Karimganj । Ahmed Ali from Assam’s Karimganj district will be remembered in Assam for a lot of thing. He is not just their daily rikshaw puller but a pioneer of education for them. An illiterate man himself, he owns the credit of building three lower primary schools, five middle schools and one high school in Madhurband and nearby villages. His life is a vision of enlightenment for all the girls and boys studying here and a story of persistence and courage.
A terrifying thought helped him to start this journey
His journey started in the late 1970s while pulling a rickshaw. His son was soon to be born and he realized that his future will not be very different from his father’s if he doesn’t get an educated upbringing. His future would also be bleak considering the lack of education facilities in the area. This thought terrified him and set in motion his remarkable work.
Ahmed earned every possible way to realize his dream
Ahmed Ali sold a portion of his land and donated some other land to build a school. He put his savings, his earning and all charity he could collect in its development. “There were some people in the area who supported the cause and helped in whatever way they could,” he said while charting out his journey. To get as much budget as possible, he pulled rickshaws in the day and cut wood at night.
He realised the need of Primary Schools
Ali’s dreams were big and so were his acts. He met an education officer, who took rides in his rickshaw and established a middle school in his village with his help. “Soon after it was established, I realised that first, we needed a primary school. Until children were educated at the primary level, who will get enrolled in middle school? In 1980, three Lower Primaryschools were opened,” said Ali.
Gender disparity needed a special focus
He was distinctly aware of the gender disparity in education and has focussed specifically on bridging the gap. Speaking on the same, he said that “boys get a chance to go out and get an education, but girls do not”, thereby showing an intense conscientiousness in his world view.
Now he wants to open college in his village
An extremely humble man, he feels that “it was Allah’s wish and blessings from locals that I could achieve whatever I wanted.” His work has got him recognition in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Mann ki Baat and Ali, now an 82 year old man wishes to meet him. For him, this could be an excellent opportunity of pitching his further plans – making his schools government recognised to avoid the issue of under-funding and opening junior college and a college for enabling higher education in his village.