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What motivated Babar Ali to start his own school?

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Babar Ali is the son of Nasiruddin Sheikh, a jute seller living in Bhapta neighbourhood of Gangapur village in West Bengal’s Murshidabad. Though Babar Ali lives in a thatched house like most other people in the village, yet, he is one of the privileged ones in his village because his father is able to send Babar Ali to the village government school and give him a formal education.

Babar Ali gradually learnt that there were a great number of children who could not afford to get a formal education in the village government school because they did not have enough money to pay for uniforms, books, etc., though teaching was free. Furthermore, these children were required to support their parents with some additional income. The boys generally took up odd jobs working as mechanics, day labourers, grass cutters, livestock herders, etc., and the girls worked as maidservants in the village where they did cooking, cleaning, washing clothes and dishes for their employers and this way they earned some money and supported their parents in making a decent living.

Babar Ali, who saw this; realized that he must do something for such other children in the village. It is this inner urge to do something for the other children in the village that motivated him to start his own afternoon school which he named ‘Anand Siksha Niketan’.

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