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A young boy who dreams of a better future for his students - Part 2

Continuation of Kalyan Mandal's letter (Part 2)...

Read Part 1 here

Nowadays I teach students. And I have 285 students in total. But all this started with only a single student and that student was from my village. I still teach him. He was reading in class v then and one day he had asked me in the street whether I could teach him or not. I had time and I felt that I can prepare him. He found inspiration watching me talking to the guests. He believed that I could teach him very well. However, I started teaching him at my house. And believe me he did excellent work and learned very well. When I was learning in school and in tuition, I had figured out where the actual problem is to learn. And I have later learned myself. So I knew what to learn first and how to. So I taught him and he started doing very well in school. The teachers asked him where he learned and he mentioned my name. Slowly other students started following him and in the same year I got 21 students. All of them learned very well and at the end of the year, their results were remarkable except four of them. I usually make my students very strong in grammar section and then writing section. So that they can read and understand by themselves. Anyway, next year I had 80 students and students kept joining my class and currently I have 285 students. I have 12 batches. Among them 3 Spoken English classes. I was running only one Spoken English class at the beginning and now I run three Spoken English classes. Some of batches have 30 students and some of them 35 and 25. It's really hard for them to sit in the classroom since it is not enough big. Mainly they find it very difficult to write as it becomes congested.

So now Assam Bengal Navigation is helping me to build a school for my students through ABN foundation. So that the students can learn comfortably with better resources and practical application of their education. Kunal da is playing major role here as he always does.

I also wish to make my classroom look like a library. So I am willing to make shelves around the wall. So that I can keep the very selective books. I also want to keep note books and pens and pencils and erasers. So that I can provide the needy students.

I must mention two more things. One of them is about my Spoken English classes. As I have already mentioned that I run three Spoken English classes. One of them consists only my students from other batches. Another one is students from college and other students who are not belonged to other classes and the third batch consists only my friends and elders than mine. I also teach some government service men along with my friends, my elder brother's friends.

I really feel pride to say about my achievements. I actually brag about it. It's not boasting. But it gives me strength. I believe that I must mention about my achievements. You know two years ago, the students from this village used to go to the city to learn. But now it changed. Now the students not from this village come to me but also the students from the city come over here. Some of the students come from a long way. They ride bicycle for two hours to join the class. Except that some of the students come from other city and villages. They board on the train and get off in closest city and walk towards here for 30 minutes to join class. Moreover, I have the best students of the schools in my batches. There are five high schools including my village's and city's. And all the best students I have got in my batches.

I hardly find time for myself too. During winter I start teaching at 6 o'clock and end up at 10:30 at night. Hardly find two hours throughout the day. I love it though. I love my work. During summer I start teaching at 05:30 am. and end up at the same time. It's hard work.

While I had started teaching, I was not charging my students anything. I was giving free teaching. Last year I was convinced (by Kunal da) that nobody will give any value to my work if I don't charge them anything. Anybody can join the class and they can leave with their own will. So afterwards I started charging them Rs. 100/- after the entire month. I still give 60 students free teaching. I found they were having difficulty to pay. So I asked them to tell their parents to talk to me. Some of the parents met and I went to some them's house and talked. Otherwise, students might take the money and misuse it. So this is what I am doing now. And I want to continue this.

One more thing I must say about Kunal da. Two years ago one of my students was having trouble to continue her study due to lack of money. She was not able to pay the fees for tuition and school. There are three members in her family. They are her grandmother and mother including her. I taught her freely. I didn't charge her anything and I used to buy books if she needed any. However, as her family couldn't continue her study, she asked me if I could do anything for her. I was really helpless then. So I talked to Kunal da about it. And he took the responsibility to continue her study. Kunal da with ABN Foundation payed for everything; her tuition fees, school fees etc. She earned good marks in Madhyamik examination and in Higher secondary examination. Every month ABN Foundation paid for her Rs. 1000 /- to continue her study.

One more thing I also need to mention here. I really want to thank ABN Foundation team from bottom of my heart. Last year while I was teaching the student in Spoken English class, they were having difficulties to talk to others because they have only practiced with me. In fact, they were only watching me. I wanted to do some extra for them and I wanted them to be fluent in English. So I discussed about it with Kunal da. And next month ABN Foundation gave me a very expensive smart television. So now I go to internet and show them BBC world, interview, other stuffs which help them to learn in better way. Thank you ABN Foundation!

I have written a lot today. Actually I have been writing it since yesterday. Hope my students and I will be helped to build this classroom. My students and I and my family and others will remain grateful towards you forever. Mainly, I will always remain grateful towards you. Thank you for everything that you have done.

With regards.

Yours sincerely,

Kalyan Mandal

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