Wednesday, February 1st, 2023 09:04:40

‘‘The journey that started with a few children has reached in millions today’’

Updated: December 17, 2022 6:42 pm

ALLEN was founded in 1988. How successful do you consider the journey so far?

ALLEN was founded by my elder brother and then I was doing engineering (final year). We two younger brothers joined in after doing engineering. Our father died in 1982. To support the family, my elder brother started teaching children at home. When his studies were completed, he got a job offer. He refused this job offer and said that he would like to teach only children. What was a necessity to teach became a passion. Together we four brothers continued this journey. The journey that started with a few children has reached in millions today. It’s all God’s grace. We started the journey with Indian values and infused discipline into the students and kept connected them with the roots of Indian culture. We always taught the students to have respect for parents, respect for Guru and loyalty towards their work because all this has been our culture. With all these things, our organisation has reached the present stage today.

How many branches do you have in India today?

Till now our centers are running in more than 50 cities. More new centers are opening across the country. A center has also been started in Delhi, which will become operational from next year. We also launched a centre in Kolkata on the 12th of this month. We are expanding to more metros, and also have our centers in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, MP, Orissa, and in South Bengaluru, Chennai, and Pondicherry from last seven to eight years. It is important to say here that it is okay to open aacenter at any place. But we have created a different tradition of teaching a child in his/her local language, in which we do not compromise with our ethics.

ALLEN is a trusted name of 34 years and you have maintained this trust very well. What is the secret behind it?

Be it education, medicine or defence, there is a great need of discipline in these three places. We started discipline with ourselves. Today, there is great importance of discipline among all of our four brothers that everything should be done on time. Along with that, we try to give an environment to fulfill the dreams of the children who come here for the dreams of their parents. There are millions of parents in India who trust ALLEN–that their child is in the right hands. Success-failure is a different thing, but whatever a child does, he/she should a complete endeavour to attain success, and this is our maxim.

Tell us about your elder brother’s early struggle, which will inspire many.

We are four brothers. There was a lot of struggle during the time of our father’s illness. He had cancer. He was a working person at the staff level. All the money was spent in the treatment of his illness. The struggle put up by both the elder brothers and our mother is a different example, because coming from there to the present level is the grace of God and our hard work. At that time, my elder brother was working in place of my father. He was the biggest example of discipline. He inculcated discipline and sanskars in our entire family and along with this he handled the entire finances of the family. Under his direction, under his discipline, both the brothers used to teach and I used to handle other works. And in this way, this struggle is an expression of our family unity and Indian culture — that we are made for each other and we moved ahead with this feeling, and achieved the present destination.

You handle ALLEN administrative work. What are the future plans for ALLEN?

All of us brothers have our own role and together we all have a plan that we can serve the people in every house of India. And for that in today’s date digital medium is the best to reach people. Just like Uday India has made a digital debut, similarly we are also going to make a digital debut very soon. For this we have joined hands with the best of the media. We are moving in the direction of digital by associating with Udayashankarji, who has given things like Star Sports and Hotstar to India. If God wills, this digital medium will become a support and companion in the education of children in every small and big house of the country.

You have now moved towards growth and investment is the most important thing for any organisation to move forward. With your growing vision, what have you thought about investments?

The entire investment in the venture with Udayashankarji will come from him. His Singapore’s company is bringing the investment. Till now, by the grace of God, whatever was needed is being fulfilled. Till date, we have not taken even a single rupee investment from anyone, but now something has to be done to take ALLEN to every household in the world. It has to be delivered, at least, in India. For this, something big will have to be done and for this we have made preparations. These people have joined hands with us and the investment to the tune of approximately $600 million will be theirs.

Today money plays a big role in promoting education. How do you balance sanskar and education with business?

Money follows behind every good thing. Lakshmi ji’s grace is there, where Saraswatiji is properly respected. So, this is the temple of Saraswatiji, we have to maintain this feeling. Now, parents want to spend money on their children but that money should be used properly. Nowadays, we spend money on education, but, many a time, we feel the child is misusing it. Time is not being put to good use. Good schools have been built, good colleges have been built, but there is a lack of sanskar. ALLEN has always tried to fill this gap that we should create such an environment for our children in which they can always be connected to their roots. There will be no such coaching institute in India that has kept the dress code in a coaching institute. ALLEN is the one who brought this concept in Kota. Today, if 3,00,000 students live in one uniform all over India, then it is at ALLEN, which shows our discipline.

