The school was established in 2013 by locals to provide good education for students from economically weaker backgrounds. A building for Rs 30,000 per month was rented for the purpose.
Abhishek Shelar, principal of Emmanuel Public School, said, “For the past four months, the landlord cooperated very well — we were not asked for a single penny. But now, things are getting difficult. The times are such that we cannot even ask the parents to pay the fees as many have lost their jobs and don’t have enough money.”
Shelar is himself looking at a call centre job to manage his monthly expenses. He is undergoing 40-day training with EduBridge so that he can keep working until the situation gets better.
Anand Bhalerao who teaches maths and computers to the students, has now taken up repair works. He said, “We don’t want to give up on the teaching job even if it’s not paying us at the moment. I am now repairing electronics to sustain.”
The teachers are also making online videos and conducting tests to retain the routine. They are reaching out to their friends and relatives to extent help to any sort that will help the school to run smoothly.
Seema Shelar, a nursery teacher, has taken up baking to sustain. “These times are really difficult and it would not have been possible to go on without financial support.”
Marathi teacher Milind Devgad shared the sentiment. He feels he had no option but to find for another job. Thus, he decided to enlist as a guard. “These are testing times for all of us. I hope we will get some funding so that we can get back to teaching. But, we will not give up on the students and, whenever we resume, we will do so with enthusiasm,” he said.
Shital Salvi, a member of the nonteaching staff has now taken to selling vegetables, and stitching masks. She said, “If we had not looked for alternatives, the income would not had been steady. These days there is a lot of demand of masks and thought that this would be the best for me to venture in as I know tailoring work.”