In West Bengal, Mamoon Akhtar founded the Samaritan Mission School. Today, regardless of faith or creed, they offer inexpensive education to over 6,500 students.
When he was studying in class seven, Mamoon Akhtar, was told: “You are not permitted to take the exam if you are unable to pay the cost.”
After hearing these remarks Mamoon carried the hurt of being ostracised but made the decision to take action. The young man who had formerly been turned away and denied education turned his life around for the betterment of others.
Mamoon Akhtar, who later became a tution teacher, founded Samaritan Mission School. Mamoon, 48, has founded a chain of four schools in West Bengal that have more than 6,000 pupils enrolled. Samaritan Mission School is the name given to the organisation by Mamoon.
He says, “There is no room for religion in my school, which looks beyond your faith.”
Mamoon, who was up in the West Bengali city of Howrah’s Tikiapara neighbourhood, loved attending to school and was also a decent student. Despite dropping out, he was a persistent individual who continued to learn with the aid of a tutor and took his class 10 and 12 exams as a private candidate.
His English-medium schools now boast of educating over 6,500 kids from preschool to high school. An army of about 250 extremely committed instructors is responsible for all of this. The day after being ordered to leave the school, Mamoon began giving lessons to children in the nursery through class one.
He says, “Finding a means to give pupils from disadvantaged circumstances a high-quality English education has become my life’s work. I did not want another youngster to experience the same suffering as I experienced. I was raised in an area with a high crime rate.”
The guy told Mamoon to go and mind his own business when he tried to assist the woman and intervened.
Mamoon says, “Nevertheless, I rescued the woman, who subsequently revealed to me that the male had been pressuring her into working in the drug trade. A little child who subsequently revealed himself to be the son of the woman I helped informed me that he wanted to go to school but lacked the resources to do so. I urged him to come to my place the next day and informed him that I would help him if he chose to pursue his academic goals at the time. The little youngster soon arrived at my home the next morning with a desire to study, the author writes. That was the start of my career as an educator.”
Mamoon moved into a 300 square foot area next to his home in Tikiapara in 2001 since he had six young sons who wanted to study there. In order to make sure that the kids and their parents respected the education they were receiving, he used to charge Rs 5 each kid.
He focused on providing the kids with a solid education. Mamoon claims that he frequently finds himself at the right place at the right moment in life.
Mamoon adds, “Another occurrence that can best be characterised as incidental occurred in 2003 when I came upon a newspaper item about the wife of the then-U.S. Consulate providing assistance to local organisations. When I replied to her, Lee Alison Sibley, the wife of the US Consulate, surprised me by sending me Rs 10,000.”
This provided him the push he sorely needed. The funds were used to construct a roof and restrooms for the kids.
Along with the contribution, she also assisted in having an article titled “Service based on need, not creed” published in Asian Age.
Mamoon was able to acquire some furnishings and fix the classroom windows and doors thanks to this. An association that was established in the early 2000s is still active today.
Mamoon explains, “Ramesh ji, who is now over 80 years old, is still committed to helping our cause. He is my mentor, and he has helped me and led me as a father would at every turn.”
Mamoon was able to purchase a larger plot of land where he constructed the first school thanks to donations that he received from all across India.” The school building was constructed and ready by 2008. They began by signing up children for kindergarten through third grade.
Mamoon took yet another significant step to expand and improve the school in 2014.
“The Belilious Trust Estate, which was approximately 150 years old and completely occupied by the neighbourhood thugs and drug mafia, had an empty block of land in Tikiapara. We were able to secure that two-acre site for our usage thanks to the assistance of the entire neighbourhood and the Howrah municipal police.”
The school was recognised by the West Bengal Board eight years later, in 2016. A study organisation headquartered in the United Kingdom named Samaritan Mission School among the top 10 inspiring schools in the world in 2022, giving it even another accomplishment.
Mamata Banerjee, the chief minister of West Bengal, expressed her congratulations to Mamoon and the crew in honour of this achievement.
For the kids, who frequently came from damaged homes, the school provided a safe haven. Some of the children have moms who are engaged in drug dealing or other criminal activity, while others have fathers who are incarcerated.
“They desired to pursue education and build a successful future. Along with the school, Mamoon also contributed to the construction of a primary healthcare facility and a vocational training facility where more than 400 women are employed.”
We established the vocational training centre to assist the ladies in securing a living. This has also assisted in reducing crime and domestic abuse cases in the neighbourhood, according to him.
The four kids of Mamoon—three girls and one boy—attend the Samaritan Mission school as well.
He claims, “Educating all the youngsters and letting them fly high is my main ambition for all of them.”