Dinesh Dwivedi – 12-year-old never went to school runs coaching institute

At the age of 12, Dinesh Dwivedi is called 'guruji' by hundreds of students who dream of cracking Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and other competitive examinations. Dinesh has never studied in a school, but is able to solve tough IIT-level questions pertaining to Mathematics, physics and chemistry. Hailing from a rural background, he lives in a rented accommodation with his parents and siblings in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. For the past two years, he has been teaching students, who are far elder to him. Not only does he explain the methodology and solves difficult questions within seconds, Dinesh is also competent enough to pose questions on his own on any given topic in the three subjects. Students preparing for engineering exams are surprised because Dinesh does not have any formal educational qualifications, but imparts tuitions to those who cannot afford expensive coaching classes and also teaches many free of charge. His fame is not restricted to his area alone. Popularly known as 'the wonder boy of the city' and born to a farmer father and an uneducated mother, he is giving stiff competition to other coaching institutes in and around the region. Is it true you have never attended school? Yes. I went to a primary school only once along with my father when I was five-years-old. There, I found a teacher beating the children. No one had ever raised a hand on me, so I became very scared and refused to go to school the next day. Since I was the youngest of the three sisters and a brother and a very pampered child, no one forced me to study. Later, though, my father taught me numbers and tables, after which I developed interest in Mathematics. I must have been around eight then. How did your tryst with education happen? My elder brother, Om Shankar, who was doing his graduation, one day decided that it was enough and that I should study and learn some mathematics. When he started teaching me, he was surprised to see me grasp everything immediately. He guided me further and I was quick to register it all in mind. Within six months, I cleared the syllabus of Class 6 and 7 and subsequently cleared the entire course of Class 8 to Class 11 in the next six months. It included Science and Maths and I was just a nine-year-old at that time. So, how did you begin teaching students nearly twice your age? Our father was a private schoolteacher and seeing him, my brother had started taking tuitions of children at home. One day, when he was not available for classes, just for fun, I taught students of my age. When my brother came to know, he was very surprised. Soon I began solving questions of Class 12 and then IIT and other competitive examinations. Are you running a proper coaching centre? Not really. It cannot be called a formal coaching centre, as it neither has a name nor any registration. I do not charge any fee from students. Many of them pay whatever and whenever they can afford. The few well-off students do pay and a lot of them are ready to pay any amount for a seat in my class, but I do not have much space and have to turn down some of them. How many students come to study at the centre? It began with over 100 students and the number is over 300 now. The students belong to the lower strata of society, but some belong to the upper crust and are children of police officers and senior lawyers. While many are from different districts in Uttar Pradesh, some also come from other states including Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand. And how many of them clear competitive exams? I am confident and can say it with pride that even students weak in studies begin to do well at my institute. Over 100 students have succeeded in gaining entry into prestigious institutions after undergoing coaching at my place. Many have since joined banks, civil services and the police force. What do you aim to do in life? I want to clear Class 12 and then sit for IIT examinations. The only hitch till now has been no school has allowed me to appear for examinations, as I am underage for the boards. My aim is to some day top IIT and then appear for the Civil Services exams and become a District Magistrate. Or I might even do some groundbreaking discovery in the field of science by becoming a scientist. It is too early to say anything at this stage, but until then I am utilising my time, as I want to produce as many IITians and Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officers for the good of the country. They should be able to bring about a change in the country's administrative system with their progressive thinking. Can we say you are blessed with special powers? I do not boast but the remarkable results of my students who appear in several exams do speak volumes. For me, teaching, which I do in English without the help of books or notes in hand, is just a hobby. And I can challenge people to give me any problem sum to solve. Dinesh Dwivedi was born on August 15, 2002 in village Khivlikla, district Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, to mother Savitri and father Harivansh Dwivedi. He has never attended school, but has the potential to make even weak students clear tough exams. Since the age of 10, he has been teaching students appearing for Indian Institute of Technology and other competitive examinations.