Durjodhan, The 18-Y-O Who’s Enabling Dropouts Do Open Schooling In Odisha - School Completion
Updated: Oct 23
Durjodhan is an 18-year-old boy from the serene village of Babupali, surrounded by lush forests and inhabited by a close-knit community of around 400 people. Despite facing numerous challenges due to his underprivileged background, Durjodhan’s determination to make a difference in his community and his passion for education has ignited a ray of hope in the lives of many.
In Babupali, education beyond the government primary school was a distant dream for many, including Durjodhan. The lack of higher educational facilities in the village, located 18 km from the nearest institute, compelled him and several other young children to drop out after completing 10th grade.
Despite his aspirations of becoming a teacher to improve the quality of education for the children, financial constraints forced him to become a daily wage labourer from a tender age to support his family.
Determined not to let his circumstances dampen his spirit, Durjodhan found a way to pursue his dream of helping children receive better schooling. He began providing free-of-cost classes to those in need, juggling his work and passion for teaching. His selflessness and dedication to his community were commendable, but his daunting challenges left him feeling quiet, low in confidence, and almost hopeless.
Amidst the gloomy atmosphere of Babupali, a glimmer of hope appeared in the form of Patang’s intervention. Initiating a child club in the village gave Durjodhan a ray of hope. Curious and hopeful about how this initiative could improve his life and community, he decided to join the child club, even with his family responsibilities weighing heavily on his shoulders.
Balancing his family obligations with active participation in the child club activities was no easy task for Durjodhan. However, with the unwavering support of a Patang volunteer, he managed to organize his schedule effectively. Slowly but surely, he developed the confidence to express his suppressed desire to continue his education.
With the guidance of the Patang team, Durjodhan took a significant step towards fulfilling his dreams. He enrolled in open schooling to complete his 10th grade, becoming the first person in the village to resume his education after a long gap. His incredible determination and motivation inspired four more dropout children to follow in his footsteps and enrol in open schooling to continue their studies. Furthermore, two young adults were also motivated to express their interest in pursuing higher education. What started as a small beginning transformed into a profound impact on the lives of many in Babupali.
Durjodhan proudly shared his transformative experience with Patang, stating, “When I initially joined the child club – an initiative by PATANG, I had a lot of questions. As my association with Patang increased, all of them cleared. Participating in child club activities improved my skills and understanding about child rights. It also helped me continue my study, which was one of my aims in life. I was quiet, lacked confidence, and feared presenting my point before others. Now I am confident enough not only to speak freely and engage with community members about dropout and child rights but also to make decisions about my life and actions.”
A School Completion Story published on "Youth Ki Awaaz"