Inspired by Anna, man quits job for social service

Fardeen Khan gives up working as tutor in coaching classes, starts helpline to guide students for competitive exams; 38-year-old says he will offer free training to poor students

Inspired by an appeal made by Anna Hazare, an ardent fan of the anti-corruption crusader has quit his well-paying job and jumped into the social service sector.

Anna effect: Fardeen Khan says Anna Hazare's anti-graft crusade
helped him firm his decision to fight commercialisation of education.
Pic/Krunal Gosavi

Mechanical engineering graduate Fardeen Khan (38), a professor of physics at some of the city's top coaching institutes that prepare students for competitive exams like the IIT entrance and other engineering exams, has started a helpline to guide students who are fed up with the money-mindedness of private coaching classes and are interested in appearing for competitive exams.

Khan's initiative will not only provide information to students but also carry out aptitude tests, counselling and guidance sessions free of cost.

Taking the plunge
Ask him about the inspiration for quitting his career midway and Khan promptly replies that it was Hazare's recent crusade against corruption and his call to the nation that helped him take the decision.

Khan said he had been thinking about taking the plunge for a while, and Hazare's call precipitated the action.
"I started teaching in some of the best institutes in Kota, which is the country's centre as far as coaching for competitive exams go. Even after shifting to Pune four years ago, I wasn't satisfied as I saw how much private institutes fleece students and parents. They are just interested in money, not in a student's careers.
I always wanted to do something for poor students who are deserving but can't afford coaching, but didn't have the guts then," Khan said. "When Hazare appealed to the nation to fight corruption in education, I felt my calling had come."

Khan's helpline number is actually his mobile number -- 9373261056 -- that he has dedicated for queries from students and parents. Besides guidance, Khan's helpline will also provide free coaching to a few deserving students who can not afford expensive coaching classes. His dream is to help deserving students pursue engineering on the lines of 'Super 30', Bihar's free coaching centre which helps economically backward students.

"Initially, the number will be small as I also need to scour for sources of income for myself. I will be doing tie-ups with educational institutes and colleges for teaching their students interested in competitive exams at nominal fees. This will help me sustain myself and my helpline will be completely free of cost for students," Khan said.

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