Over the last decade, they have helped 430 village schools and organised scholarships for 41 needy students in Ratnagiri district. In a land where the word ‘clerk’ only recalls the obstructionist, come-back-tomorrow genre of humanoids, Pawar and buddies are a rare species. They are The Little Babus That Do.
It all began when Pawar, a head clerk at a government hospital, went to his village in Ratnagiri for a summer break 15 years ago. He came across a bright young boy who was dropping out of school because his farm-hand parents could no longer afford the luxury of educating their son. "It set me thinking about the thousands of kids in our villages who never get a chance to make it," says Pawar. His own childhood school in the village barely had any facilities but, luckily, his family moved to Mumbai. "It’s sad but the schools in our villages haven’t improved much since I was a child," he says.