Ensuring his daughters’ education: Shindewadi parent’s journey as a co-educator

Deepak Mahida is a private caretaker with a 12 hour duty of attending to patients. He is also the father of two young daughters currently studying at Akanksha’s Shindewadi Mumbai Public School – Hiral, an incoming 3rd grader and Lavanya, a recently enrolled Sr Kg student. A 9th-pass himself, Deepak is battling all odds to ensure that his daughters continue to learn during the pandemic via online classes.

Having only 1 digital device in the household, a mobile phone, Deepak bhaiya attend’s Hiral’s classes while on duty to make sure that she doesn’t miss anything. After reaching home after his 8AM-8PM shift, Deepak bhaiya sits down to teach Hiral the day’s lessons and ensures that she completes her assignments. Moreover, if bhaiya ever misses out on an assignment or is unable to understand a concept taught in class, he makes an extra effort to refer to a fellow child’s assignment, a feat possible thanks to his connection with fellow parents and the SMC (school management committee).  “I’m doing all of this for her only – I want to make sure she is participating in activities that help her grow,” says Deepak bhaiya.

When asked how he used to manage things during the pandemic, Deepak bhaiya presents a very poignant story. When the lockdown had lifted and bhaiya went back to work, he made sure that he came back home early around 6 PM to teach Hiral. However, post the first few months, it became clear that leaving his patients early was not a sustainable option.

His biggest challenge remains the continued closure of schools. Deepak bhaiya experiences the difference between his own teaching at home and the classroom environment. He is also concerned about his daughters missing out on fundamental lessons, especially when bhaiya misses classes for 3-4 days. 

“I’d be very happy if schools re-open soon. My wife has passed in Grade 4, so she is unable to teach the children, I mostly have to manage on my own.Take my younger daughter for instance, it is a struggle  to get her to sit and pay attention. By the time I reach home late in the evening, my younger one is asleep or tired. I am only able to teach Hiral when I reach home by 9:45-10.” adds Deepak bhaiya.

Despite returning home late at night, around 9:45-10 PM, Deepak bhaiya ensures that he teaches Hiral when he is back. Deepak bhaiya’s commitment and dedication to ensuring a quality education for his children is truly commendable. His efforts and energy working towards this aspiration makes Deepak bhaiya the ultimate parent partner and Akanksha co-educator!

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