Patna, Jan 16 : Generally, devotees reach religious places to worship God, but a temple in Bihar is frequented for studies.
Sasaram in Bihar's Rohtas district houses a Jain temple in which students of nearby areas come for group studies. Students, who are not financially sound, come here to prepare for Railways, banking services and other competitive exams.
The unique thing about this coaching is that it does not have any teacher, and students participate in regular classes, quiz and mock tests.
The entire exercise began 16 years ago in 2006 when two youths -- Chote Lal Singh and Rajesh Paswan, who tried to get themselves enrolled into coaching institutes in Sasaram, were unable to do so as they could not afford the fee.
Undeterred by this, they started preparing for government exams in Mahavir temple where they used to study.
Chote Lal, who works in Rail Wheel Plant, Bela in Chhapra, said, "Many students have joined us, and currently, 700 students are associated with 'Mahavir Quiz and Test Centre'." Chote Lal said Paswan is working in Indian Railways near Kolkata.
Around 600-700 students who studied at the 'Mahavir Quiz and Test Centre' have got jobs in government sector. Though it is a challenge to manage resources for the centre, students who have studied here donate, which helps in running the show, he added.
He said, to give more time to the centre, he left his job of loco pilot, and is working in nearby rail wheel plant.
"Here, we do not employ teacher. On the basis of performance in quiz and mock tests, children are selected to teach other kids. Only children who top in internal examination are given honorarium, so that they can meet their education related expenditure," Chote Lal said.
Avinesh Kumar Singh, who completed his engineering in Bhubaneswar and came here to prepare for Bihar Public Service Commission, said this has become a platform to share knowledge. "We cannot have such a good group discussion anywhere else. Here, students learn from each other and work on their shortcomings," Avinesh claimed.
Ritesh Kumar, who is preparing for Railways, said classes function from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and in between there is interval too.
He said that students come here to appear for written and oral tests for free. Besides current affairs, maths, reasoning and other subjects are taught as per requirement.
Raj Kamal said: "We were facing difficulty due to power outage in night but a neighbour helped us by providing an inverter connection".