Adversity made this Bihar school teacher think differently
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Saurabh Suman, a government school teacher in Bihar, was excited about the difficulties faced by a boy with disabilities and inspired him to come up with something innovative for people with disabilities and incorporate innovation into school-level education.

Journey towards innovation

Prototypes and mockups created by Saurabh, a computer science teacher at Lalit Narayan Lakshmi Narayan Project Balika Ucch Vidayalay, Triveniganj, Supaul, and his students caught the attention of the district officials during their official school visits. “My journey to innovation in education and putting it into practice began after a student told her brother with different abilities about her problems. The boy always cried to communicate with his family, which forced me to think of something innovative, ”says the 37-year-old school teacher.

Saurabh and his students won the best model at the 2018 Eastern India Science Fair in Calcutta for depicting a model for transportation and communication. He also made a chip-enabled stick for the visually impaired. “The stick called ‘Smart Stick’ warns you if an obstacle appears in front of you while walking,” says Saurabh. At first he was upset about being stationed in a village, but now he’s grateful for the job that gave him the opportunity to improve his skills. “Sometimes adversity makes us think differently,” he adds.

He thanks his headmaster for helping him run innovative projects on campus. Saurabh also thanks “Teachers of Bihar”, a social media platform that gave him the opportunity to communicate with his colleagues from different districts to exchange ideas.

Saurabh was born and raised in Chapra, a city in Bihar. He is overwhelmed with the praises. However, this has put pressure on him to come up with unique ideas to encourage students, most of them from disadvantaged groups.

Challenges


Through regular participation in the national competition and recognition, the students and their parents recognized him. “At first it was difficult for me to convince parents to allow their daughters to take part in the events because they have to travel to different cities,” says Saurabh, who calls on colleagues to support the girls on campus. After COVID-19, he developed a chip-capable I-Card that detects violations of social distancing norms. “People who wear the I-Card receive a warning if the user’s social distancing is not observed. It’s especially important for the visually impaired, ”he says.

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