Written By Maheep Dhano
Free Fragrance Tuition in Sector 69, Chandigarh, is a community which is no less than a miracle to children from financially lacking backgrounds. Tarsem Singh, the force behind the community, along with his brigade of volunteers, makes his way to a government school six days a week from 5.30 pm to 6.30 pm despite the heat to give free tuition to students whose families cannot afford to provide them education.
What started off on the basis of a little girl’s request to help her in her studies in 2015, after four years, Tarsem Singh’s cohort now has 250 students. The team teaches English, Math, Science, Punjabi, and even French to students of classes pre-nursery to 9, a lot of whom hail from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Nepal. Besides teaching them these foundation subjects, the team also imparts social values to children. It is Singh’s belief that these students be given an equal footing as those children who are born into privileged families.
“I don’t want them to grow up and hold grudges or feel any kind of resentment later in their lives,” says Singh. The students’ respect and admiration for him is evident when each one of them touches his feet and greets him excitedly. “Sajna, Aruna, and Muskan are some of my shining stars. They are good students and work hard. I teach my students to love and respect all-younger or elder. According to me, if they don’t have the right values, then their success in life won’t matter. I tell them, “Jo karna hai, ab karna hai (Whatever you wish to do, you have to start doing it now) because they have to focus on their present,” Singh says.
Singh and Free Fragrance Tuition’s success cannot be acknowledged without taking into account a fair share of obstacles they had to face. Till December 2018, they were based at a field in Sector 69, with a few surrounding residential houses. They began to receive complaints from people living in these houses of them getting disturbed by the students during afternoons.
They wanted the center to be removed from the field. Tarsem Singh and Jagminder Kaur, who volunteers as a teacher regularly, then contacted Krishan Kumar, Secretary of School Education, Punjab.
“Kumar asked us which government school is closest to us and made arrangements for us to be allowed to teach there. After all, they are children but the people in Sector 69 area just couldn’t adjust,” says Jagminder Kaur ” Nikita, a student of class 1, can count to 1000 and is excelling in all subjects. I feel so happy when I get to teach these students and to witness their improvement,” says Kaur.
“I want the people of the city to also make efforts rather than just expecting the government to do so. We can really excel if both, the people and the government, cooperate and contribute towards the betterment of society,” Singh says.
The community now is in dire need of volunteers, who can teach basic subjects requires like English and Maths to students of classes 5,6 and 7. For those interested, they can contact Free Fragrance Tuition at- +919876122744, +919646507818.