A teacher is a teacher and her religion doesn’t matter as long as she knows the holy scripture well. Pooja Kushwaha (18), who is herself a class 12 understands this well and turns into a teacher at dusk giving away free of cost lessons to 35 Muslim kids in Quran. This young girl from Agra has impeccable accent of tiding over difficult Arabic phonology involving a variety of syllables and emphatic consonants. She teaches the students in an open-air classroom held every evening in a temple premises in Agra’s Sanjay Nagar Colony.
It’s interesting to know how Pooja learnt Arabic:
Many years ago, there was a woman ‘Sangeeta Begum’ of mixed faith in Pooja’s locality. Born to a Muslim father and Hindu mother, she used to hold Quran classes for the kids. Pooja got interested in the holy book and started attending her classes. She made a steady progress in no time and was ahead of all others in the class. “She taught me an important tenet of Islam, that there is no point in gaining knowledge if you don’t share it,” the 18-year-old says with maturity that belies her age.
Due to some personal problem, Sangeeta Begum had to discontinue her classes and she requested Pooja to keep alive this legacy.
“It is a marvel to see her achieve this rare distinction at such a young age. I am very pleased to have her as my kid’s teacher. Her religion is the last thing on my mind or any other parents’ that I know.” says Reshma Begum, mother of 5-year-old Alisha, one of Pooja’s students.
Uttar Hamara salutes Pooja and feels proud to share such inspiring stories of communal harmony and brotherhood within the state!
Heard of more such stories in your neighbourhood? Tell us about them!