All I wanted during my childhood was to grow up and secure a high paying job that would allow me to enjoy life, go out to fancy dinners, and on exotic vacations.
However, during college, this bubble I lived in burst. I started seeing rampant inequity around me which made me feel two things – immense gratitude for all the privilege I had and extreme unease considering I didn't do anything to cause it. I was just lucky while others were less so.
This unrest led me to volunteer eventually to Teach For India. There are so many problems to solve- access to quality education, healthcare, sanitation, women empowerment, unemployment, the list is unending. However, I believe if the crisis in education is solved, its benefits will trickle down and be seen in other areas as well. My motto and Teach For India's vision are very much the same - one day all children will attain an excellent education, and it is in service of this vision that I go to work every day.
But in all honesty, the Fellowship is difficult. I often feel like I’m failing. Improving academic outcomes for children from poor socio-economic backgrounds is complex, demanding and strenuous.
But it is also rewarding.
The amount of growth I’ve witnessed in myself in the little time that I’ve been a Fellow is deeply satisfying and I will always be indebted to the Fellowship for making me meet the most beautiful souls – my Students and co-Fellows. The bonds I’ve made are strong, genuine and lifelong.
The pandemic has made me rethink our educational paradigm. The lockdown has widened the gap between the haves and have nots. I believe we need long term systemic changes and intervention to ensure all children get their right to education. Teachers had to unlearn and relearn many things and change their medium of instruction from offline to online in a short span of time. It came with unique challenges and immense opportunities to showcase problem-solving, creativity, and grit.
Simply put, the experience so far has been life-changing and I for one am glad that I chose this path over any other.