23-year-old Babar Ali, popularly known as the world’s youngest headmaster started a school when he was all of nine. The school that Babar started in backward Bhabta village in West Bengal with eight students, is now a certified school. In 2015, it had 300 students and 10 teachers. The school, Ananda Siksha Niketan, has gained in popularity and is also recognised by the West Bengal government. Babar dons the role of a student in the morning where he is pursuing his masters in English literature at Berhampore Krishanath College and comes home in the afternoon to teach students.
In 2015, speaking at the National Summit on Quality in Education, hosted by the CII Institute of Quality, Babar seemed to be in a dilemma on whether teaching is a noble profession or a passion. “It all started as a game when I used to teach my sister, my first student in my backyard. Later, some migrant children from the village used to come to my classes and that was how the school was born,” he said, reported The Hindu.
Babar’s biggest achievement is that six of his students have now started teaching in his school after their college hours. Various people, a majority of who are from Karnataka, have supported him morally and financially. “The Karnataka government has a chapter on me in the first pre-university textbook, which is why 90 per cent of the mails I receive are from Karnataka,” Babar stated.
Despite all the attention and the recognition Babar has received, he is still not content. “There are people in my village who do not go to school and there is a long way to go as so many children still need to avail education,” he said. In 2014, YourStory published an article on the journey of Babar.