Meet Armaan Singh Ahluwalia, a 17-year-old who runs a school for slum kids

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“Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world”. This quote by Nelson Mandela explains how people with the right understanding and education about the world can impact everyone’s lives positively.

In our country, not everyone is privileged to get a decent education. Despite various initiatives to promote and encourage children to join the school, many find it difficult to pursue education due to various factors. But the efforts continue unabated.

Armaan Singh Ahluwalia, 17, student of class 12th at DPS RK Puram having an ambition to bring world-class education to India by opening 1000 free schools for the poorest of poor which can truly remove inequality & provide opportunities to those who have never got a chance to get educated. He wants to remove illiteracy, poverty, and Child abuse by providing free education. He is most delicately working on running school for poor children and has still been able to balance his life and school well. For the past 5 years, Armaan has been teaching more than 200 underprivileged street children. He named his dream education center as ‘Apne’- a learning center located at a prime location in Noida.

At ‘Apne,’ 30- 40 students come daily and this number rises up to 50 on weekends when Armaan and his family spend five to six hours teaching them. His students call him “Teacher Bhaiya” who not only shares his food and pocket money with them but also discusses everyday experiences to make learning an interactive two-way process. Even during this worldwide crisis of Covid-19 amid lockdown also, Armaan and his family ensured that all these students get their meals on time, know the importance of social distancing and provided them masks, soap sanitizer, etc.

At this young age, this boy has been selected by Harvard University to pursue a pre-college program. Perhaps, Harvard has recognized his efforts, and he was chosen to be amongst the very few students across the world to get into the college program of Harvard University to earn college credits by studying Economics. His effort is to become an economist and bring a substantial change in the Indian Economy by making it the strongest. Working tirelessly, Armaan has given his most important years of life to the society to make a bit of difference, while kids of his age spent time relaxing, playing, and on unnecessary activities. It is difficult to work on a social project while studying in school. His schedule demands almost 17 hours of social service and studies at school. And still, he is happy to find that he has brought smiles on the faces of few.

His mother, Dr. Tarvinder Kaur Ahluwalia seeing his innocence and the keenness, decided to support her son in this noble cause. She further says, “I am extremely proud of my son. I give him undivided attention and time to his initiative takes care of his foods, health, uniforms, and other requirements when Armaan is busy in his studies”. About those underprivileged children Armaan says, “I absolutely love being with these kids. I think the school is truly changing their lives as the attendance is ever-increasing that has even encouraged us to exceed the building up to three floors”. And Now he wants to open a series of free schools for underprivileged kids in order to provide them free education and fulfill their basic needs of life. “People say, what is the sense of our small effort? They cannot see that we must lay one brick at a time, take one step at a time. A pebble cast into a pond causes ripples that spread in all directions. Each one of our thoughts, words, and deeds is like that. No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless. There is too much work to do”. As we can see how a small effort of Armaan will lead us to the big change of the future of many and how it will contribute to our Nation.

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