London: In a proud moment for India, a primary school teacher from Maharashtra has been declared the winner of the annual Global Teacher Prize 2020 in recognition of his efforts to promote girls’ education. The prize comes with a whopping amount of USD 1-million (Rs 7,37,85,000). Yes, more than Rs 7 crore!Also Read - 'Proud Moment': Indian-Origin New Zealand MP Creates History by Taking Oath in Sanskrit, Video Goes Viral | Watch

Just 32 years old, Ranjitsinh Disale from Paritewadi village in Maharashtra’s Solapur district, emerged the winner from 10 finalists from across the world for the annual prize founded by the Varkey Foundation in 2014 to recognise an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession.

Watch the moment he was declared the winner:

Disale, who believes that teachers are the world’s real change-makers, announced that he will be sharing 50 per cent of his prize money with his fellow finalists to support their incredible work.

Here’s what he said after this victory

”The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed education and the communities it serves in a multitude of ways. But in this hard time, teachers are giving their best to make sure every student has access to their birthright of a good education”, said Disale.

Teachers are the real change-makers who are changing the lives of their students with a mixture of chalk and challenges. They always believe in giving and sharing. And, therefore, I am very pleased to announce that I will share 50 per cent of the prize money equally among my fellow top 10 finalists to support their incredible work. I believe, together, we can change this world because sharing is growing, he said.

His generous gesture means the other nine finalists will receive just over USD 55,000 each as he made history as the first winner to share his prize money.

His impressive work which made him a winner

When Disale arrived at the Zilla Parishad Primary School at Paritewadi in Solapur in 2009, it was a dilapidated building, sandwiched between a cattleshed and a storeroom.

He took on the task of turning things around and ensuring the textbooks were available in the local language for the pupils and not only translated the class textbooks into his pupils’ mother tongue but also embedded them with unique QR codes to give students access to audio poems, video lectures, stories and assignments. He is also well-known for demonstrating scientific experiments from the science lab he has built in his home.

The impact of his interventions has been that there are now no reported teenage marriages in the village and 100 per cent attendance of girls at the school. Further, Disale is equally passionate about building peace between young people across conflict zones and through a “Let’s Cross the Borders” project, he connects young people from India and Pakistan, Palestine and Israel, Iraq and Iran, and the US and North Korea.

Besides, with the use of the Microsoft Educator Community platform, the enterprising teacher spends his weekends taking students from schools around the world with depleted resources on virtual field trips.

Twitter is in awe of the teacher and congratulated him for his inspiring journey:

(With ANI & PTI inputs)