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Category: News


The Beacon of Light

Uttam Teron through his Parijat Academy has relentlessly become the torch bearer in educating and shaping the lives of hundreds of under priviledged children since 2003  

Gunjan Sharma

Like every tree requires a strong foundation so does a child is what Mr Uttam Teron believes. Not only does he believe this but he has been working on it since 2003. Not all heroes come with a cape or special power some come with the motivation to work and make this world a better place to live and Mr. Terron is one of them. Mr. Uttam Teron born and bought up in Pamohi village in the Kamrup district of Assam, has been educating children and making people aware of education in his village and the nearby areas. The school is now covering nine tribal villages – Pamohi, Mahguapra, Deosutal, Garchuk, Mainakhorong, Dhalbama, Nowagaon, Garoghuli, and Garbhanga.

In 2003 Mr. Terron started Parijat Academy initially with four children in a cowshed with a desk and bench from the 800 rupees that he saved after teaching students. He started it as a small learning centre. In the first year he took one hour classes and later extended to three hours. “I started the school in the first place because I saw children uselessly sitting around and not studying; I used to wonder why they are not studying. When I started my main motive was to make children curious about education and its importance in their lives. I wanted them to be interested in studies and later join the government schools. If they didn’t enjoy my teaching I would change my strategy so that they could enjoy. I even tried to dance and sing even though I was not a professional” said Mr Teron. People saw the potential in him and asked him to start a school. That is when he extended his one hour class to a full-fledged school. Today the school is affiliated to the state board and having classes up to 10th standard.

‘Parents are reluctant to send their children to school as most of the students are drop outs. Some parents don’t understand the importance of education while some feel that it’s better if the children learn to work as it will be good for their livelihood’ said Mr. Teron.

But because of Parijat Academy the people of the Pamohi village and the neighbouring villages understood the meaning and importance of education. It is an Assamese medium school so it is easy for the parents to understand what their children are being taught. Mr Teron’s main motive is making students wanting to learn so that later they can opt for further studies and become a responsible citizen. Parijat Academy is a non-profit school and runs only on the donations given by the people. The children do not pay to the school they only manage for their own uniform. Today more than 500 children study in this academy with around 28 working staff.

We generally talk about Right to Education, its importance and how every child should be given education but Mr Teron preferred to work for it and make it happen. He believes in deeds not words. When asked if this was his plan in life he said ‘Teaching is not my cup of tea, I just wanted children to study and do good in life, develop the qualities of kindness, compassion and universal responsibilities, be respected and respect others and not roam around aimlessly. I never planned on opening a school’. Parijat Academy is providing free education and it is on its way of realizing the dreams and aspirations of poor parents into reality with support of individuals and associations.

The school has a library to enhance the curiosity of the students to read. Basic level computer knowledge is given to the children. The school arranges health check-ups for the children with the help of individuals and associations. The Head Mistress of the Academy Mrs. Aimoni Timung, wife of Mr Teron told us about their food bag programme. Every month the school provides food bags to poor children. Along with that runs a Milk Programme in the school. Under this programme pre-primary level students are provided with milk and biscuits every day. Around 90 children are daily given milk under this programme. Other than that monthly meals are also served to the students of the school. Sometimes individuals and associations come up to the academy to celebrate events and spend some time with the students. 

The school also runs a Sewing school where interested students are taught to sew and even make a livelihood out of it. They are being taught to make bags, soft toys etc.

Volunteers from India and even abroad come over to the academy and teach the children. They teach them art and craft, games etc. These volunteers communicate with the school authorities and come up creative activities which they can teach the children. Some volunteers even learn Assamese so that they can communicate with the children. The volunteers who come to Parijat Academy stay at the school hostel with the staff and students. More than 150 volunteers from around the world have come over to the academy in order to work and help. One of them is ‘Days for Girls International’. This association basically works for empowering women and girls worldwide through sustainable menstrual care and health education. The volunteers from this association taught the members of the school of make sustainable sanitary pads which can be reused.

Now the Parijat Sewing school under Mrs Timung’s leadership makes sustainable sanitary pads and sells them. These pads are made of cotton and cloth. The school has even distributed these pads free of cost to the women of Garbhanga village. Village women and girls are also a part of this sewing school as it  also gives employment to a few of them.   

The school is also working on Project Garbhanga. Under this project students from remote state border areas and Garbhanga village are bought to the school for their education. These children stay in the Parijat Hostel. As of now around 63 students stay in the hostel free of cost. Some of them are even college going students.  Recently a student of Parijat Academy got a job in Assam Police and now is under training.

Mr. Teron also spoke about the difficulties the academy goes through when there is lack of funding. Sometimes they are even unable to pay the school staff for months. Raising funds and convincing people is not an easy job but they try their best. And there are some donors who have never visited the academy yet they donate whatever they can. The school accepts old clothes, books, furniture, toys, socks, laptop, television etc. of good condition for the school children and adults.

When asked about his future plans he said that he has none. He wants to go slow. When asked if he gets a huge amount of funding what he will do, he said “it sounds like a utopian idea to me but if it comes true I want to make the school up to class 12 and want to make science, maths laboratories and better learning facilities for the children”.

