and virtual class will take place. Students will learn according to their own pace, according to their own choice and we have to provide them with the facilities, So that they can find appropriate content."
What message you want to give to younger minds, any motivation that your heart follows
"Do a lot of hard work, find your interest and your strong side, think creatively and try to generate something useful and innovative...Your thoughts will be changed and definitely you will find a path to move ahead."
What are your views for the education portal Brainbuxa.com? Can you say a few words about this initiative towards education?
"It is a good initiative from BrainBuxa for the education as you are definitely providing a Platform for students where they can learn various things which are difficult to find in classroom programs.. Great mission ......keep it up."
And Imran finally sign off with this beautiful message from one of his idol Kalam sahib as
"All birds find shelter during the rain. But eagle avoids rain by flying above the clouds. Problems are common, but its attitude that makes the difference."
So just follow your dream, have a firm belief on your thoughts, passionately work towards your goal, no matter what obstacles come into your life, sooner or later, you will achieve them.
The comment section is open for everyone; you can comment if you like the interview, can have suggestions and problem discussions from Mr. Khan. Even we would like to invite the people in the comment section, who have some pictures with Mr. Imran Khan.