Life at 21 was simple for happy-go-lucky Uttam Teron. He would shoot the breeze with friends at a local paan-shop when he wasn’t wandering around the lanes of Pamohi village in Assam’s Kamrup district. When he fell short of cash, he would chop some wood and sell it.
His life took a turn on a sunny day in 2001, when he saw children in his tribal village looking for firewood instead of going to school. “Deep in my heart I decided to pick them up, gather them all and teach them the basics of education, but I was helpless,” Teron tells Outlook.