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World Indian couple run street-side classes for poor students

10:26  21 september  2020
10:26  21 september  2020 Source:   msn.com

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The street - side classes have grown as dozens of children showed keen interest. Now the Guptas — with help from their driver, Heera — teach three different groups three times a week, morning and evening. After class , the children are treated to homemade lemonade and cookies prepared by Veena.

The street - side classes have grown as dozens of children showed keen interest. Now the Guptas — with help from their driver, Heera — teach three different groups three times a week, morning and evening. After class , the children are treated to homemade lemonade and cookies prepared by Veena.

NEW DELHI (AP) — On a quiet road in India's capital, tucked away on a wide, red-bricked sidewalk, kids set adrift by the country's COVID-19 lockdown are being tutored.

A child takes a pencil during a class conducted by Veena Gupta on a sidewalk in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020. Veena Gupta and her husband are conducting free classes for underprivileged children on a sidewalk in New Delhi. As most schools in India remain shut since late March when the country imposed a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19, many switched to digital learning and taking classes online. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup) © Provided by Associated Press A child takes a pencil during a class conducted by Veena Gupta on a sidewalk in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020. Veena Gupta and her husband are conducting free classes for underprivileged children on a sidewalk in New Delhi. As most schools in India remain shut since late March when the country imposed a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19, many switched to digital learning and taking classes online. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup) A former diplomat Virendra Gupta and his singer wife Veena Gupta pose for a photograph with underprivileged children whom they teach on a sidewalk in New Delhi, India, on Sept. 3, 2020.  The Indian couple are conducting free classes for underprivileged children on a sidewalk in New Delhi with the goal to keep them learning and not left behind when schools reopen. As most schools in India remain shut since late March when the country imposed a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19, many switched to digital learning and taking classes online. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup) © Provided by Associated Press A former diplomat Virendra Gupta and his singer wife Veena Gupta pose for a photograph with underprivileged children whom they teach on a sidewalk in New Delhi, India, on Sept. 3, 2020. The Indian couple are conducting free classes for underprivileged children on a sidewalk in New Delhi with the goal to keep them learning and not left behind when schools reopen. As most schools in India remain shut since late March when the country imposed a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19, many switched to digital learning and taking classes online. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

The children, ages 4 to 14, carry book bags more than 2 kilometers (a mile) from their thatched-roof huts on the banks of the Yamuna River to this impromptu, roadside classroom. There, they receive free lessons in math, science, English and physical education, taught by a former Indian diplomat and his wife.

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An Indian couple are conducting free classes for underprivileged children on a sidewalk in New Delhi. It all began when Veena Gupta’s maid, who lives on bank of the river, complained that with schools shut, children in her impoverished community were running amok and wasting time.

An Indian couple are conducting free classes for underprivileged children on a sidewalk in New Delhi. It all began when Veena Gupta’s maid, who lives on bank of the river, complained that with schools shut, children in her impoverished community were running amok and wasting time.

A stray dog sleeps on a sidewalk as former diplomat Virendra Gupta, far right, and his singer wife Veena Gupta teach underprivileged children in New Delhi, India, on, Sept. 3, 2020. The Indian couple are conducting free classes for underprivileged children on a sidewalk in New Delhi with the goal to keep them learning and not left behind when schools reopen. As most schools in India remain shut since late March when the country imposed a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19, many switched to digital learning and taking classes online.  (AP Photo/Manish Swarup) © Provided by Associated Press A stray dog sleeps on a sidewalk as former diplomat Virendra Gupta, far right, and his singer wife Veena Gupta teach underprivileged children in New Delhi, India, on, Sept. 3, 2020. The Indian couple are conducting free classes for underprivileged children on a sidewalk in New Delhi with the goal to keep them learning and not left behind when schools reopen. As most schools in India remain shut since late March when the country imposed a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19, many switched to digital learning and taking classes online. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

It all began when Veena Gupta’s maid, who lives on bank of the river, complained that with schools shut, children in her impoverished community were running amok and wasting time.

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The street - side classes have grown as dozens of children showed keen interest. Now the Guptas — with help from their driver, Heera — teach three different groups three times a week, morning More From This Category. Indian couple run street - side classes for poor 01:19 PM | 21 Sep, 2020.

The street - side classes have grown as dozens of children showed keen interest. Now the Guptas — with help from their driver, Heera — teach three different groups three times a week, morning and evening. After class , the children are treated to homemade lemonade and cookies prepared by Veena.

“If they stayed at home doing nothing, they’d become drifters,” said Dolly Sharma, who works at Veena’s high-rise apartment, which overlooks the lush riverbank.

Veena, a singer and grandmother of three, and her husband, Virendra Gupta, decided to go out to the street and teach the kids so they are not left behind when school reopens.

“They don’t have access to internet, their schools are shut and they don’t have any means to learn,” said Veena, who bought books, pencils, notebooks and other teaching materials, and set up the small, open-air classroom under the shade of a leafy banyan tree.

Children wave goodbye to Veena Gupta as she leaves after conducting a class on a sidewalk in New Delhi, India, on Sept. 3, 2020. Veena and her husband are conducting free classes for underprivileged children on a sidewalk in New Delhi with the goal to keep them learning and not left behind when schools reopen. As most schools in India remain shut since late March when the country imposed a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19, many switched to digital learning and taking classes online. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup) © Provided by Associated Press Children wave goodbye to Veena Gupta as she leaves after conducting a class on a sidewalk in New Delhi, India, on Sept. 3, 2020. Veena and her husband are conducting free classes for underprivileged children on a sidewalk in New Delhi with the goal to keep them learning and not left behind when schools reopen. As most schools in India remain shut since late March when the country imposed a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19, many switched to digital learning and taking classes online. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

India’s stringent lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19 shut schools across the country in late March. Most remain closed as the number of cases has surged past 5 million, making India second worst-hit in the world after the United States.

