From a small hut, Aansoo Bai Kolhi started off her dream of running a school in her village. Countless hurdles later, she is the principal teacher to about 500 kids from her and surrounding villages.
Talking to ARY News’ Pyar Ali Amir Ali for a recent documentary, Aansoo Bai, who is partially handicapped, detailed the struggle behind getting an education, finding a job, and then fulfilling her father’s dream by opening a school in her village.
“I will always remember the day my father called me and asked if I remembered everything he had taught me. I told him, ‘Of course, I will always remember everything you have taught me, and one day I’ll make you proud by becoming a teacher,” shared Aansoo Bai.
She kept her word and is currently a teacher to about 500 kids, many of whom come from neighboring villages, trekking on dirt roads without adequate shoes and supplies.
Aansoo Bai’s journey of establishing her own school wasn’t as easy – “People would taunt me with words like ‘she’s handicapped, she’s crazy… what will she get out of all this education?'” she shared.
One woman even threw her crutches one day in spite, crushing her spirit, but thanks to her father, Aansoo Bai persevered.
Once graduated, Aansoo Bai handed her documents to a local MPA, who turned her away with a measly Rs. 100 note. “I realized that the world only respects white-collared people, there is no respect for the poor…”
Despite the setback, she set out to fulfill her father’s dream and once she relocated to another village in 2013, she decided to provide free-of-cost education to the local kids.
“It started off with one jhonpri (hut) and five students… I went door-to-door explaining the importance of education, and so, it went from five to ten and eventually up to 150 students,” she recalled.
Many have come to her for photo-ops and many have turned their backs after, but Aansoo is unstoppable in her quest to eradicate illiteracy from her village. Her next goal? Acquiring two rooms to set up a middle school for her students, and paving a better way to facilitate easier transport options for them.
Watch Aansoo Bai tell her story in her own words in this documentary: