Meet Kanpur's Mehboob Malik, a chai-seller who has given free education to 1.5K underprivileged kids

Meet Kanpur's Mehboob Malik, a chai-seller who has given free education to 1.5K underprivileged kids

Malik also runs an NGO, ‘Ma Tujhe Salaam Foundation’, and uses 80% of his earnings as a tea shop owner for the cause.

A tea stall owner in Kanpur who works hard to provide free education to slum children — that's Mehboob Malik for you! While he could not complete his own studies, Malik has, till date, been able to provide free education to as many as 1,500 poor students!

Coming from a financially-weak background himself, Malik had to discontinue his studies post class 10. In need of earning a wage, he opened a tea shop in Kanpur's Sharda Nagar. However, when the 34-year-old Malik saw countless poor children working as labourers instead of studying, he decided to teach and guide them.

From a tea shop to a coaching centre and NGO, Mehboob Malik has changed lives of slum kids

Malik empathised with the hapless kids and when there arose the trouble of space to teach, he chose the tea shop as the location. He started small but more and more children joined the venture. He continued to save money by compromising on any luxury and, eventually, established a coaching centre in 2017.

He later went on to start an NGO, which he named ‘Ma Tujhe Salaam Foundation’. Malik would put in 80% of his earnings to paying the coaching centre rent, study material and more for the kids. With the journey starting with 5 staff members, some volunteers and about 10 students, the enterprise has grown into a little English-medium primary school in rented hall.

"These children need direction, and if we, the adults, don't give them that, then who will? We are to blame if these innocent children walk the wrong path in life, because we failed to provide them with the education and resources when they needed it. People in my community used to call me mad, because I would work all day and then spend all my money on the education of these children... But now, when I see a smile on the faces of these children, I feel true happiness,” Malik told Milaap, a large crowdfunding platform, in an interview.

Malik, today, has been covered extensively for his charitable work. He works with 12 educators now and some of his students, famously, have grown up to become class toppers in higher classes!

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