Murshidabad: Babar Ali was CNN-IBN's Real Hero in 2009 as he was perhaps the youngest school principal in the world. It's a unique school where a 27-year-old Mumtaz Begum sits attentively and listens to the teacher and her 7-year-old daughter studies in the nearby classroom. Mumtaz is in her 9th standard and wants to give board exams next year.
Babar was a young and lanky 16-year-old when CNN-IBN met him two years ago, running one of the most impoverished schools in Murshidabad about 200 kilometres away from Kolkata. It was a school without a roof, where students were cramped under the sun. The teachers were mostly senior students from nearby schools. But today things are different.
"We've started class 9. My next step is to add class 10, 11 and 12 and then in future I want to set up a college here," Babar said.
The number of students of Ananda Shiksha Niketan have increased from 600 to 800. And the girls there have done their teacher proud by passing board exams. From the money he won at the Real Heroes awards, he's bought land for a permanent building for his school. But the construction hasn't started because funds have run out.
"Once I have sufficient funds, I'll start the work on a permanent building," he said. Even as Babar crunches numbers, he's much to be proud of. He's just cleared his 2 years of college.