A preconceived notion that i have been dealing with for a long time was that higher education is what makes a person an intellectual and knowledgeable about different critical aspects of the world. Clearly, I was wrong. My co-workers in the organization, especially the ones working on the field have helped me break this notion. They made me realize that it is not city people and the people with gleaming degrees who have better intellectual understanding of systems in the development sector.
There are moments when I really appreciate being a Fellow, because it leaves a window to learn from the different people and projects which a job per say may not have done this effectively. What is important is to create and build a good rapport with your colleagues, which I have been trying to do. That helps me seek inspiration from them at various levels. I will share with you a few of the stories which may inspire you as well:
Reena Suryawanshi – A 21 years old girl, from the village Kheri in Ichhawar block, Sehore. She was the first girl who had the courage to ride the scooty in her village and then started working on issues of sanitation as a volunteer at the age of 19. And that too, coming from a part of the country where girls are married before they turned 18. She comes from a family of 4 sisters and one brother, and a family that is very orthodox in terms of their preference of a boy over girl. Amidst all this, she started working with Samarthan as a Social Mobilizer, and how she works is unimaginable, and more than any individual can manage. Visiting villages which are not even properly connected is a challenge, but she does it and her passion and hard work inspires me a lot.
Neeta Yadav – A 23 years old, she started working in the social sector just after completing her 12th. She worked at ASER for 4 years as a District Coordinator and now she is handling the urban areas in the WASH program held by Samarthan and Water Aid. She is so passionate and focused for the task she wanted to accomplish, that after spending few hours with her, you will understand the vision she had created for herself and how she is focusing on every single perspective of that. She has her future plans in which she is keen to work with tribes in the areas of Betul in Madhya Pradesh.
After meeting these ladies, I felt very proud, and one thing I understand very well that you don’t need to seek inspiration from famous personalities, you just need to focus on the people you are surrounded with! You are surrounded by thousands of people in your life, each life have at least one learning which will inspire you and give you a vision and perspective to look at and that is enough for you to live a day. Every day is a new learning, and every single person is a teacher. It’s just your perception and perseverance that matters.