A Deputy Superintendent of Police in Jharkhand, Vikas Chandra Srivastava, runs a free online ‘pathshala’ which gives coaching to hundreds of youth from marginalised sections of society preparing for various competitive examinations.
This initiative by Srivastava has come as a ray of hope in the lives of countless youth from Jharkhand and neighbouring Bihar.
More than 60 students studying in the school run by the DSP have cleared several examinations conducted by the Public Service Commissions of Jharkhand and Bihar.
Apart from this, more than 100 students have cleared the entrance examinations for the police, SSC, Sergeant, including many other competitive examinations.
In the recently conducted Jharkhand Public Service Commission’s examination for the 7th to 10th edition, 32 out of the 252 candidates who successfully cleared the final round of the examination had studied in ‘DSP ki Pathshala’ run by the police officer.
Srivastava was felicitated by Jharkhand Education Minister Jagarnath Mahto who invited him to his residence on Sunday.
Vikas, who became a DSP in the Jharkhand police, after clearing the JPSC third batch examination in 2012, is a resident of Hazaribagh.
He used to teach history and general knowledge to students even while preparing for the competitive exams. The year he cracked the State Civil Services examination, six other students who were taught by him also successfully cleared the IAS exam in the same year.
Even after his appointment as DSP, he did not stop teaching other people. During his posting in Ranchi and Deoghar, he used to visit the library and sometimes visit a school or college to teach students.
He told IANS that even when he used to visit a village for inspection, he would try to spare some time to reach out to students and guide them for future preparation.
During his posting as the DSP in Deoghar for more than two years, he used to regularly teach students preparing for competitive examinations every day at the Ambedkar Library located just behind his residence.
Similarly, in Ranchi, as soon as he got some free time, he used to take classes in a tribal hostel and sometimes in the Central library of Ranchi University.
He started taking online classes on the ‘Zoom’ app when physical teaching in schools had come to a standstill during the Covid-induced lockdowns. Hundreds of students joined his classes during the pandemic.
In July 2021, he created a small YouTube channel called ‘DSP Ki Pathshala’. On this online social media channel, he would conduct live classes for four to five days every week in which 500 to 600 students directly connected to him and studied.
Later, Srivastava would record these online classes on YouTube so that the students could use it as per their convenience. His YouTube channel currently has more than 47,000 subscribers. Apart from this, he has formed groups on Telegram, through which nearly 5,000 students are directly connected to him. He provides study notes and tips to the students through these online social media groups.
The 47-year-old is currently posted at the Investigation Training School of Ranchi police. Due to this every night after completing his duty as a police officer, he gets some time for teaching students. This time he took online classes to prepare for the JPSC Civil Services P.T, Mains and Interview round.
He also organised a physical teaching session for 10 days to prepare students for the interview round of the JPSC Civil Services. He invited nearly ten experts for holding a mock interview. The outcome of this teaching exercise was that during the final round of the examination, more than 10 per cent of the successful candidates were those who had taken guidance from ‘DSP ki Pathshala’.
Prior to this, in the JPSC 6th Batch examination, Administrative Services Cadre first topper Suman Gupta and second topper Ashok Bharti had prepared under the guidance of Srivastava. In this batch, 12 candidates studying in his free coaching class successfully cleared the competitive examination. Similarly, five candidates selected for DSP in the fifth batch examination were taught by him.
Vikas said that so far 16 of his students have been selected for DSP and 25 for Administrative Services and other cadres. In 2012, 62 of his students were successful in the reinstatement examination for Inspector and Sergeant posts.
Vikas has been personally helping the poor and underprivileged students. Two years ago a student from Madhupur had qualified for NIT, but he did not have the money to pay for his admission. At that time, he had provided financial assistance of Rs 40,000 from his own salary. There are a large number of students who have been provided books and study material.
Vikas considers his late father Avinash Chandra Srivastava as his role model. His father was a teacher at a high school. He said, “I learnt from my father that whatever we acquire, including knowledge, by living in the society, we do not have a personal right over it. Every one of us must try to give back something to the society according to our capability. The DSP’s job is my means of livelihood while education is my religion.”