Sita Trivedi, a primary school teacher of Bajhera village, personally visited the houses of the children belonging to the Kalabaj community and convinced their parents to send their wards to a school.
Kalabaj is one of the marginalised nomadic tribes in the state and people of the tribe earn their livelihood as acrobats or by begging.
A teacher at Bajhera Primary School since 2019, Trivedi was given the task of conducting a child census a few years ago.
When she visited a nearby village for conducting the survey, the locals stopped her from going towards the houses of Kalabaj community.
However, she went ahead with her mission.
“I was informed that none of the children from Kalbaj household go to school and instead help the family by begging for their livelihood,” the teacher told PTI.
Trivedi also faced resistance from the Kalabaj elders in her efforts to enrol the children in school.
“I visited every house on several occasions and told the elders about the importance of education. I told them stories of children from humble background becoming officers and successful industrialists after getting educated. This had an impact on them and they began sending their children to school,” recalled the teacher. “Today 40 children of the Kalabaj community are enrolled in our school,” she added.
Though she got the children enrolled, Trivedi faced another challenge as students from other communities were not ready to accept them.
“I noticed that children of other communities didn’t eat mid-day meals with the children of Kalabaj community. I called the parents of other children and urged them to ask their wards to not discriminate with the children of Kalabaj community. The problem was resolved with the support of parents,” she said.
Trivedi said she often buys clothes and books for these children as their parents do not have enough money.
District Magistrate Umesh Pratap Singh lauded the efforts of Trivedi as commendable.
“I hope these children will move forward in the interest of the society and get educated. Through efforts like these, the evils of caste-based discrimination will also end,” the officer told PTI.
Basic Siksha Adhikari (BSA) Ranveer Singh said they have taken note of the efforts made by the teacher.
“The efforts made by the teacher are commendable. We hope that such efforts are also made in other schools so that not a single child in the district is kept away from school,” said the BSA.