Education has become more of an industry than an act of gaining and imparting knowledge. The last time you received free guidance in your education was probably the time when you were being taught by a parent of a close family member.
What if I tell you, in this era, where nothing works unless you place a stack of cash over or under the table, there exists a man named Anil Mahendru, who gives free coaching to students to crack several competitive exams?
Mahendru is a 50-year-old man who works as Chemical and Metallurgical Superintendent at Railways’ Matunga workshop. He is presently living in Mumbai, the city which burns your pocket every single day. He has been doing his duty as a teacher for scores of needy students and children of his colleagues for the past three decades. This selfless act of Mahendru has gained him a lot of respect, the type which money can’t buy.
“In my early days in 1980, when I myself was a student, I started taking tuition for money to meet the expenses of my family, but when I joined Railways in 1988 and got a permanent source of income, then I started to teach for free,” said Mahendru.
Even Railway officers and Union leaders helped Mahendru by providing sufficient space in the Railway premises to continue his philanthropic work. An expert in maths and science, Mahendru is also a well known leader of Central Railway Mazdoor Sangh (CRMS), a leading union in Central Railway.
According to Mahendru, who tied the knot with one of his pupils in college days, he has provided free coaching to over 1,000 students mostly children of fellow railwaymen. Out of them almost 800 have cracked competitive exams including those of Railway Recruitment Board National Defence Academy (NDA) and several banks.
“I feel gratified when I teach the students of my own colleagues. I don’t keep a record. Yes, I know few cases when I gave training to few railwaymen as my official duty and later to their children as part of my hobby,” said Mahendru.
He was posted in Jhansi as an instructor, in supervising training centre in 1989 simply because his seniors acknowledged his calibre according to him.
“While I was pursuing B.Tech during my job days in Railways, he taught me as well… now he is also teaching my son who is going to appear for his tenth exams. What impresses me is that he is better and bigger than a regular and official teacher. His commitment to impart education is incomparable,” said Dheeraj Sinha, Senior Section Engineer at Matunga workshop.
To reach out to underprivileged students Mahendru took another turn in 2000 when he was posted at Parel workshop in Mumbai. There he decided to coach aspirants of Railway and other competitive exams.