The lockdown has forced most of us to be confined to our homes and changed the way one lives their life. The lockdown has also severely impacted the economy with most of us worried about the future. While a lot of us still have jobs and a source of income, the lockdown has completely shelved the financial sources for the vulnerable communities including the daily wage labourers and domestic workers. During the stressful period, a lot of initiatives by the government as well as organizations have come up to help and support the needy. One such organization is Pathshala: Meals on Wheels run by Dev Kumar Verma.
The initiative is part of his educational campaign ‘Pathshala’ that aims to provide education to the underprivileged children of Dhanbad. The lockdown resulted in Verma expanding his initiative into a full-fledged campaign to feed the needy and provide rations to as many vulnerable families as possible.
Dev Kumar Verma, an official with Coal India Limited, started a small school in one of the villages of Dhanbad district with the goal to impart education to the ones who cannot afford the same. The district is a major source of coal in the country and the economy of the state as well as villagers are highly dependent on the same. Most of the kids who came to the school ‘Pathshala’ were children of the coal mine workers looking for a chance to learn. With time hundreds of students joined the school and the latter expanded to other villages as well.
“Education is an opportunity a chance to change the course of the future and make it better. All I wish is to provide the young ones with an opportunity to dream for a better future,” says Dev.
However, the lockdown took a toll on the studies of the young ones as they no longer could attend the classes. Moreover, most of them had to look for ways to support their families. “Children were starving. The dependency on the government supplies was rampant and the helplessness on the face of the labours was very evident. That’s when I decided to step up and created the campaign to distribute supplies and provide meals to the villagers,” Dev adds.