Kolkata: Poverty had forced them to dropout of
school and work for a livelihood. But their teacher did not give
Manojit Dutta, a man on a mission to bring dropouts back to
school, is now on Cloud Nine. His three students have scored well
in the West Bengal Higher Secondary Examination this year.
Howrah district's Pradipta Mondal had cleared his secondary (class
10) exams with flying colours only to become a worker in a brick
Being the eldest son of the family, studying was luxury he could
not afford anymore.
Three years hence, Mondal, with over 75 percent marks in the
higher secondary examination, is the topper of his school,
courtesy the efforts of Dutta, his teacher at the Shibganj
Bisalaxmi High School.
"Ever since I started my career as a teacher I would see many
bright students dropping out due to poverty. I could not help but
regret. Later, I took it up as a mission, a challenge, to bring
them back to school," Dutta, who runs a hostel where students like
Mondal stay and study, told IANS.
Having retired from Shibganj Bisalaxmi High School, Dutta now
teaches at the Jagacha Unsani Junior High School in Howrah.
Like Mondal, sisters Priya and Priyanka Das too had dropped out of
Shibganj Bisalaxmi High School and started selling incense sticks
to jelp their family make ends meet.
The Das sisters still sell incense but they are also students who
passed the higher secondary with over 70 percent marks this year.
Sixty-three-year-old Dutta, who has a family of three, spends
almost all his money in ensuring that poverty does not come in the
way of his bright students.
"I cannot ask the students not to work because then their family
will starve. So they work in their spare time and send all the
money to their families," said Dutta, who started his hostel in
It now houses 14 students who had left studies midway due to
"Dutta's contribution in bringing dropouts back to the school is
immense," school principal Apurba Das said.
Several of Dutta's students are now pursuing higher education from
"Biswajit Mondal after clearing his class 10 had to work as helper
to his mason father. But now he is in his final year of computer
engineering at Jadavpur University. He has promised he will help
me in my effort to bring dropouts back to school," said Dutta.
Apart from running a hostel, he has been financing several poor
"My remuneration for all my efforts is the sense of pride I get
seeing my students perform well," says Dutta, who is a triple M.A
(in Bengali, ancient history and islamic history) and a B.Sc.
degree in chemistry.