Ranjitsinh Disale, a 32-year-old school teacher from Maharashtra’s Solapur district, has received the $1 million annual Global Teacher Prize 2020 for promoting girls’ education and creating a quick-response (QR) coded textbook revolution in India. He was among 10 finalists from all over the world. The Global Teacher Prize was founded by Varkey Foundation in 2014.

Talikng to NDTV after receiving the prestigious price, Disale said teachers are the “real changemakers” of the world. He will share 50 per cent of $1 million with his fellow finalists to help them in their “incredible work”.

“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,” Disale said.

“Teachers are the real changemakers who are changing the lives of their students with a mixture of chalk and challenges. They always believe in giving and sharing. 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 added.

With the contribution, the nine other finalists will receive more than $55,000 each. No other winner has shared his prize money like this in the history of the annual awards.

“By sharing the prize money, you teach the world the importance of giving,” said Indian education philanthropist Sunny Varkey, the founder of the prize. I now encourage you to use this platform to give all teachers a voice. There is not a moment to lose as it will fall on young people to find solutions to problems that their parents and grandparents have lacked the will to solve, including climate change, conflict and global pandemics,” he said.