Balasore: With schools being closed, students have struggled to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic as they are confined to their homes and online classes.
For those children who have lost both their parents to COVID-19, life is even more miserable.
Two Balasore teachers have come as a godsend for them.
Ashish Dwivedy and Dr Shakti Shankar Acharya have started online classes for students of Class VIII to Class XII. They are not charging any fees for COVID orphans.
Dr Acharya was a scientist at the Institute of Physics in Bhubaneswar while Dwivedy was working with Punjab National Bank.
Both had a keen interest in teaching and quit their jobs in 2018 to start a coaching centre at Raja Bagicha in Balasore. They named it ‘Prodigy’, where six more lecturers joined.
Along with high school studies, they train students for engineering and medical entrance exams.
“We noticed that some students left the coaching centres after losing their parents to COVID. We couldn’t see them in pain and decided to offer them free coaching,” Dwivedy said.
“We are teaching them Class VIII to XII syllabus, and have also committed to prepare them for both medical and engineering entrance examinations free of cost,” he added.
Dwivedy said their aim is help them become self-dependent.
“We want more such students to come to us. As we are conducting online classes now, students from all over Odisha can join our class. I hope more teachers of our state think about the future of students who have lost their parents due to COVID or for any other reason,” Dwivedy appealed.