Everybody has the right to education but at times it seems getting education has become a luxury which not everyone can afford.
However, a class 12th non-medical student Muhammad Asjad Akbar's initiative 'Education for all,' books are making re-entry into the lives of underprivileged children of Pulwama district.
Narrating the story of how he started the initiative, Asjad, said, it was after he returned home from Kota due to Covid pandemic that he noticed many students in his neighborhood were without even basic books.
The whole experience made him very sad as he always had access to the best books. He studied in Himachal Pradesh from 5th standard and then went to Kota for high school.
"I believe everyone should have access to good schools. Get a better education to make a good living. But due to different circumstances many children are not able to make it to school."
So to provide the best to these children, he stepped up and began collecting books and stationary goods.
The word spread across through a local news portal. Asjad also reached out to his friends and family for help.
"Slowly people came forward and began sending me the books. I also received stationary and straightaway started making kits for deserving students."
When restrictions in lockdown were eased and schools began to open, he visited different schools of the district and made a data of underprivileged children.
"School authorities helped me a lot in this and it was because of them he could trace the children who needed his help," the young social activist said.
He kept this initiative going when schools were closed again.
"I began travelling and talked to community heads of different villages and tried to help as many students as I could."
Asjad says so far she has received hundreds of books from people of all districts and has helped some 200 to 300 students. He says his target is to reach at least 1500 students.
"We go from door to door to deliver the kits to students. A kit includes books, note books, stationary etc."
Many people have contacted Asjad to provide him monetary support but he has denied that and asks people to donate books only.
"We don't need financial support but help in the form of books so whosoever can come forward with that is most welcome."
Initially Asjad was a one man army but after receiving good support he engaged few volunteers.
"At first I would distribute books etc among the primary to middle level students but then I began to receive requests from students preparing for competitive exams."
While quoting one such incident he says, "Once a girl came forward who was very efficient and was preparing for NEET but she couldn't afford the books. Through word of mouth she had heard about my initiative and reached out to us. Thankfully we could provide her with the books."
Asjad, who is very much interested in artificial intelligence, wanted to have his own start up one day. He is preparing for his exams and is hopeful to get an engineering scholarship in the US.
Making the best use of time, he is right now learning HTML and Java through online mode and has learnt languages like Python and is well versed in image processing and video processing in artificial intelligence.