Our biggest challenge is to bring changes in the lives of underprivileged children by imparting free quality education and to generate self confidence among them. Apart from this we want to bring changes in their nutritional levels.

It all began with a Taxi. Infact on a Rickshaw.

Jalalludin Gazi used to be a Taxi Driver. He doesn't drive one anymore now that he is old and spends most of his time running the school which he himself couldn't afford to attend. Young Jalalludin was pulled out of school at the age of seven due to the financial inabilities of his family. He survived pulling a Rickshaw - a human and hand pulled vehicle that you often read about in stories about Kolkata, the magnificent City of Joy in India.

It was in 1978, while he was still struggling on the meager income from his rickshaw, he was nurturing every day his dream to help kids not turn out uneducated like himself. In those days, a part of his income went into buying books for children in his village, Thakurchowk. It took him 20 years to move from the rickshaw to a taxi! In 1998 he was finally able to pay off the loan on his taxi and then he had a vehicle to power his dream. With his own savings and donations from a few passengers, he started a school - Ismail Israfil Free Primary School - in his village.

Beautiful landscape. Ugly electricity.

Thakurchowk is in the land of the Sundarbans, which calls out to human enterprise for survival everyday. It is a village where people struggle to survive against harsh climate and living conditions and live hand to mouth. It was only in the June of 2012 that the people of Thakurchowk accessed electricity for the first time in their lives in the 21st century, but Jalalludin brought the torch of education for the young in the village much earlier. The school provides free primary education to more than 200 students coming from the 7 to 8 villages around Thakurchowk. This school stands today as a living epitome of an ordinary man’s extraordinary mission.

The Magic of WB 04E 4753

License plates can create magic sometimes. The school has 12 classrooms and employs 12 teachers. The children are also provided with a free mid day meal every day. That is when money is available out of the donations received in the month. The budget for the Mid Day meals is Rs. 15000 per month for about 150 children which comes to around Rs. 5 per day per child. That is a little less than 3 US cents per meal. Whenever money is available, uniforms and stationery is also distributed. Every expenditure is run from the donations, mostly generated from generous passengers who happen to flag Jalalludin’s taxi. So any time you are in Kolkata, don’t miss the taxi number WB 04E 4753

In his seventies today, Jalalludin looks after every activity related to the school with immoderate enthusiasm and energy. In fact he is nurturing more dreams! He wishes to start another school providing primary to higher secondary education and also establish a hostel for orphan children.

If we are able to provide a low cost but healthy mid day meal it will help us maintain our appeal and ensure attendance of the children every day.