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PHOTOS: This man educates India’s poorest children in a school under a bridge — for free

An Indian man has become known as a hero after he began educating New Delhi’s poorest children, creating a free school for them under a metro bridge.

From the Huffington Post:

For two hours every weekday, Sharma leaves his day-job at a general store in Shakarpur — his brother fills in for him — so that he can teach the children, reported Yahoo News.

Sharma, a 40-year-old father of three from Aligarh, was forced to drop out of college in his third year due to financial difficulties. When he decided to start the free school, he didn’t want other children to face the same difficulties he had.

“Whenever I passed by this area, I would notice that children were spending all their time in the fields or playing around,” he told the Indian Express.

He eventually persuaded local laborers and farmers to allow their children to attend his school instead of working to add to the family income. He hopes to equip these children with the tools necessary to overcome their poverty.

“They come here everyday. I manage to keep them ahead of the school curriculum,” Sharma told the Indian Express.

APTOPIX India Free School

India Free School

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An Indian boy rides on the handlebar of his father’s bicycle in traffic on his way to school on a bridge over the Yamuna River in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer)

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An Indian boy tries to walk on a bridge as traffic is jammed on his way to school during a hazy morning New Delhi, India, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer)

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Indian children roll mats to take seats as a class ends at a free school run under a metro bridge in New Delhi, India. At least 30 children living in the nearby slums have been receiving free education from this school for the last three years. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

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Rajesh, 8, reads from a black board, painted on a building wall, at a free school run under a metro bridge in New Delhi, India. At least 30 children living in the nearby slums have been receiving free education from this school for the last three years. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

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A child copies lessons from a black board as he attends a free school run under a metro bridge in New Delhi, India. At least 30 children living in the nearby slums have been receiving free education from this school for the last three years. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

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Yawar Ali, 9, stands as his teacher Laxmi Chandra checks his copy at a free school run under a metro bridge in New Delhi, India. At least 30 children living in the nearby slums have been receiving free education from this school for the last three years. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

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Rajesh Kumar Sharma, left, and Laxmi Chandra, second left, teach at the free school for impoverished children run under a metro bridge in New Delhi, India.

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