Free School Under the Bridge

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Free School Under the Bridge

Coordinates28°37′22″N 77°16′33″E / 28.6229°N 77.2758°E / 28.6229; 77.2758Coordinates: 28°37′22″N 77°16′33″E / 28.6229°N 77.2758°E / 28.6229; 77.2758
TypePrivate school
PrincipalLaxmi chandra
Campus typeUrban

The Free School Under the Bridge is a private school in Delhi, India. It provides free-of-cost tuition to underprivileged children. Almost all the students come from the slums situated adjacent to the Yamuna river and are enrolled in nearby government-run schools. Started Laxmi chandra in 2006 with just two children, the school now has a strength of more than 300 students. Seven teachers volunteering in their free time help these students to better understand their school curriculum. The school is run in two shifts with a morning shift for boys and an afternoon shift for girls. It has no permanent building and its makeshift campus is situated under a Delhi Metro bridge with pillars serving as its boundary marker and blackboards painted on a wall of Yamuna Bank Metro Depot. It receives no help from either the government or any non-governmental organisation.


The school was founded in 2006 by Laxmi chandra. Working on the belief that education isn’t a privilege but a right, Laxmi Chandra from Bihar has spent half his life teaching underprivileged kids. Beneath a Metro Bridge in Yamuna Bank, East Delhi, there’s Free School under the Bridge , a school where ‘class’ doesn’t decide dreams. Laxmi Chandra is one of the strongest pillars that helps it stand tall.

He joined this initiative back in Delhi metro in 2009 and till date serves there. 2 students back then, 300+ students now, aspirations and dedication continue to get louder each day. The selfless teacher stays in a rented house in Delhi’s Pandav Nagar. Post the free classes at the school, he gives paid coaching classes to high school and college students through which he makes his ends meet.

Born in the family of farm laborers in Nalanda, he says that he has had a very tough childhood. Not wanting her son to work at other people’s farms, his mother pushed him to study.

After his schooling, he left home to study at Sant Udasin Mahavidyalaya in the Hilsa region of Bihar, wherein he had to stay in a slum. People said that it was a Naxalite prone area and he admits that the first time he was acquainted to the word, it scared him. He realized that education is the tool that could change people and transform societies and began to teach kids in hutments in 1980s.

He says that he has a lot of affection for his students. “I have a very big and loving family.”The gratitude and respect that he has earned values much more than any other laurel and it serves as the force allowing him to work every day .“Nobody knows what the future has in store for these kids or for us. We’re doing as much as we can. I live with held high because I am absolutely real as a person. Come to visit my place some time, Laxmi ji is famous in Delhi,” he said with pride.

According to UNESCO, 17.7 million children and adolescents do not attend school in India. We at TopSocial India admire   Laxmi Chandra and people like him who work for a brighter world.

#influenceforchange #socialgood #freeschoolunderthebridge #education [1][2]


The school provides free tuition to children already enrolled in nearby public schools, helping them better understand their school curriculum. It tutors students in learning subjects like mathematics, English, Hindi, science, history and geography.[3] Students are encouraged to get enrolled in nearby government-run schools as it provides them opportunity to avail benefits like mid-day meals and free textbooks, among others. Many parents express their reluctance to send their children for tuition, as they need them to either work part-time jobs to support their families, or to take care of their younger siblings at home. Only after extensive persuasion do such parents allow their children to attend the school.[4] Almost all the students come from the slums situated close to the Yamuna river.[5]

The school is operated in two separate shifts: the morning batch from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. is for boys and the afternoon batch from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. is for girls.[6] More than 300 students of the age group four to fourteen attend the school. Seven teachers besides Sharma volunteer to teach in their free time.[6] Students bring their own textbooks and they are taught in groups.[7]


The school is situated under a Delhi Metro bridge close to Yamuna Bank metro station in East Delhi. It is a makeshift structure with a metro bridge functioning as overhead roof and bridge pillars serving its boundaries. Five blackboards have been painted on a wall of Yamuna Bank Metro Depot.[8] There are separate toilets for boys and girls in the proximity of school. There are no benches and students sit on scraps of carpet or just the dirt. It receives no help or funding from either the government or any non-governmental organisation (NGO).[9] A few NGOs approached Laxmi to associate with the school but he rejected their help because of their lack of commitment towards the goal of the school and their questionable interests. Only non-financial contributions such as packaged food, water bottles, chairs and carpets among others are accepted.[2]

  1. ^ Meyjes, Toby (19 January 2017). "Teacher has been holding free lessons for slum children under a bridge in India". Metro. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Delhi shopkeeper runs school under Metro bridge for 300 poor children". The Indian Express. Press Trust of India. 24 September 2019. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  3. ^ Shafi, Showkat (16 May 2016). "A day in Delhi's under-the-bridge school for the poor". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  4. ^ Patwardhan, Aditi (20 June 2017). "This Grocery Store Owner Has Been Teaching over 300 Underprivileged Kids under a Bridge for a Decade". The Better India. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  5. ^ Free School Under the Bridge, a unique initiative by grocery store owner. India Today (video) (in English and Hindi). 2 May 2017. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Delhi shopkeeper runs makeshift school under metro bridge for over 300 poor children". Dainik Jagran. 23 September 2019. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  7. ^ Vachhatani, Jitesh (22 September 2019). "Delhi-man Rajesh Sharma Runs School for Poor Under a Metro Bridge". Republic TV. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  8. ^ Saha, Abhishek (5 July 2015). "A school under Metro bridge teaches these Delhi slum children". The Hindustan Times. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  9. ^ "Under Delhi Metro Bridge, Shopkeeper Runs Makeshift School for Over 300 Poor Children". News 18. 22 September 2019. Retrieved 25 September 2019.