Nafees Uddin grew up in a farming family in Sabhawala, a remote village in the Dehradun district of Uttarakhand. Farming was the primary source of livelihood for his family, but it was not enough to meet their needs. He had to help his parents in the field from an early age while also attending school in another village. Despite these difficulties, Nafees was passionate about education and became the first person in his family to attend college.
Today, Nafees Uddin is the owner of Nafees Inter College, one of the best schools in Sabhawala. He has proven that dreams have no limitations, and you can achieve anything if you have willpower.
What inspired him to open the school?
Nafees Uddin’s passion for education was evident from his childhood. Despite financial challenges and the unavailability of schools in the area, he never gave up pursuing his studies.
One day, he realized that many children in his village were deprived of education due to financial constraints and lack of access to schools. He decided to change this situation by opening his own school and making education accessible and affordable for everyone. “I wanted to ensure that no child in my village would face the same struggles I had to in order to receive an education,” the proud school leader says, driven by his own experiences.
Nafees Uddin started his school to provide free education to poor children. He began with 20 students and now teaches more than 100 under the RTE act.
For Nafees Uddin, education was not just a means to an end but a way to bring about positive change in the lives of others. He believed that everyone deserves the opportunity to learn and grow, regardless of their background or financial situation. This passion inspired him to open the school.
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How did the school start?
He embarked on his journey by starting tuition classes. He opened a tuition center in his home and began to teach underprivileged children for free. Initially, he taught 20 children, but demand for his services grew quickly.
Parents appreciated his efforts and began sending their children to him for quality education. His work gained recognition within the community, which motivated him to turn his dream into a reality and open a school. He started the school with 30 students in a two-room tin shed shelter. In 2000, he founded Nafess Inter College, catering to students up to grade 8.
Nafees Uddin’s school has not only changed the lives of hundreds of students but also transformed the entire village. He created employment opportunities for local people, and that is a huge deal in such a rural area.
His hardwork and consistency paid off, and within two years, the school grew to 150 students and gained recognition from the state board. Additionally, he provided employment opportunities to the youth of his village. He offered volunteering programs, trained them, and hired them as teachers in his school. In 2006, the school was granted permission to offer intermediate level education. Nafees Uddin gradually expanded his school by making improvements in infrastructure and installing sanitation facilities, raising awareness about social issues and inspiring many others to follow their dreams. He also introduced modern teaching methods and technology to enhance learning outcomes.
Impact of lockdown on school and Varthana’s support
The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on many schools and Nafees Inter College was one of them. The school was closed for two years due to the pandemic, which completely disrupted its academic activities. It was this time when he thought his dream of educating students would come to an end. He was at a loss about what to do next.
However, he soon realized that even though students were stuck at home, their learning should not stop. While schools and teachers were struggling to find ways to continue students’ education, the school received support from Varthana. Varthana provided Unlock worksheets that allowed students to continue learning at home. The school had the material, but they faced a challenge in getting the Unlock sheets to the students.
Nafees Uddin spoke with his teachers and found a way to reach out to his students. He motivated the teachers, and they worked tirelessly to ensure that the sheets were delivered to every student. Another challenge for Nafees Uddin was to pay his teachers’ salaries. He was aware of their hard work and efforts during this difficult time.
With the help of Varthana’s loan, he was able to pay his teachers’ salaries during the pandemic.
Nafees Uddin’s vision is to provide all possible opportunities for his village students so they can be ready for the future. Currently, the school offers an arts stream for intermediate-level students. Additionally, he plans to build a computer lab so that students can access technology and science, which will help them secure better job opportunities.