“They alone live who live for others, the rest are more dead than alive,” said Swami Vivekananda. The words are translated into action, when we see the efforts of Arup Mukherjee, a Constable with Kolkata Police, who has started a school for the children from Sabar Tribal community in a remote part of Puruli, a district of West Bengal. Sabar Tribe is one of the backward tribal communities in Bengal, with no proper access to basic amenities, access to proper education and food.
Arup Mukherjee, a native of Parai village, Purulia district of West Bengal is a contented man today. Born and brought up in Purulia district, Arup had heard a lot about the Sabar tribe. This tribe is infamous and notorious for their criminal activities. People of Purulia are terrified of this tribe. Hence, the members of the tribe are always away from the mainstream social setup. Right from his young age, Arup observed this tribe closely. He felt that due to their bad reputation, Sabars were never accepted by the society. He observed that everyone from this tribe are not involved in criminal activities. But all are victimized and pay a price for the actions of their ancestors. The younger generation of Sabar, who do not have access to modern amenities, including education are suffering the most.
Inspired by the writings of Sahitya Academy, Jnanpith Awardee eminent writer and social activist* Arup started his mission to help the children of Sabar Tribe. “Mahasweta Di has made a significant contribution for development of Sabars,” says Arup. Arup started a residential school for the young Sabars and named it Pancha Nabadisha Model School. “Nabadisha means new ray of hope. I wish this school changes the fate of these little Sabars, who are neglected for their ancestors deeds”.
The residential school has now more than 50 boarders, who are provided with education as well as 3 square meals a day. At present the school is a primary school, but the plan is to upgrade it to a higher secondary school in the future. In this initiative, Arup gets support from his friends and family. His father, a retired OC of Bengal Police sends vegetables for the meals. Arup buys rice and pulses from the wholesale markets of Kolkata and sends it to the school on a monthly basis. His own family comprising of his wife and two children are supportive and always encourage him to give his best to the school.
The good work has started spreading its message and many individuals and corporates have come forward to extend their support in running Pancha Nabadisha Model School. But, Arup needs additional financial help for building classrooms and other facilities. But, Sabars have a new ray of hope and support to help them grow without being turned down by their mere surname.
N.B. Those who wish to help Arup can contact News Minute for further details.