He turned and looked at the worn wooden door. “Just one last time.” He promised himself. As his gaze lingered upon it for longer than he intended, he noticed the scant remnants of the faded orange paint on it. “I had done it up myself.” He reminisced. The door, once magnificent and still heavy, was amongst the last of the few existing but fast deteriorating structures of its time.
Shashank, the sole force behind the creation and running of this endeavour, had mixed feelings today. From convincing the village Panchayat to let him clean and use this huge, discarded bungalow to going door-to-door and begging people to send their kids to his make-shift school, he had done it all alone.
Himself a science graduate, he wanted to do his bit to make sure that kids in his village didn’t have to travel to a nearby village everyday to the closest school for basic education, like he had to. From leaking roofs, kids disappearing during sowing and reaping time for helping their parents, rampant health diseases owing to unsanitary conditions to insufficient financial aid to get school supplies, hurdles were aplenty but he crossed them all with his grit and determination.
Fondly called ‘Master’ by everyone, he became a well-known figure in the small cluster of villages in the vicinity. His ambition wasn’t limited to this though. His continued efforts had borne fruit and the orders had finally come through. Not far from here, a Government school was going to come up in his village soon. The first batch of students, his students, would soon join there. While he rejoiced at the thought of their progress, a part of him grieved for the closing down of his own labour of love.
“My child will live on in my memories, forever.” He consoled himself.