It was on a Saturday a couple of weeks ago that I met Mr. Aakash Handikherkar. Now you might be wondering who is Mr. Aakash Handikherkar. Well, he is the founder and director of Matrubhumi Education Society. It is the trust which runs the school where I am currently volunteering.
To give you a brief introduction. Mr. Aakash Handikherkar hails from a village named Handikher in the Latur district of Maharashtra. He was born on 19th September 1955. He holds a Masters degree in Arts and a Masters in Education has been part of the education field for the past three decades. He is the Principal of Chogle High School, Borivali (east) for the past 20 years.
He founded the Matrubhumi Education Trust in 1993. He had the earnest desire to provide education to under-privileged children in a slum. He founded the Marathi medium primary school in 1994 under the trust banner. The response was not very encouraging. People did not know whether it was a school or a day-care center. He founded the high school in 1995. Seeing the poor response and to convince the parents of the authenticity of the school, he enrolled his own children in the school. This proved his commitment towards the school to the locals. It takes a lot of gumption to actually walk the talk. Hats off to him. Over the years the school has grown and now there are nearly 600 students ranging from 1st grade to 10th grade, mostly from economically backward class.
Meeting him proved to me that there are people who sacrifice their own comforts for a noble cause. He was truly an inspiration and a living proof that even a single individual can make a difference. These are the people who quietly go about getting the job done, without the usual hoopla associated with charitable work.
India surely needs more such people.