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Madhubani: Umesh Paswan, a village Chowkidar, doubles up as a good samaritan. He is the village chowkidar of Auraha under Laukahi police station in Madhubani district. Himself a graduate, his passion for education has prompted him to impart education to poor children of his locality and has opened a Learning Centre at his residence itself giving it the name `Aastha’.
At present, about 250 children, from class I to class-VIII, are enrolled at the centre.. Classes are held in two shifts – from 5.30 to 9.30 am and again from 6 to 9 pm. Umesh has employed two graduates, apart from his wife Priyanka who too is a graduate, to teach the children and pays Rs.5000 per month to each of them. He bears this Rs.10,000 per month expenditure on their salary from his own monthly salary as a chowkidar.
He also provides the children books and note-books free of cost and does not take any financial help from any individual or institution. He plans to construct a school building on a piece of his personal land in future and increase the number of children attached to Aastha to about a thousand.
There is another facet of Umesh’s personality. He is also a poet and has penned many poems in Hindi and Maithili. His collection in Maithili `Varnit Ras’  was given Maheshwari Singh ‘Mahesh’ prize by the Chetana Samiti in 2013. His initiative is being highly appreciated by all.

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