Bhim Pathshalas were started so that Dalit children do not miss out on education in their formative years
MEERUT (UTTAR PRADESH): Educating Dalit kids about the history, achievement and struggles of Dalit icons like Dr BR Ambedkar and Sant Valmiki, Bhim Pathshalas, an initiative by the Bhim Army, are quickly gaining prominence in Uttar Pradesh. Initially started as a two-hour, post-school coaching class for Dalit children in Saharanpur, they have now spread throughout the state, including places like Meerut, Agra and Muzaffarnagar bolstering the Dalit movement in the state.
Owing to lack of facilities in government schools in rural areas, Bhim Pathshalas were started by the founder of Bhim Army, Chandrashekhar Azad alias Ravan, to ensure that Dalit children, whose parents are generally unable to bear the expenses of a private school, do not miss out on education in their formative years.
However, Bhim Pathshalas offer more than just regular academics, like science and math, they also explore the history of Dalits in the nation along with the lives and struggles of prominent Dalit icons.
“Since around two years, I have been running a branch of the Bhim Pathshala. It was about the same time when Chandrashekhar Azad, Kamal Walia, Vinay Ratan and Manjit Singh Nautiyal were travelling from village to village and were promoting the thoughts of Baba Saheb,” said Sarita Ambedkar, national spokesperson of the Bhim Army Women’s Wing, adding that they were made aware about the atrocities faced by Dalits in the society and were also inspired to take a stand.