Most of the students in India come from backward areas and poor families but they have lots of talent. What does ALLEN have in mind for such gifted students?

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) was implemented only now when we became a company but we have been doing this for long. You read our children’s stories — children who once had nothing are becoming doctors today. One widow girl child came and studied here and today she is in the final year of MBBS and there are many such stories. In the Corona period, when thousands of children lost their parents, out of them more than 300 children from all over India are studying at our place for free because we know they have nothing. And all such cases that come to us — such children who do not have any lack of ability but lack of resources, we try to fulfill them. But we don’t want to keep any of these things in database. W e don’t make those who come here to study disappointed.

Today children have to pay tax even for education. What would you like to say to the government so that there is a reduction in tax and you can provide more world-class facilities?

Our infrastructure is better and no one will be better than ALLEN. We have been giving good education and environment from the beginning. Till date, we have not found any deficiency in this whether in teachers or in arrangements for children. But as far as tax is concerned, this burden has started since last few years in the form of GST service tax, which is a wrong thing. For this, we made a lot of efforts and gave memorandum many times. You charge 18% GST from children, while nothing is charged for any other education. It seems that there is no place for coaching people in the field of education. Although this is also a parallel education, there are some people who have a different point of view. ALLEN is going its own separate way. We are trying to make endeavours so that the tax is reduced from 18% to 5%. The government should think about it, and it should be in terms of income. Those whose income is less, this tax should not be imposed on them, and those who have more income should pay it.

The Central Government has implemented the New Education Policy 2020, after which the entire pattern of education has changed. Have you needed to make some changes in your coaching institute due to NEP 2020?

The government is making efforts to implement the new education policy. They have said that if anything has to be implemented, which is to be implemented in the children from one to 12, then it will be implemented in 12 years starting from one. The policies and directions of the government are very good, but how do the teachers in the education world, in the government system, see it? A large section of them do jobs only in the name of job. If we look at the education system of the last 70 years, they have never fulfilled their responsibility. The education system has only done the work of giving them jobs, it has not done any great work on what the teachers have to do, who is qualified or not. You have made a very good thing, but the workforce to implement it has to be competent. We have done a lot of work on the soldiers, taught them discipline as well as provided them with the means, but no such work has been done in our country on teachers. Now ALLEN is doing this work. Whatever teachers come to us, we give them a different type of training.

What is the system for appointment of teachers in ALLEN? Why would a teacher, who has done IIT or IIM, want to join ALLEN?

We have many teachers who have done IIT. We give them training. My son-in-law is a pass-out from IIT Mumbai. He got married in 2019. I told him that you become a teacher and then he also had to go through the training process. When he passed it, only then did he become a teacher, although he had the ability. He did IIT in Chemical. But he had to learn our system of teaching, our culture, which we taught him. The process of training here is very arduous. Just like a soldier is trained, here a teacher is also trained like that. On the other hand, the teachers who are selected by our governments, they choose according to their vote bank, they do not see the merit. Qualification is very important in the education system, but our governments have not done any work on qualified teachers till now.

For so many years, you have been preparing children studying engineering, medicine, etc. The children who are studying here stay away from their parents, so what efforts do you make to strengthen their morale?

This is not a new thing in Indian culture. Lord Krishna had gone to Gurukul and Lord Rama had also gone. Today parents do not pay attention to the abilities that their children should develop in childhood. They take care of their child with great love and affection, ignoring their mischief. We used to get slapped a lot in school and thus we became strong just, and we didn’t need any psychological therapy. We knew that we have to fight ahead in life. It is very important to teach to struggle in life, learn to win life and this is what we do in Kota. When a child comes to us, we hold a motivation session with him. We explain him that if you want to become APJ Abdul Kalam or anyone else in life, then look at his life. When you constantly tell such things to children, they get inspired. In our institute, a child from Barmer used to study with a lantern in a hut. He brought his own stove and used to cook food himself, and today, he is a doctor. Such stories inspire children. The problem you are pointing towards is created by us and it is solved by the society itself. This problem of stress is very acute in those countries, which got maximum material resources. Our country is poor and poverty does not give so much stress. Poverty always teaches to struggle.

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