Jaunpur (Uttar Pradesh): Broken roads and power cuts
have failed to deter people in their drive for education in this
eastern Uttar Pradesh district. They have set up more than 30
schools and technical institutes for youth of the area.
If you drive between Imran Ganj to Guraini in the Shahganj
sub-division of the district -- a distance of some 10 km -- you
can count about 40 schools and technical institutes. Only about 10
of them are government run or aided.
The area covers some 60 villages, with a population of over
From primary schools to degree colleges, Islamic madrassas to
computer and mobile phone repairing centres, the area offers a
wide choice to parents anxious about their children's education.
Ramdhani Rajbhar, a farmer of Amilo Pashurampur village, was
confused about which school to choose for his son Sanjay.
"When my son finished Class 5, it was very difficult for me to
choose a school, as I felt that all schools are providing the best
possible facilities," says Rajbhar.
Mirza Azfar Baig, manager of the Mirza Anwar Baig Educational
Society, remembers that earlier it was too hard to even open a
"When we started, there was nothing but forest and some barren
land. It was hard to run a school as there was lack of
transportation and educational awareness," Azfar told IANS.
"Even now I am not much satisfied with the status of education but
at least the children are going to schools," he added.
The Mirza Anwar Baig Educational Society was established in 1962
and at present runs three institutes -- Abdul Aziz Ansari Degree
College, Mirza Anwar Baig Intermediate College and Maulana Azad
Taleemi Markaz (Islamic madrassa), where about 5,000 students are
Geeta Maurya, headmistress of R.K. Convent School in Khetasarai
town, thinks that it is a sign of progress that people are now
eager to give their kids good education.
"This is a good thing that there are enough schools. If we have
more schools then the student-teacher ratio will be better," says
Raghunath Yadav, a 65-year-old tea maker of Khetasaria, says that
unlike earlier, he can now spot many vehicles ferrying kids to
"There are more school vehicles in the mornings and evenings than
local transport. You can see a series of at least 50 yellow- and
white-coloured buses and vans here daily," he said.
Not only this, girls of the area are ahead of boys when it comes
"Awareness and interest towards education is more common among
girls. We provide education to both and in the graduation level,
girls' ratio is 60 percent more than boys," Azfar explains.
"Girl students are more interested and enthusiastic about
education. It is a new trend in our rural belt and definitely
guarantor of a better future.
"Educated girls can solve lots of problems like health and hygiene
and they may also help their children to have a bright future,"
Farhan Ahmad, trainer of mobile operating classes in Faizan Mobile
Centre, says that there is only need to encourage the youngsters.
"This area has enough talent and students are very fond of
technical education but we lag behind because of the scarcity of
"We have electricity only for 10 hours a day with a very low
voltage, which badly affects the machines. The problem was so
acute in October and November last year that I had to stay back
many nights so that I could recharge the batteries," Ahmad said.
Mohammed Arif, headmaster of Furqaniya Higher Secondary School at
Badshahi Talab, 20 km from Jaunpur city, states that the credit
should go to the people.
"It is a good sign for the future, but it is because of people and
not due to government," he said.
(Abu Zafar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)