A young IPS officer in Jammu and Kashmir is taking out two hours from his busy schedule every morning to coach students appearing for competitive examinations. He teaches students coming from poor financial backgrounds for free.
Named 'operation dreams' Sandeep Chaudhary, South Jammu Superintendent of Police, started this initiative with the aim to make such students capable of undertaking the exams and have a fair chance of qualifying.
The 2012-batch Indian Police Service officer of Jammu and Kashmir cadre's decision came at a time when Indian Administrative Service or IAS exam coaching centres are becoming increasingly popular in the country. These centres charge exorbitant fees ranging anywhere from Rs 1.3 lakh to 1.6 lakh.
Chaudhary initially started with free coaching from his office chamber for 10 candidates preparing for sub-inspectors in the state police, but soon the numbers grew to 150 students preparing for various examinations, including civil services, staff selection commission and banking sector.
Chaudhary then shifted his class to a private community centre near his office. The owner of the place, which is situated along the Jammu airport road, voluntarily offered his support for the initiative.
Chaudhary, who is from Punjab told Press Trust of India: "I was discussing the upcoming examination for the post of sub-inspector with my colleagues when the idea to start free coaching for aspiring students came to my mind... Each day, the number of students is growing and the brighter part of the initiative is that more than 25 girls are coming for the classes."
Chaudhary himself never went to a college for higher education or a coaching centre to crack the Union Public Service Commission examination and believes that these costly centres are not necessary. "I did my BA and MA from Indira Gandhi National Open University. I joined Panjab University for regular course in journalism for about three months but then I dropped out due to circumstances and joined MA in public administration from IGNOU. I completed my education through correspondence - which was not very costly but I was guided at every stage, even during UPSC preparation, by friends and seniors," he said, as reported.
One of his students considered herself lucky to be able to prepare for a sub-inspector post under the guidance of an IPS officer. Also after joining the classes, her outlook towards the police has changed altogether.
"I was not sure about the fairness of the selection process and seeing the dedication and devotion of this officer, I was having a wrong notion," she said.
Chaudhary also says that his students come from varied backgrounds. According to him, the youth of Jammu, especially from the rural background, lack exposure. "They are going through their books but lack general outlook of the world outside. I am keeping this thing in mind while preparing the students... They are going through their books but lack general outlook of the world outside. I am keeping this thing in mind while preparing the students," Chaudhary said.
A firm believer in democratising education, the officer says that India has different types of education systems and the financially weak candidates face a lot of difficulty at the competitive stage.
"My appeal to parents is always to give their children time and do not show their love only through money. They need time and guidance," he said, as reported.