By our Bureau
GUWAHATI, Feb 13: Mithu (Dev) Das Choudhury gets very busy since early morning – preparing her lone child for school, her husband for office and, of course, having to take care of 60 odd toddlers who swarm to her premises from 9 am.
Meet the Bengali-speaking Assamese lady from a small hill township in Assam who has been making it big of late in West Bengal by carving a name for herself in less than a year due to her initiative.
Hailing from Diphu, headquarters of Karbi Anglong district and daughter of late Samir Kanti Dev who once ran the town’s well-known sweet meat shop “Madhumita Sweets”, Mithu is now a proud owner of Hooghly district’s first local pre-school Toddler House at Bhadreswar on the outskirts of eastern India’s busy metropolis Kolkata.
Starting the pre-school with just nine kids on 15th April 2017, Toddler House now boast of 60 children with three Montessori-trained teachers and equal number of attendants, besides a house cleaner, to look after the young minds.
Seeing such enthusiastic public response to her initiative in the last nine months, the owner-cum-Principal now has plans to open branches of her pre-school in different towns of Hooghly district, besides Assam.
“Honestly, even I did not expect such an enthusiastic public response and I was pleasantly surprised at this. But having got the positive feedback and requests from some neighbouring towns, I plan to open branches very soon, even in my home State Assam,” Mithu elaborates.
So what does her pre-school teach the young minds? Besides teaching them table manners, toilet training and writing skills, the children are also given activity-based learning so as to prepare them for formal schools. And not just the toddlers, even workshops are conducted for parents where they are given tips on how to face school interviews.
As Mithu explains, “As everyone knows, admission into most of the leading schools today is very difficult and where parents too need to face interviews. We prepare both a child and its parents for normal school by providing them basic tips.”
Equipped with modern tool of learning, including smart classrooms, and child-friendly toilet, Toddler House admits children from the age of 1.6 years up to 4.6 years.
Having completed her schooling from Binapani High School, Diphu and graduating from Diphu Government College, Mithu’s first brush with teaching profession began in 2000 when she joined United Christian English High School at Diphu as a teacher. Later, after her marriage with Samrat Das Choudhury from Silchar, who works with Indian Railways, Mithu moved to Bhadreswar along with her husband and where she is currently settled.
Before starting Toddler House, Mithu also served as teachers at Ganges Gurukul School and St Thomas School, both at Chandenagore town of Hooghly district, and Principal of Little Laureate School.
With a teaching experience of over 17 years, what made her start a pre-school?
Mithu explains, “I always wanted to start something on my own and do something that benefits the society. And what better way to do this than start a pre-school for kids that prepares them for their next stage of life.”
Toddler House even organized a sports day for its children at Bhadreswar’s local playground on 11th February where Ishan Porel, a member of the under-19 Indian cricket team that lifted the recently-held U-19 ICC World Cup, was felicitated.
Prizes were given away by Ishan to kids who won different sporting events organised that day.
Mithu is ably supported by her husband Samrat and daughter Tulip, who’s a student of class VI now.