To celebrate and explore the potential of student leadership, Teach For All is collecting and sharing stories from across the network and around the globe. When students LEAD, we all LEARN.

Teach For India

Shabaan : Fighting all odds towards becoming the next Sachin Tendulkar of India

Student Leaders
Shabaan Farooqui, Mahim Mori Road Municipal School, Mahim, Mumbai
Adult Supporter
Shivangi Thakur
Age of Students

Please describe how your students exercised their leadership and the impact they had.

Background: Shabaan, a young boy of the age of 15 studying in Grade 8, aspires to be a successful cricketer(batsman) one day. Coming from the biggest slums in India-Dharavi (In Mumbai) where even the basic things like clean water, proper toilets, food and shelter is not easy to get. It is overpopulated, cramped and confined, with an average family size of 9-10. In these conditions, it indeed gets challenging to even make it to school each day. But, Shabaan is different .
After losing his father when he was merely 8 years old changed the world for him.He had to leave his education and go back to his village in Allahabad(Uttar Pradesh). He had just completed his Grade 2. His relatives put him in a Hindi-medium school in the village where he repeated Grade 1 and Grade 2 again.His 2 years of education suffered tremendously.After 2 years,he came back to Mumbai with his mother and elder brother who had to quit his education(after Grade 8) to start working for providing the financial support to his family..At such a young age,where coming to school is a basic right for all,it was nothing less than a privilege for him of coming to school everyday to continue his studies.He tells me,that his elder brother always supports him in every aspect of his life.His elder brother sees himself getting educated through Shabaan ,who teaches him at home.He wants to become a successful and respectful human being before becoming anything else.
Shabaan is very passionate about Cricket .He wants to play Cricket for India.He has even joined a Cricket Club last year to improve his skills. Last year,during a TeachForIndia Inter-school Cricket tournament , he was the Captain of the School Team.Keeping the whole team together,motivating them to come for practices before school and after school, he showcased exemplar team work and the qualities of a leader. A particular instance ,where he displayed these leadership qualities was some hours before a particular match of the Tournament.His entire team was falling into pieces and everyone wanted to play their own game. He got them all back, gave them such a motivational speech on team work , that each of the student was re-energised and full of positivity after that. Piece by piece brought the whole team together as one .He was a true leader for me at that moment itself. For me, and for my class, he is a student leader.

What role did you play in supporting your students’ leadership?

As a teacher, my role has been providing a constant support system for Shabaan whenever he needed me at any time;anywhere, giving him exposure to the various issues in the world, imbibing values in him consistently and helping him find his light and making it shine .

What did you and your students learn in this activity that will endure beyond today?

Consistent activities in the classroom and beyond ,where each student is pushed to think much beyond the curriculum textbooks and help them nurture their young minds. Shabaan is a role model for many students in my class and the rest of the school.