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An Indian couple are conducting free classes for underprivileged children on a sidewalk in New Delhi. It all began when Veena Gupta’s maid, who lives on bank of the river, complained that with schools shut, children in her impoverished community were running amok and wasting time.

The street - side classes have grown as dozens of children showed keen interest. Now the Guptas - with help from their driver, Heera - teach three different groups three times a week, morning and evening. A child practices writing during a sidewalk class taught by an Indian couple in New Delhi.

While many private schools switched to digital learning and online classes, children in most government-run schools either don’t have that option or don’t have the means to purchase digital learning tools like laptops and smartphones.

“There is only one mobile phone in my family and it is usually with my father. I can’t study online,” said Nitin Mishra, a ninth grader in Virendra’s math class. Mishra’s mother works as a part-time maid and his father is unable to find employment as India’s economy has been hit hard by the pandemic.

A child practices writing numbers on a sidewalk class in New Delhi, India, on Sept. 3, 2020. An Indian couple, Veena and her husband Virendra Gupta, is conducting free classes for underprivileged children on a sidewalk in New Delhi with the goal to keep them learning and not left behind when schools reopen. It all began when Veena's maid complained that with schools shut, children in her impoverished community were running amok and wasting time. As most schools in India remain shut since late March when the country imposed a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19, many switched to digital learning and taking classes online. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup) © Provided by Associated Press A child practices writing numbers on a sidewalk class in New Delhi, India, on Sept. 3, 2020. An Indian couple, Veena and her husband Virendra Gupta, is conducting free classes for underprivileged children on a sidewalk in New Delhi with the goal to keep them learning and not left behind when schools reopen. It all began when Veena's maid complained that with schools shut, children in her impoverished community were running amok and wasting time. As most schools in India remain shut since late March when the country imposed a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19, many switched to digital learning and taking classes online. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

The street-side classes have grown as dozens of children showed keen interest. Now the Guptas — with help from their driver, Heera — teach three different groups three times a week, morning and evening.

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An Indian couple are conducting free classes for underprivileged children on a sidewalk in New Delhi On a quiet road in India 's capital, tucked away on a The street - side classes have grown as dozens of children showed keen interest. Now the Guptas _ with help from their driver, Heera _ teach three

The street - side classes have grown as dozens of children showed keen interest. Now the Guptas — with help from their driver, Heera — teach three different groups three times a week, morning and evening. After class , the children are treated to homemade lemonade and cookies prepared by Veena.

After class, the children are treated to homemade lemonade and cookies prepared by Veena.

The Guptas say teaching the kids makes them feel closer to their grandchildren, who live abroad.

“My father would make me spend my summer vacation learning the next year’s curriculum in advance,” said Virendra, who served as Indian ambassador to several countries including South Africa.

Children return home after their class on a sidewalk in New Delhi, India, on Sept. 3, 2020. An Indian couple, Veena Gupta and her husband Virendra Gupta, is conducting free classes for underprivileged children on a sidewalk in New Delhi with the goal to keep them learning and not left behind when schools reopen. It all began when Veena's maid complained that with schools shut, children in her impoverished community were running amok and wasting time. As most schools in India remain shut since late March when the country imposed a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19, many switched to digital learning and taking classes online. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup) © Provided by Associated Press Children return home after their class on a sidewalk in New Delhi, India, on Sept. 3, 2020. An Indian couple, Veena Gupta and her husband Virendra Gupta, is conducting free classes for underprivileged children on a sidewalk in New Delhi with the goal to keep them learning and not left behind when schools reopen. It all began when Veena's maid complained that with schools shut, children in her impoverished community were running amok and wasting time. As most schools in India remain shut since late March when the country imposed a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19, many switched to digital learning and taking classes online. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

“That really boosted my confidence and made me interested in schoolwork. And that is what I am trying to do with these children, so when their school reopens, they are slightly ahead of their class.”

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Veena said she hopes to recruit more volunteers to teach the street-side classes.

“It is not about the money that people can contribute and give, it is about their time,” she said. “They should take out little bit of their time, an hour or so, if not every day, every alternate day, and come and help these children.”

Children lay a sheet to sit on for their class on a sidewalk as their teacher Veena Gupta watches in New Delhi, India, on Sept. 3, 2020. Veena Gupta and her husband Virendra Gupta are conducting free classes for underprivileged children on a sidewalk in New Delhi with the goal to keep them learning and not left behind when schools reopen. It all began when Veena's maid complained that with schools shut, children in her impoverished community were running amok and wasting time. As most schools in India remain shut since late March when the country imposed a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19, many switched to digital learning and taking classes online. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup) © Provided by Associated Press Children lay a sheet to sit on for their class on a sidewalk as their teacher Veena Gupta watches in New Delhi, India, on Sept. 3, 2020. Veena Gupta and her husband Virendra Gupta are conducting free classes for underprivileged children on a sidewalk in New Delhi with the goal to keep them learning and not left behind when schools reopen. It all began when Veena's maid complained that with schools shut, children in her impoverished community were running amok and wasting time. As most schools in India remain shut since late March when the country imposed a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19, many switched to digital learning and taking classes online. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

___

While nonstop news about the effects of the coronavirus has become commonplace, so, too, have tales of kindness. “One Good Thing” is a series of AP stories focusing on glimmers of joy and benevolence in a dark time. Read the series at https://apnews.com/hub/one-good-thing

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usr: 1
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