He stands in front of his bicycle, which is equipped with a loudspeaker, a microphone, some posters and signboards. “I am sure you would not have come across such an innovative setup for English training,” grins Aditya Kumar, a Lucknow resident.
The colourful contraption is for holding his English classes on wheels. Kumar travels to various localities of Lucknow, selects a cool, leafy spot – and the classes begin!
“The response I am receiving from the public is quite heartening,” Aditya, 40, a post-graduate in English literature, told IANS.
“When people see me conducting classes, they ask me to come to their locality too. Every day I get 15-20 calls for starting the course,” added Kumar, who has also been giving home tuitions in English for the last 15 years.
Just four months into this project, Aditya already boasts of 130-odd students, of all age groups.
“Children, youths and elders have enrolled themselves for learning English. You would be surprised to know that even some mediapersons and executives are my students,” he said.
“Most of the people come to me with an urge to attain fluency in English. They say they can read and write in English but have difficulty in speaking. So my training programme primarily aims to enable people learn this art,” he added.
So what prompted him to combine Queen’s language with the common man’s transport?
“The idea came to my mind while I was struggling to generate resources for opening an institute for English training.
“The entire set-up, you see, has been prepared at just Rs.1,500. Moreover, I don’t have to spend anything on the publicity of my course. It is done automatically when I pass through the localities,” he said.
The contents of his course include oral grammar, public speaking and vocabulary, among others.
“You may ask what’s the specialty of my training…One needs to experience it…Just hold this mike and start speaking in English on any topic…Forget about the beginners, I am sure several people fluent in the language would not be able to do it properly when they see people gathering around them and staring at them in curiosity,” he said.
“There lies the problem. Several people who know the basic concepts of the language are not able to express themselves in front of an audience.
“It’s primarily due to hesitation or stage fear. So the best part of my course is that it deals in countering that hesitation, which in turn develops self-confidence in you…Believe me, if you have the self-confidence, half the battle is won,” he added.
At present, Kumar holds classes at four localities – Aliganj, Gomti Nagar, Hazratganj and Chowk.
His students, meanwhile, are lapping it up.
His one-month course is absolutely free, and he charges a meagre amount of Rs.25 for each of the nine sets of notes prepared by him on English fluency.
“I love his concept. I am sure his concept would be adopted by several other English training institutes of the city. I have been attending the classes for the last 15 days and, believe me, sir (Kumar) has done a lot to overcome my hesitation,” Zafar Ahmad, a B.Sc student, told IANS.
Vikas Chaudhary, a student of KKV Degree College, said: “I am preparing for bank exams. So my objective behind joining this course is to prepare for interviews. I also get personality development tips from Kumar sir.”