Every year, whenever they can sneak out of busy city schedules, Supriya and Rahul Akhaury love to fill up the tank, take their car and go places, visiting friends and family. The extra miles on their odometer is always a relief. Just that it happens only rarely. But it isn’t the driving or talk of their trips that brings a sparkle to this couple’s eyes. Nor are they excited about their professional pedigrees—Supriya is a chartered accountant and Rahul an engineer and an mba from iim, Bangalore. Talk of happy marriages and the couple claims the secret of marital bliss is something else. They believe in reaching out, reaching out to those who need education but have no access to it.
They are zealots, they say, when it comes to making a difference in the lives of the 60-odd children of Ambedkar Vihar, a harijan basti in Noida, near Delhi. Call them surrogate parents to the children of domestic servants, rickshaw pullers and street vendors, and the couple starts off on a never-ending monologue on "Vidya and Child", a two-room school set up in the area under the auspices of the Jai Prakash Narayan Memorial Trust in July 1998.