Home#IamBrandBiharStoriesofbiharThe Steel frame of India – Government Officers Giving Free Tuitions to 450 Needy Kids Rashi Anthony Storiesofbihar Bureaucrats are called the steel frame of India, they are selected by UPSC through a rigorous system of examinations as they have to truly work for the country and it’s people. Three of the senior government officers Santosh Kumar, Vijay Kumar and Ranjan Prakash belong to different villages from Bihar, but they all share a commonality. They studied in a Hindi medium school and made their way up to securing government jobs. Today, Santosh is a secretary at Arunachal Pradesh Staff Selection (APSSB), while Ranjan holds the post of the assistant commandant at Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), and Vijay is an officer at the Indian Railway Traffic Services (IRTS). But achieving bureaucratic positions by studying from a government school was never easy. “We know the inferior quality education in Bihar and the poor method of teaching by contractual teachers. The government schools are in poor shape in terms of offering academic education,” Santosh admits. The IAS officer says there are a few who can access education at school and seek private coaching. “The students from government schools become the poorest and weakest link. The situation becomes a hindrance to coping with academics at par with other privileged students. On many occasions, the students cannot afford books or educational equipment. However, the three officers are working to change this bleak picture for good. In 2019, the officers started Ambedkar Initiative for the Marginalised (AIM) Pathshala that is providing hundreds of underprivileged students with free education and study material. The initiative works in tandem with the government schools where additional coaching is provided to students in the institute premises in Gopalganj, Aurangabad and Samastipur districts. Vijay Kumar explains that the lessons are held from Classes 1 to 10 between 7 am and 9 am. “Quality teachers and experts in each subject are invited to help the students with queries, doubts and polishing their skills. Weekly tests are held to monitor the student progress,” he says, adding, “There are no fees charged to the students. Instead, uniforms, books and other educational material are provided by us.” Ranjan says that he scored 70 per cent in his mid-terms compared to his average score of 50-55 per cent before he started taking coaching. “I was impressed with the benefits and also recommended eight other friends who have improved on their academic scores as well. Officer Ranjan Pradhan says the plans are to rope in more IAS officers who can contribute to their cause. “We want officers who wish to contribute towards society. We also plan to streamline the curriculum modules and add extra-curricular activities to help students prepare for placement interviews and other examinations. Santosh says that they wish to continue the cause and extend the initiative across India. “Education is the best tool of empowerment, and it will help build a better generation.