Free School Under the Bridge

Free School Under the Bridge
Location

India
Coordinates28°37′22″N 77°16′33″E / 28°37′22″N 77°16′33″E / 28.6229; 77.2758
Information
TypePrivate school
Established2006
PrincipalRajesh Kumar Sharma
Staff7
Campus typeUrban
AffiliationUnrecognised

The Free School Under the Bridge is a private school in Delhi, India. It provides free-of-cost tuition to underprivileged children. Almost all the students come from the slums situated adjacent to the Yamuna river and are enrolled in nearby government-run schools. Started in 2006 by grocery shop owner Rajesh Kumar Sharma with just two children, the school now has a strength of more than 300 students. Seven teachers volunteering in their free time help these students to better understand their school curriculum. The school is run in two shifts with a morning shift for boys and an afternoon shift for girls. It has no permanent building and its makeshift campus is situated under a Delhi Metro bridge with pillars serving as its boundary marker and blackboards painted on a wall of Yamuna Bank Metro Depot. It receives no help from either the government or any non-governmental organisation.

History

The school was founded in 2006 by Rajesh Kumar Sharma, a grocery shop owner, for underprivileged children. Originally from the Hathras district of Uttar Pradesh, Sharma could not complete his Bachelor of Science due to financial reasons. The idea to start a school for children from poor families struck him while he was wandering near the Yamuna River and saw children playing in dust and mud near an under-construction metro bridge. He asked the parents why their children were not attending school, and they expressed their helplessness at being unable to afford their children's education and how there was no school in the neighbourhood.[1] Sharma began the school by teaching two children. He believes that "no one should be deprived of education due to poverty and to fulfil his or her dream" and devotes more than 50 hours in a week to teaching in the school.[2]

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