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Sasaram station doubles up as study centre for students as railways extend helping hand

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Doubling up as a place of learning, Sasaram railway station helps youngsters to come together and prepare for competitive and entrance examinations

Bihar’s Sasaram railway station looks like any other normal station busy and bustling with trains, passengers and freight. Yet it gets metamorphosed into a place of learning every morning and evening for two hours, when the platform 1 and 2 sees young boys in droves studying and discussing current affairs, subjects and topics. Their aim is to crack the tough competitive examinations for jobs and admissions to top institutions.

Sasaram station located in Bihar’s Rohtas district that became a temporary haven for students started many years ago.

According to an article in The Hindu Business Line, it all started in 2002-2003 when a few students started coming to the station to study. One would wonder why? The reason is shocking but true as the place had electricity supply 24x7. Now nearly two decades later, the practice continues as one finds youngsters in hundreds huddled together or sitting alone, going through books preparing for entrance and competitive exams for Government jobs, Railways, banks, and private institutions and also job interviews. The station’s study group is called Quiz.

What is truly amazing is that none of these participants pay anything for learning and preparing for the tests. Mock questions papers required for preparation are also available for a small amount.

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Talking to HBL, Santosh who is from Kochas in Rohtas district said he just paid Rs.3 for a set of 100 questions. Highlighting the importance of these sessions at the station he said: “It helps to sharpen the competitive edge. I will sit for every exam that I am eligible for. I may not clear at the first instance, but at least I will get the exposure and do better next time.”

It is all business during the morning and evening sessions. Throwing light on this, Sandip Kumar Srivastava who comes from Sila village in Kochas told media: “Not only is the environment at these coaching classes conducive but the methodology adopted by the groups also ensures weeding out of non-serious students. If any student missed the sessions for even two days in a week, he is ousted from the group unless he has a credible reason to be absent. A list is put out on the students’ performance group-wise.”

Mock exams too are conducted to make the candidates ready. The effectiveness of this centre can be gauged from the fact that anyone who joins Quiz clears at least one exam to land a job.

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Railway authorities play a vital role as they help the students and have provided them identity cards to avoid any harassment. Further the youngsters ensure that the place is kept neat and clean and that they don’t disturb anyone. What is truly touching is that even passengers who either come to board or disembark at the station, also avoid disturbing the students busy studying.

What makes this coaching centre special is the fact that there are no paid teachers and it is volunteers who help the students coming there. Besides, there are some teachers who are teaching in regular paid institutes who too contribute by teaching here free. Seniors and those who have passed out also drop in to guide the new candidates.

Even though the 24x7 power supply is no longer the star attraction of this station, it still beckons youngsters as the atmosphere is conducive to serious studying while the results speak for themselves.