Most of my students come from impoverished communities around Vijayanagar Educational Block in Bangalore. They are the children of daily labourers and factory workers who work long hours for minimum wages. However, my students do not let their backgrounds define or restrict them. They are highly motivated and are able to articulate their future aspirations of either becoming policemen, scientists, or even the next Prime Minister of India.

These aspirations are what drives them to come to school every day. They come into my classroom to learn and work with me to find a way to eventually achieve their goals. While one can admire and applaud their motivation, one can also see the crushing reality of the place they come to in search of an impetus. The classrooms in my school are tiny and cramped; They are piled with antediluvian racks and desks which are laborious to move around and are sometimes hazardous to sit in. The blackboards are worn out and certain areas are even completely unusable. 90% of our classrooms have no technology available to use in them. How is a child supposed to come into this environment and be able to attain an excellent education? How are teachers supposed to prepare children for the 21st century in classrooms like these?  What can I, as an educator, do to help these children and best equip them for the future?

- Avikant Bhardwaj