Indian Teen Pays it Forward by Teaching His Peers



What did you do with your free time when you were sixteen? I didn’t have access to the World Wide Web yet (that was about two years away), but that was probably when I was playing NES and enjoying my hand-me-down Toyota Corolla. (I just checked to be sure, and even Doom was a couple years away. Now I feel old.) Sixteen-year-old Americans now, of course, have higher-resolution ways of wasting time, even as their “free” time has shrunk somewhat over the past few decades. But I bet when they’ve got nothing to do, a lot of them are still playing videogames, enjoying the new-found freedom of driving and hanging out with friends.

But not Babar Ali. He’s teaching classes to about 800 kids in his backyard.

Babar Ali, who lives in West Bengal, is the first from his family to attend school, and many of the children in his neighborhood don’t have the opportunity. Although the school itself is free, the cost of transportation, his uniform and school supplies make it prohibitive for most families. So, Babar Ali started his own school in his backyard, which he and a few other volunteers teach after he gets home from classes each day. For many of these children, this is their only opportunity to get any formal education at all.

Kinda puts your adolescence to shame, doesn’t it?

The story is really inspiring, so head on over to the BBC News website to read it: “The Youngest Headmaster in the World.”

Thanks to Carlton Hibbert for the tweet-tip about this story. Auto-rickshaw photo by rightee on, used under Creative Commons license.

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