My life is an open book. You all know how I was brought up in a poor setting. Electricity was a distant thought for us in village. We also had early dinners on days when it was available, then studied with the help of lanterns and slept off early to avoid the pang of hunger again.
I share an instance from my life when I was in Grade V or VI. A distant relative lived near our homestead with his widow mother. My mother would occasionally visit them, sit and chat with the lady and spend some time. One day she came home saying, ” Mausi’s son is so educated. He studied the maximum that can be studied. He has done MA in Odia, trying for lectureship.” She completed the whole sentence in surprise and shock.
“He has studied so much. Higher than the highest. Will my children be ever doing so? We are facing so much difficulties now.” Maa kept on talking without even looking at us. She was completely unaware of what’s maximum and there is no limit to education. Frankly, even we did not know at that point in time.
Today, I am happy because I have completed my Masters in Chemistry and also completed PhD despite many difficulties. My younger sister too has done three masters in different subjects and her PhD too.
I have been able to give each and every poor tribal child at KISS an opportunity to reach the highest degree of education. Thousands and thousands got their degrees from KISS and are reaching pinnacles of success. They have graduated with degrees like MA, Mcom, PhD etc.
I thank my mother for this because she might have thought of this and gave us blessings that her children too had that much education. But maybe she would never have thought that one day I’d be to able to educate so many poor tribal children. I am happy that I am the medium to facilitate education for so many.