Growing up in the nondescript village of Mathia Mohan, about 30 km from Motihari in Bihar’s East Champaran district, Premchandra Ram always wanted to land a government job to ensure financial stability for his family. But it was not an easy task. In the 1990s, there was few coaching centresto guide him on how to clear the entrance exams. He had to travel 180 km to Patna or 360 km to Purnia and even 1,000 km to reach Delhi for coaching. He finally cracked the Bihar Public Service Commission examination in 1999 and got a government job.
Ram, 49, from a Scheduled Caste (SC) community had learnt an important life lesson, one that would shape his future. Being well aware of the challenges faced by students of marginalised communities in getting government jobs, he planned to provide them with free coaching for competitive exams close to their homes. Now he runs a coaching programme called Super-30 for SC and Scheduled Tribe (ST) children in Motihari. It is on the lines of the famous Super-30 coaching institute. “I wanted Motihari to have a system where SC/ST children could prepare for competitive exams free of cost,” says Ram, 49. The tuition classes are held at the Ambedkar Bhawan in Motihari. There is also hostel arrangement for the students. Accommodation, food, Wi-Fi facility, TV, library are all free of cost. “We take out advertisements in newspapers for the selection of students. Aspiring students fill the form and appear for an exam. We enrol the top 30 students,” he adds.
Ram, who has two MAs and a B. Ed, knew that his mission would not be easy. “We knew it would cost a lot, but we did not want to go to any leader or minister. So we rented Ambedkar Bhawan from the district administration and decided to take donations every month for the expenses. Members of the government SC-ST Employees Union give financial help. The people of the community also provide us money according to their capacity.” A student of the institute was recently recruited as a Rural Development Officer.
Ram’s next plan is to increase the number of girls in his Super-30. “We have reserved 30 per cent of the seats for girls so that their participation increases. We are appealing to the people of SC/ST communities to send their daughters,” he adds.
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