The Mumbai division of the Central Railway (CR) may have a special reason to celebrate Teachers’ Day. A CR employee has been running coaching classes free of cost for children of railwaymen and officers for well over two decades.
Anil Mahendru, 50, has taught thousands of children, many of who have got good jobs. It started as coaching classes for some competitive examinations and now includes examinations held by the Indian Railways, the National Defence Academy (NDA), banking sector and the Railway Recruitment Board (RRB).
A superintendent in the chemical and metallurgical department of Matunga workshop, Mahendru has been giving free coaching since 1980.
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“When I was studying, I used to teach to meet expenses. When I joined the Railways in 1988, I started imparting free education to children of railwaymen. I was also learning while imparting knowledge. The satisfaction came when results showed good academic performance by these children,” says Mahendru.
Mahendru has worked with Nashik, Pune, Bhusaval divisions. He says he has taught 5000 children over the years. The place to hold classes was provided by the Railway union. A few students are in railway services now.
“I am grateful when I teach students of my own fraternity (railwaymen’s children). I don’t keep a record of them,” he says.
Senior Section Engineer at the workshop, Dheeraj Singh, said, “He taught me while I was pursuing B.Tech during my early days in the Railways. Now he is teaching my son who will appear for Std 10 exam. He is the one who brought me to this position and now my son is under his supervision.”