An Octogenarian’s Optimism Driven By Rare Common Sense Approach Shaped The Future of Rural Women Empowerment

An Octogenarian’s Optimism Driven By Rare Common Sense Approach Shaped The Future of Rural Women Empowerment

On this International Optimism Day, we delve into a story embodying a positive outlook’s transformative power.

Baru Sahib in the picturesque hills of Himachal Pradesh

In the heart of the picturesque hills of Himachal Pradesh, Baru Sahib, a visionary named Baba Iqbal Singh, sowed the seeds of hope, turning challenges into opportunities that redefined the education landscape for rural kids.

Sant Baba Iqbal Singh Ji at Baru Sahib

Birth of Akal Academies

In 1986, Baba Iqbal Singh initiated the Akal Academies, envisioning a banyan tree of knowledge that would spread its roots far and wide, providing quality education to rural kids. Soon, this seed grew into the Banyan tree, and Academies number multiplied and became more than 50. However, the journey was not without its trials. The challenge of securing and retaining skilled teachers from urban settings to rural settings became a daunting task, threatening the essence of the envisioned educational excellence.

Struggle for Skilled Teachers

In a pivotal moment, for the low retention rates, the administrators approached Baba Iqbal Singh, expressing their worries and disappointment. However, Baba Ji met their concerns instead of succumbing to negativity with a smile and an unexpected dose of optimism.


Transforming Challenges into opportunities

Good, this is an opportunity,” he declared, surprising everyone in the room !
Puzzled, they questioned the basis of his optimism, having just laid out what they perceived as significant challenges.
With unwavering positivity, Baba Ji responded, “This is an opportunity to become sustainable and serve the underprivileged with more rigor and determination.”
Intrigued, the administrators sought clarification.
Baba Ji’s eyes sparkled with wisdom as he unveiled his plan. “The opportunity lies in creating teachers from the villages we aim to uplift. Let’s nurture talent from the rural villages and train and groom them to become educators. Instead of relying solely on urban talent, we will empower underprivileged girls from rural areas to be the teachers of tomorrow.”

With those visionary words, Baba Iqbal Singh laid the foundation for a state-of-the-art teacher training center, now known as the Akal Institute of Women Empowerment. This institute became a symbol of transformation, turning challenges into opportunities and instilling a sense of purpose and optimism within the Akal Academies community.


Baba Iqbal Singh’s foresight and unwavering optimism not only resolved the immediate concerns but also became a testament to the power of turning challenges into opportunities for the greater good. The Akal Institute of Women Empowerment, born out of Baba Ji’s optimistic thoughts, has become an exemplary institution of women’s empowerment.


It has produced over 4000 teachers, nurturing hundreds more every year.
Four of its alumni have been decorated as Principals, showcasing the transformative impact of this institute on the education landscape.

Legacy of Education and Empowerment

Today, the institute stands not only as a symbol of educational excellence but also as a shining example of how empowering rural talent can lead to lasting societal change. It remains committed to its mission, producing teachers and leaders shaping the future of quality education and women empowerment.
His legacy continues to shine, illuminating the path for countless underprivileged children to receive a quality education and inspiring others to embrace optimism in the face of adversity.


As we celebrate International Optimism Day, let the story of Baba Iqbal Singh be a beacon of inspiration. It reminds us that optimism can pave the way for transformative change even in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges.
The Akal Institute of Rural Women Empowerment stands as a testament to the enduring power of a positive outlook, proving that opportunities for growth and empowerment can emerge from adversity. May this story inspire us all to adopt optimism as a guiding force in our endeavors, for in optimism lies the power to create a brighter and more hopeful future.


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