Mr. Teron was in his 20s when he started Parijat Academy with the handful of money he had. He had a thirst to make a difference in the lives of these children. Most of us can only talk about educating children and doing something for the society but when do we work for it? One can shape the lives of children not by talking but by working for them like Mr Teron; his wife Mrs Timung and the whole team of Parijat Academy has been doing. People like him inspire us to gear up and work for the betterment of the society. This is the time to act for the society and people who are in need and not just to speak on the problem we perceive.


Walking the Extra Mile to Light the Lamp

At some point in life, every individual feels an inclination to contribute something worthwhile to society. Not for nothing, therefore, Dan and Monali, the husband and wife couple from UK felt the same which brought them to Assam and saw them traversing the remote areas on the outskirts of the capital city and helping out the needy. Dan and Monali had quit their jobs in UK to volunteer in Parijat Academy, a school for the underprivileged children located at Pamohi. Founded by Uttam Teron, this school has been providing free education to the children of the poverty struck families of Pamohi and other adjoining areas.

Dan and I have thought about doing some social volunteering for some time now, but unfortunately other commitments kept intruding on our aspiration. We pacified our conscience with very occasional volunteering and donations to various welfare societies, but the desire to do something more substantial never abated. Finally we decided and took the plunge, said Monali. Assam became the destination because Monali, who is an Assamese, though not raised here thought that it would be nice to give something back to the community. In Assam there is significant need for support in social and economic development. Education is a key area of concern, observed Monali.

It needs to be mentioned here that overseas volunteers have been landing at Parijat Academy quite frequently and apart from teaching the school students, these volunteers also transfer their experience and expertise to the families of these children so that they can improve their living status. Uttam Teron said that the children have greatly benefited from the volunteering. Starting in 2003 as a one classroom, four student school, Parijat Academy now offers free education to 502 children from nine impoverished tribal villages. So far the school has benefited from the volunteering of seven overseas men and women.

We began our volunteering at Parijat Academy one month ago and it has been an incredibly inspirational experience for us, expressed Monali. The couple visited three tribal villages in the Garbhanga area, near the Assam Megahlaya border to view the outreach centres of Parijat Academy. To reach the centres they had to travel along an almost non-existent rocky and precarious road. During the rainy season, Garbhanga is accessible only by foot. The only concrete building in the whole area is the government school which teaches Classes I-IV.

It was heartening to meet the sole teacher at one of the education outreach centres of Parijat Academy teaching classes V- VII, said Monali. What touched the couple most was the commitment of the teacher as well as the students. Although class room means a few bamboo walls with most of the classroom being exposed to the outer elements, a few benches and tables and almost no books or writing materials at all, the teacher as well as his students are determined to achieve some semblance of an education which is being appreciated by the couple. Despite the impoverished circumstances, some parents of Garbhanga wanted better education for their children and approached Parijat Academy to do something for their children. Uttam has taken 21 children from Garbhanga as students at Parijat Academy, where they are currently housed in very modest hostel facilities. These students are sponsored by various people around the world, costing roughly INR 2,000 a year for each student. These children are all from the Karbi community and spoke almost no Assamese at all before starting at Parijat Academy. But now they all are fluent in both Assamese and English and can read and write. Parijat Academy has become a passion for Dan and myself and we hope to be involved on a lifelong basis and help Uttam to achieve his vision, concluded Monali. Today was their last day in Assam, but they are looking forward to coming back again.


A Blossoming Success Story at Parijat Academy

In a world where education is often seen as the key to unlocking a better future, there are moments that truly inspire and reaffirm our belief in its transformative power. The recent matriculation examination results at Parijat Academy have provided one such moment of immense pride and joy. With an outstanding 87% of students passing and an impressive 06 first division holders, this achievement is a testament to the unwavering dedication, resilience, and support that these bright young minds have received. Today, we celebrate their remarkable accomplishments and recognize the impact of education in shaping a brighter future for all.

At Parijat Academy, a school known for its commitment to empowering underprivileged children, these recent achievements mark a significant milestone in the academic journey of these exceptional students. Through their determination and unwavering spirit, they have overcome various challenges and proven that dreams can become a reality with the right support and guidance.

Education as the Catalyst

The success stories that have emerged from Parijat Academy highlight the transformative power of education. Education serves as a catalyst that not only equips children with knowledge but also empowers them to dream bigger, reach higher, and break through societal barriers. It offers a path to a brighter future, instilling confidence, resilience, and a thirst for knowledge within young minds.

Community Empowerment

The accomplishments of these incredible children extend beyond their personal triumphs. Their achievements hold the potential to uplift their communities and inspire others to pursue their dreams despite challenging circumstances. By setting a shining example, they become beacons of hope and change within their neighborhoods, proving that with determination and access to quality education, anything is possible.

Behind every success story lies a network of individuals who play a crucial role in shaping and nurturing these young minds. The unwavering support of teachers, mentors, parents, and the larger community has been instrumental in fueling the dreams of these students. It is through their guidance, encouragement, and belief in their potential that these children have thrived and achieved remarkable results.

As we applaud the accomplishments of the students at Parijat Academy, it is essential to recognize the collective effort that has contributed to their success. Their achievements remind us that education is not just about grades and academic accolades; it is about creating a supportive environment that fosters growth, instills values, and nurtures the potential within each child.