Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar on Sunday interacted with children from the Naxal-affected areas at a government school in Raipur and said he will appeal to professors of prestigious higher education institutes to deliver lectures on various subjects. Bhuvneshwar Markam, a class XI student at Prayas residential school, hailing from the Sukma district of Chhattisgarh, said he wants to be a collector when asked by Javadekar what we wants to be.
“My father was killed by Maoists. Now I want to become a collector so that I can work for the development of my area and bring about change in Maoists’ thinking,” Markam told the Minister, who was visibly moved by the reply.
Markam is among 461 students including girls hailing from the Naxal-affected areas who are studying at Prayas school started by the Chhattisgarh Government in 2010. Javadekar was in Raipur to inaugurate the new Indian Institute of Technology which will be based in Bhilai in the state. Another student, Ramkishore, who is from Kanker district, told the Minister he did not want to become an engineer or a doctor, but wants to be a teacher so that he can help thousands of other children like him become doctor or engineer. Javadekar later said the school was transforming the lives of children from Naxal-affected regions.
“I will appeal to the lecturers at prominent institutions of higher education like IIT, IIM and NIT to come to Prayas and deliver lectures on various technical subjects,” he said. “Prime Minister has put a thrust on ‘Sabko Shiksha, Achhi Shiksha’ (quality education to everyone). Prayas is a successful example of this motto.”
Prayas has meritorious students picked from schools across various Maoist-affected and tribal districts based on their academic performance till class 10th. Since 2012, 74 students from Prayas have made it to NITs, 27 to IITs and 450 to various other engineering institutes and eight to the medical colleges, according to the Government.