Wednesday, June 19, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

A tale of a torch bearer

Update : 29 May 2015, 09:46 PM

The school is called ‘Dipali’s School’ and it sits under the open sky at a mango orchard. More than a dozen children gather here everyday from afternoon till dusk to receive basic education.

Their teacher is an impressive young Dipali Rani, who is otherwise an ordinary housewife. But what sets Dipali and the school apart is her commitment to providing free education to the ultra poor community of Gangailpara of Naldanga under Natore sadar upazila.

Despite her own poverty and limitation, she has been operating the school for the last five years providing the students with pen, paper and books.

Hailing from the marginalised community herself, Dipali Rani, daughter of Roghunath Hawlader passed the SSC examination from Basudebpur Shirishchandra Bidyaniketon in 2000. Her husband Shadhon Kumar is a barber at Jonail Bazaar of Baraigram upazila.

Before starting the school, Dipali was teaching at a local Brac school but she was sacked without any reason in 2007. This left her devastated. She wanted to do something and tried to get other jobs. But luck did not smile on her.

Understanding her situation, Shadhon managed some students for free education. Dipali felt better gradually. She went from door to door and asked neighbours to send their children.

“Initially it was not easy as guardians needed to be convinced. Also I had no proper class room or other facilities. But I continued the free school and found immense pleasure in teaching kids,” said Dipali.

Shadhon said he knew Dipali loved teaching. “So I try to save money and buy her books and pencils. If I could, I would buy a land and build her a proper school.”

As a recognition for her outstanding contribution to spreading education, Dipali was honoured by the government on March 26. She received a crest from Upazila Nirbahi Officer Sharmin Akter Jahan.

“I will continue my school at any cost. But yes it would definitely be like a dream come true if I get some government assistance,” Dipali said with a ray of hope in her eyes. 

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