He was 26 when he began teaching the students with a one-taka fee. He is now 70 and price of many things have skyrocketted, but that fee still remains unchanged.
This is Lutfar Rahman, who they fondly call 'Ak Takar Master' (the teacher who teaches for Tk 1) at village Baguria in Gaibandha.
"Most of the people here are poor. They don't want to educate their children as they can't afford private tuition. This is why I teach them on a minimal fee."
“I’m not benefitted, but poor people’s children are getting educated and that’s my satisfaction,” he said.
Baguaria is five kilometres away from the district town. People who lost everything to river erosion live in ten-shed houses along a damn by river Brahmaputra that runs across the village. Lutfar lives in one of those houses.
On a recent visit there, he was seen teaching his students on his yard.
Every day he starts teaching in the morning and continues till afternoon. In four batches a number of 35 students from grade one to five are taught for about two hours at a stretch.
A number of students said Lutfar Rahman was their teacher for a long. “Our parents sent us to him as he doesn’t take much and we're doing well in our studies too,” one of them said.
“Any other teacher would take Tk 500 per month whereas Lutfar sir takes Tk 1 only per day," said Durjay Kumar, a fifth grader at local GUK School and son of fisherman Ruidash Kumar.
"A beggar doesn’t even take one taka nowadays, but Lutfar Sir teaches for only one taka," said Salma Begum, guardian of another student Zuthi Khatun.
“He teaches us for a long period,” said Mahmudul Islam, a second grader of another local school, Moddho Baguria Government Primary School. A teacher at the school, Shahin Miah, said, "I've seen Lutfar Rahman teaching for a long time and the students are being benefitted too."
According to Lutfar's family and the locals, he passed secondary exams in 1970 and higher secondary exams in 1974. He got married in 1975 and then started teaching after not getting any jobs. At that time he taught 10-15 students with one taka.
"I've been able to educate the poor and neglected ones, this is my return. I'll teach them for as long as I can. Many of my students have got good jobs," he said.
Lutfar has two sons and two daughters. His daughters are married while his living is managed by his elder son Lavlu Miah who is an auto-rickshaw driver. Lutfar’s little son Mashiur studies at a madrasa.
Lutfar's wife Latiful Begum said her husband remains busy throughout the day teaching. "It is his passion. If we ask him to stop he gets sad," she said.
*This piece has been rewritten in English by Nusrat Nowrin.