26 November, 2020

Pages From An Old School Text

For over 30 years, hostel students at a Calcutta college have supported and run an evening school for the poor

Pages From An Old School Text
As head mistress of a charitable evening school, for children from poor families of Park Circus in Calcutta, Suchismita Mitra has quite a job on hand. Helping the kids with their tutorial-style lessons, preparing the roster for teachers, planning exam schedules, even organising events like the annual sports day and maintaining records. In addition, she has her own studies—Suchismita is a first year degree student at Lady Brabourne College.

The ‘school’ that she presides over is a venture of the college and run by the hostel students. The school—it doesn’t have a formal name—started in the late ’70s and has about 40-odd students who study in regular schools. Classes are held on the ground floor of the hostel from 5 pm to 6.30 pm five days a week. Students up to Class X are welcome to enrol.

Not only is it free, notebooks and stationery are provided to needy students from the college students’ union fund. After class, the children are provided supper—bread-butter and fruits or puri-sabzi and, on special occasions, fried rice or biriyani. The hostelers...



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