Meet 12-year-old Anand Krishna Mishra, the young boy teaching village and slum kids in and around Lucknow, India.
Instead of playing video games, this 12-year-old teaches slum children after school
At an age when most children his age spend their time watching cartoons, playing video games, and preparing for exams, 12-year-old Anand Krishna Mishra is busy teaching underprivileged children. This extraordinary boy is educating and empowering hundreds of slum children in and around Lucknow, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
So far Anand has inspired over 700 children to get enrolled in schools
While most children are more than happy when the final school bell rings, 12-year-old Anand Krishna Mishra has different plans post-school. He will not be glued to a Playstation or be watching cartoons. Instead, he heads to another school where this time he is the teacher.
Anand Krishna Mishra is known as ‘Chota Masterji’ (a term of respect given to a teacher) to over 100 students from over 125 villages adjoining his home town Lucknow. He teaches over a 100 students in his regularly organised ‘Bal Choupals’ (‘Bal’ is a term for close friends, and ‘choupal/chopal’ is a Hindi-Urdu term for meeting-place or space)
Every day at five in the evening, Anand commences his Bal Choupals. The sessions at the Bal Choupal begin with singing ‘Hum Hone Kaamyaab’ (“We shall overcome”) and ends with the National Anthem.
His Bal Choupals started in the year 2012, when Anand had the opportunity to spend time with a few children living in a slum. Ḥe was sharing with them all that he learnt at school. Soon this initiative took the shape of a gathering, where he started educating these children.
Taking an hour out of his daily schedule and doing his bit is just one side of the coin, but it was his vision and sheer consistency which has today started taking shape as a larger-than-life movement. Today, he teaches mathematics, computers and English to these children, and has inspired over 700 children to get enrolled in schools.
Anand’s parents Anoop and Rina Mishra are both employed in the Uttar Pradesh police and are supportive of the mission Anand has taken up.
How did it all start?
Anoop says, “When Anand was in Class IV, we had visited Maharashtra during his holidays and saw a kid sitting in a corner and studying. Every time the prayers started in the temple, he ran inside and led the singing group. After the prayers ended, he went back to his place under the dim lights and continued with his reading. His clothes were tattered, and we wanted to help him with some money to buy new clothes, but he denied our charity. After we persisted, the boy asked us for books for his education, which we bought for him from a nearby shop. Inspired by a boy of his age, Anand’s life changed.”
After coming back from the trip, Anand’s parents took him to villages around Lucknow. They saw many children who are devoid of education and spending their time doing household chores or working as child labourers. They were able to convince some kids to study with Anand. Gradually with time, these kids started bringing their friends along. Bal Choupal was formed!
Anand Krishna Mishra can be can be contacted through his father on his Facebook page.
Here are 15 projects helping educate needy children
If you want to get involved in the education of the most needy and vulnerable in India, here is a list of 15 wonderful organisations and individuals that are bringing education to those who need it the most. Get in contact with any of them to find out how you can contribute.