Disability no hindrance for Milan Mishra who cycles 20 KMs daily to teach rural kids for free
Living with a disability in his right leg ever since his childhood, 30-year-old Milan Mishra's mission in life is to ensure that no child in and around his village quits school due to poverty or lack of quality learning. He provides supplementary classes to the needy children, many of whom cannot afford to pay him any fees. Read on to know more.
Ramji Mishra 17 Aug 2022 3:15 PM GMT
Brahmawali, Sitapur (Uttar Pradesh)
Meet Milan Mishra, a 30-year-old resident of Brahmawali village who is often seen cycling on the unmetalled roads using the support of a stick to compensate for disability in his right leg. Mishra travels at least 20 kilometres every day to teach tuition classes to underprivileged children — which as per him is his life's mission.
"My education at school was full of challenges. My school was six kilometres away from my house and it was a daunting task to walk the distance with deformed leg. Still, I hated to depend on others and made it a point to fight the circumstances to become educated. Often, I didn't even have the money to pay my school fees," the 30-year-old resident of Sitapur district in Uttar Pradesh told Gaon Connection.
"Having seen how physical disability and poverty can impede a child's education, I have made it a point to ensure that no child in and around my village has to drop out of school due to poverty or lack of quality learning. I provide tuition to children so that they don't lose interest in learning and continue with their school learning," added Mishra who is a postgraduate by qualification.
Upon seeing him struggle while maintaining his cycle's balance using a stick, Gaon Connection asked Mishra about using a tricycle instead — which is a common mode of transportation for people with disabilities in the rural areas in India.
"I have got many opportunities in which a tricycle was allotted to me by the government and some NGOs but I don't like using it as it makes me feel humiliated. I want to perform my duties without any additional help just because I have an impairment in one of my legs. So, I prefer to use my father's cycle," Mishra said with a perceptible pride in his voice.
When the going gets tough…
Mishra's life has been full of challenges. From struggling with poverty to sustain education to losing all his household savings in a medical emergency, Mishra has withstood the tests of tough circumstances and has kept his altruism alive.
"I wasn't able to pay my tuition fees to my teacher named Radhakrishna sir. I told him about my inability following which he asked me to continue taking classes without worrying about fees. His act of kindness instilled something in me and I wanted to help hundreds of such students who fail to continue learning in the face of deprivation," he said.
Also, losing his brother to an accident in 2008 was not only emotionally traumatic for Mishra's family but the accident also drained all the household savings.
"His backbone had broken and treatment involved expensive surgeries and medicines. Also, my father passed away due to Corona (COVID-19) two years back," he said.
When asked about how he manages his expenses while pursuing his charitable work, Mishra informed that his livelihood depends upon the voluntary payments provided by the parents of his students. "But I never ask them to pay me anything," he
'No student ever flunked at school'
Almost eight kilometres from Mishra's Brahmawali village, Roshni Devi, a resident of Surajpur Belha village told Gaon Connection that Mishra has been instrumental in ensuring education of some of the most needy and underprivileged children in her village.
"I have attended his tuition classes upto class fifth. Had I not learnt from his classes, I would have dropped out as I could not understand what was taught at school. He not only teaches us but also motivates us to learn as much as possible as it is the only way for girl students to achieve self reliance who otherwise live a very curtailed life in the village," Roshni, who now studies in class 12th, told Gaon Connection.
Meanwhile, Rohit Mishra, resident of Mahua Kola village and Milan's former student who is presently pursuing graduation fondly remembers that his teacher used to bring books, pens, pencils and notebooks for the underprivileged students in his batch.
"He never asked any student for any fees. I can assure you that students like us would have dropped out of school had Milan sir not helped us in those formative years," he said.
Premvati, Roshni's mother, told Gaon Connection that the teacher's contribution in his students' lives can never be forgotten.
"Young children need a good teacher to make them take interest in studies. Milan ji has strengthened the foundation of learning for the student. No student that has learned from him has ever failed in his or her examinations," she said.