“You Are Gyaan Singh”: How Delhi Constable Than Singh Became an Unlikely Educator During Lockdown


“You Are Gyaan Singh”: How Delhi Constable Than Singh Became an Unlikely Educator During Lockdown

Illustration: Reynold Mascarenhas

The coronavirus pandemic has hit the education sector hard. Teachers are trying to catch up to technology while students are struggling to get their hands on smartphones, laptops, and networks. While the privileged may have access to the requisite infrastructure, for those with little, it has been a nightmare.

However, there are many heroes out there trying to make a difference. Among them is Delhi Police Constable Than Singh, who has come to the rescue of underprivileged children seeking education in the national capital during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. While most classrooms around the country have shifted to online lectures, Than Singh was forced to resume his offline classes as most of his students cannot afford a smartphone.

The classes were initially shut during the lockdown. However, he decided to resume classes once restrictions were eased and he realised that his students couldn’t afford devices for online education. Most of his students are children of labourers residing in the area. Than Singh conducts his classes from Sai Temple at Red Fort.

The classes are being run following all the protocols issued by the Health Ministry. Singh said he was also teaching the children about Covid-19 best practises and safety measures that need to be taken. “I am also providing them sanitisers, masks and we practice social distancing in our class,” he added.

Social media cheered loudly for Constable Than Singh. The coronavirus pandemic has made life extremely difficult for India’s often understaffed police forces, who have to strictly enforce safety protocols among a vast population. In such circumstances, it is commendable that some men and women in uniform are going beyond their stipulated duties and bringing about positive social change in society.

Some users pointed out how Than Singh was out there in the flesh, doing whatever he can and making a difference instead of merely ranting about issues on social media.

“You’re not Than Singh, you’re actually Gyaan Singh, sir,” pointed out one user.

While the police force in many parts of the country has been criticised in the recent past for indiscrete use of power, especially during the lockdown, it is heartening to learn of Constable Than Singh and his humanity. May more officers follow his example, and instead of fearing policemen, citizens would look forward to engaging with them in a positive manner.