Life looked primed for success for Dinesh Miglani, 35, a resident of Rohtak, Haryana. He had a good job with a leading management coaching institute in Hisar (one of the most important urban centres in the state), and the road ahead appeared smooth. He wasn’t going to stray from his path.
Until, one day in January 2015, he received an SOS from some of his former girl students who had stopped coming to the institute, asking for help with a set of math problems. “Please coach us for competitive exams, sir,” they told him. “Our parents won’t allow us go for coaching classes as they fear for our safety and security,” they said. The classes, for entrance exams for Staff Selection Commission and Haryana Public Service Commission jobs, are mostly held in the evening. The exams can be taken anyone who has passed Class XII. The girls who had reached out to Miglani were pursuing their graduation.
For those not in the know, the Delhi gang rape and the unending spate of crimes against women have created a deep-seated fear in the minds of people across the country, and especially in Hindi Heartland. Fearing for the safety of their women, many families are reluctant to send them out for studies, work or any activities that may require them to be out after dark. And not without reason — Delhi, Haryana (and Assam) are the three worst states when it comes to violence against women, according to National Crime Records Bureau. The travails of travelling by Haryana Roadways are another dampner.
“I wanted to do more. So, I created my YouTube channel in March 2015… To my surprise, it got thousands of views within two months” — Dinesh Miglani
“Initially, I asked the girls to send me their queries on Whatsapp and would reply to them with the answers,” says Miglani, an LLB-LLM from Delhi University. The girls were happy to get whatever help they could, but Miglani, who has worked with several prestigious institutes in UP, Punjab and Haryana, was not satisfied with teaching them over whatsapp.
“I wanted to do more. So, I created my YouTube channel in March 2015,” says Miglani, who now works at a private school in Rohtak for his livelihood. “I asked the students to start referring to my YouTube channel. To my surprise, it got thousands of views within two months.”
There’s been no looking back.
Tutorials on demand — for free
Today, his YouTube channel — Dinesh Miglani Tutorials — has 1,55,800 subscribers with a total of 1.4 crore views. There are over 880 videos — in Hindi and English — available for free. Maths is the most in-demand subject, and students from Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana want classes in Hindi.
Most of them help students prepare for competitive exams. “The channel provides free concept and practice coaching on mathematics, reasoning, English and general knowledge,” he says.
Today, his YouTube channel has 1,55,800 subscribers with a total of 1.4 crore views. There are over 880 videos — in Hindi and English — available for free. Most of them help students prepare for competitive exams
He says he picked up the idea of starting YouTube tutorials from a management exam coaching institute where he once worked. “But the goal of such institutes is to only show enough in their tutorials so as to grab the attention of students and make them enrol with them,” says Miglani.
Miglani has no plans to make money from the tutorials and he considers it his contribution to society. “I am happy I could leverage technology to enable students to sit in the comfort of their homes and prepare for exams. And they don’t have to pay hefty coaching fees,” he says. He wants to provide quality content on his channel and wants the tutorials to reach as many students as possible.
And going by the number of students it has helped, he’s right on track. Within just a few months, about 13,000 job aspirants have benefited from the free video lessons.
Gurwinder Singh from Punjab wrote in the channel’s comments section: “I got selected in Punjab Police as a sub-inspector, district cadre, because of videos on the tutorial and best thing is they are free.”
Jatin Vaghela from Gujarat wrote in the comments section: “I regularly watch your videos and one thing I must say, I am a huge fan. I have never seen a teacher like you. I tried a number of coaching centres, but the kind of satisfaction I received at your platform is unparalleled.”
Another job aspirant, Midhun of Mangalore, texted him on the mobile number provided on his channel to thank him for the online tutorials and said they helped him crack the Bankedge exam.
“Miglani’s online classes are helping to students in rural parts of Haryana and Punjab, and internet access has made it easy for them to access the tutorials. Many of them are doing well in competitive exams” — Rajesh Chaudhary, director, TIME Rohtak
Apart from college students, a large number of AirForce officials are benefiting from the tutorials. These are officers who plan to take voluntary retirement and appear for competitive exams to apply for government jobs. “Many Indian Air Force officials take mathematics lessons via my YouTube channel. They have internet at the airbases, most of which are located in remote areas where coaching facilities are not available,” says Miglani.
Then there are others like Anil Kumar, a clerk working in the Haryana Education Department who. “I don’t have time to attend coaching classes for SSC exam. But, Dinesh’s tutorials have come to my rescue. After work, I go home and refer to the online tutorials at my convenience. Also, I can watch them repeatedly if I don’t understand something,” he says.
Rajesh Chaudhary, director, TIME Rohtak, a coaching institute with centres across India, says technology has made quality education easy and accessible for students. “Miglani’s online classes are helping to students in rural parts of Haryana and Punjab, and internet access has made it easy for them to access the tutorials. Many of them are doing well in competitive exams,” he says.
Once the channel became popular, Miglani realised he needed to improve his video-making skills. His students came to his help here. The young, tech savvy students all had tips for him. “Someone told me to record the video in a soundproof room to curb outside noise. Others taught me how to improve audio quality. Things went on improving,” smiles Miglani.
“For below average students who need repeated lessons, online lessons that can be revisited are the perfect solution” — Miglani
Based on the students’ feedback, Miglani created a web portal to streamline all the videos.
Miglani is not the only teacher who has latched onto YouTube to reach out to people in rural areas who have limited access to resources and educational material. Another such famous YouTube teacher is Roshni Mukherjee of Kolkata, whose channel, ExamFear Education, has about 2.3 lakh subscribers with eight crore views. She started the channel in 2011.
Comparing YouTube teaching with classroom teaching, Miglani says that only good students benefit from the latter. “For below average students who need repeated lessons, online lessons that can be revisited are the perfect solution. They are helping a lot of such students clear competitive exams,” he smiles.
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Lead visual: Angela Anthony Pereira Updated on April 3 at 10.05am to add links to other FactorDaily stories. The ‘Tech Meets Bharat’ series brings to you stories on how technology is impacting and changing lives in hinterland India. Sat Singh is a Rohtak based independent journalist and a member of 101Reporters.com, a pan-India network of grassroots reporters.