25 November, 2020

Under this mango tree, enlightenment goes by the name of Andher

Under this mango tree, enlightenment goes by the name of Andher
Indulgent imaginations bordering on the fantastic are what dreams are made of. But there are a few who dare their dreams beyond those absurdly pleasant reveries. Physically challenged tribal Mahadev Savji Andher’s dream to educate his brethren has turned out to be that and more—a truth bigger than both reality and imagination.

He was not to be deterred even if it meant starting a school under a mango tree. And today, his dream has taken wings and the school has become a secondary-level education centre with 450 students, seven teachers and even a principal.

In an age of hi-tech communications, Andher’s Maharashtra Vidya Mandir—an under-the-tree institution running for the past 40 years in the tribal area of Talassari near the Maharashtra-Gujarat border—would probably sound archaic to many. But scratch the surface and, sure enough, obsolescence gives way to an edifying tale of provenance.

The Vidya Mandir, set up by Andher in the Sutrakar village of Thane district, Maharashtra, is a monument of single-minded determination, grit, courage and hard work of a lone...



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