Free School, Under the Bridge
January 18, 2017 3:30 AM   Subscribe

Good people, doing good things --- Rajesh Sharma, a grocery story owner in New Delhi, has spent the last seven years teaching children under a bridge. Nearly 200 underprivileged children from neighbouring ghettos now come to the school, known as ‘Free School, Under The Bridge’ located in one of the world’s most polluted cities, New Delhi.
posted by gt2 (13 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

Thank you for sharing this. There's hope yet for humanity.
posted by infini at 4:45 AM on January 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

For someone who works under a bridge, he seems just the opposite of a troll.
posted by fairmettle at 5:04 AM on January 18, 2017 [3 favorites]

These pictures need to go into the montage we play to convince the aliens they shouldn't death beam our entire planet.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:42 AM on January 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

Reminds me of scenes from the excellent movie The Letters, about how Mother Teresa got started.
posted by KleenexMakesaVeryGoodHat at 11:42 AM on January 18, 2017

great story.
posted by zutalors! at 11:59 AM on January 18, 2017

Teared up with joy. Thank you.
posted by lumpenprole at 12:54 PM on January 18, 2017

Is the "most polluted cities" part supposed to underscore that New Delhi is a shithole or something? I mean, not for nothing its got some godawful air pollution but this didn't seem particularly germaine to the story. I mean, "New Delhi, place with some serious class issues" is probably more correct as to how those kids ended up there but is unfortunately too close to home?

It smacked of Orientalism: under ZOMG an underpass in ZOMG the most polluted city in creation. Much of the world does not live in conditioned boxes. Most. The followup article would be "You won't believe where they poop!"

I saw many heartbreaking things in India but almost none worse than watching the various groups of kids make their way through the national museum in Delhi. They were all sort of uniform in their blues but damn if everything else wasn't different between the obvious hads and had nots including the way they interacted with the presence of this anglo foreigner. You could see the future written in the shine or dust on the kid's shoes.

Googling the phone number in one of the photos turns up some more like this video from a couple of years ago. Its right across the river from the government center and some of Delhi's prettiest places.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 1:06 PM on January 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

You're talking about Orientalism and then waxing poetic about "shine or dust" as harbingers of the futures of children you don't know and only saw on a trip as an "anglo foreigner"?
posted by zutalors! at 2:28 PM on January 18, 2017

I have a photo ID from New Delhi Election commission in case that helps?
posted by infini at 2:56 AM on January 19, 2017

Delhi is not just one of the polluted place of the world, its levels of pollution are a huge health problem and the impact on kids is a major talking point in Indian news. Certainly pollution is a factor that comes to my mind when I think of an outdoors school in Delhi, near an underpass, and I lived there as a kid. (My shoes were very shiny and, more importantly, my school was air-conditioned. I think that's an important contrast here.)
posted by Aravis76 at 5:00 AM on January 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Why are there almost no girls? (I think I saw one, in one picture?)
posted by dame at 6:13 AM on January 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Based on this Hindustan Times piece, they do teach girls but get fewer girls because there is a clash between their timings and that of the government school classes for girls. It looks like the boys are taught in the morning, and their classes in the local government school begin in the afternoon, so they can attend both. Meanwhile, only girls who are not enrolled in government schools can attend because their school classes are in the morning. I don't know if the plan to set up a separate afternoon school for girls, mentioned in the article, has been carried out. And it's bizarre that the government schools have segregated sessions for boys and girls.
posted by Aravis76 at 6:35 AM on January 19, 2017

« Older England does not want to be just another member of...   |   Transcribing handwritten texts from the... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments