Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh: Social worker Kuldeep Kamal, who is a Rapido captain by profession, is sailing the ship of “digital literacy” for many unprivileged children.

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Kuldeep Kamal, 35, a loving father and a husband once used to work for tech giant Dell as a Store Manager almost an year ago.

An office assignment asked Kuldeep to make visits in government schools for promotion of Aarambh India amongst students of elementary classes.

Aarambh India is a NGO that works with various forums to aware people and children about child abuse and harassment.

It was during this Aarambh scheme trip that Kuldeep learnt school children might still be far from attaining digital-literacy. “I was surprised to see children of Class 8th didn’t know how to use mouse and keyboard,” said Kuldeep.

Due to such lapses, “computer laboratories” that lay a standard foundation of academic syllabuses are yet absent in many institutions.

In an attempt to educate students without any “fee” about digital-literacy and its importance, Kuldeep began to hunt for free classes in similar schools. After many attempts, the administration started providing him periods that were free.

It was during this turning point in his life, he began to realize working full-time with the tech company left him no time for his compassionate goals. He soon left his job with Dell and joined Rapido, a company that provides bike taxi services.

Rapido captain initially felt ‘depressed’ as he could fetch only one class a month in between his Rapido rides. “Now times have changed, in the last 8 months, I’ve conducted around 75 classes,” said Kuldeep.

“I’ve been borrowing laptops from my friends that also help recreate an effect of ‘Computer Laboratories’ while I’m teaching,” said Rapido captain who neither owns a computer nor a laptop.

“Government schemes that are specifically tailored for children studying in non-private schools apply for students from class 8th to 12th,” said Kamal who has so far taught the students about basic yet significant things of the online world. From applying for jobs, enrolling in examinations to checking results.

“Private tuitions are a heavy expense,” he said spotting light on financial concerns that aspirants of government exams go through. “School doesn’t provide proper computer education so they later have to join coachings that only heavy pocketed ones can afford.”

Captain Kamal who is also a father to 6-months-old daughter admitted there was a 30 percent to 40 percent drop in his salary when he left his job at Dell, but the flexibility that Rapido provides him, he is able to pursue both, his work and passion.

Giving friends the credit for keeping his confidence “high” at all times, he said: “They are a huge support system for me from emotionally supporting me in my journey to financially guiding me to choose the right path.”

Social worker Kuldeep aims to educate for “free” and hopes to soon start an NGO to make students competent on a larger scale.

Story by Hemali Khanna

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