May 23, 2019

Subho (which means ‘good’) was born 30 years ago in a 10ft x 10ft hut in a slum in Kolkata with no toilet. Both his parents are illiterate, and the whole environment is depressing beyond imagination. From that background, Subho became a college graduate and is now head master of one of Calcutta Rescue’s schools

He had no parental support and guidance, but Subho was bright and determined, and school was his salvation.

There he found a series of teachers who recognized his potential. He studied very hard and they gave him extra support at breaks and after school. As a result, he won a place at college where he gained a BSC majoring in physics, chemistry and mathematics. He had paid his own way through university by doing three jobs – working in a factory two days a week, acting as a courier and making packages out of newspaper at home that he could sell.

And afterwards, he jumped at the chance of a low paid job as a teacher at Calcutta Rescue. Why? Because: “I love teaching and I don’t want other children to suffer like me.”

A decade on and Subho has risen to be headmaster of Tala Park School, responsible for 9 teachers and 300 students. He is an inspirational role model for them. When it was decided a few months ago to extend the school hours into the evening to provide a place for youngsters to do their homework and receive support, Subho volunteered to do this himself, adding two and a half hours to his work day. “Kids don’t get guidance at home. Now we provide that.” he said smiling.

On the shelf in his small office is a laminated certificate which says that Calcutta Rescue’s schools were named the “Most caring in West Bengal” at The Telegraph School Awards for Excellence in 2018. That is quite a thing to try to live-up-to, or even justify, but Subho is a clear demonstration of why that award is fully justified.