Guwahati, March 26: He never got a chance to finish his school and rode a rickshaw to earn his livelihood since he was in his teens. Today, Ahmed Ali, the 82-year-old rickshaw puller from Assam's Karimganj, is a proud man as he has been instrumental in building nine schools for poor children in his area.
Ali's astonishing feat to provide education to poor children in the state got a mention in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's monthly radio broadcast, Mann ki Baat, on Sunday. Hailing the man for his contribution to society Modi said, "When I got to read in your letters how a rickshaw puller from Karimganj in Assam, Ahmed Ali, has built nine schools for underprivileged children, it gave me a glimpse into the nation's willpower."
When I read in letters sent by you that how a rickshaw puller from Assam's Karimganj, Ahmed Ali built 9 schools for poor children, it gives me a glimpse into the nation's willpower: PM Modi #MannKiBaat pic.twitter.com/B3hgLUxWnF— ANI (@ANI) March 25, 2018
Since Modi praised Ali for his "willpower", his tiny village, Madhurbond, near Bangladesh border is in a celebratory mood. The poor man with a big heart after building nine schools, which include three lower primary schools, five middle schools and a high school in Madhurbond and its adjoining areas, now wants to build a college for his village students.
Ali first gifted his village a school in 1978. In the last 40 years, he has built eight more schools and dreaming to build more educational institutions in the coming years. Before starting his first school, Ali, who himself is poverty-stricken, sold his land and collected money from his fellow villagers to build the school.
"I worked hard and saved as much as possible. People also helped me in my dream of building schools," smiled Ali. According to reports, Patherkandi MLA Krishnendu Paul sanctioned Rs 11 lakh for the development of Ahmed Ali High School recently.
Ali says he does not want any monetary gain from his schools. "My biggest reward is to see all children going to school, getting education and finding jobs for themselves," he said. You can also read more about Ali's feat in this Facebook post: