How many of us remember to give back? It’s always only the few who know how lucky it is to receive. Shubhro Sahoo is one such a young energetic man, full of hopes and positivity and 28 years of age, who believes in giving back in the best possible way known to him.
Hailing from a very socio-economically marginalized family from the village Dakshin Sarada on Deshapran (Kanthi II) Block of East Medinipur District in West Bengal, Shubhro was always a bright student. His father is a tea-seller and the family’s biggest source of income is a small tea stall in the village. Their small piece of mono-cropping land hardly met their financial needs. Sudhanshu Shekhar Sahoo, Shubhro’s father, used to look after the tea stall. Sometimes, his mother, a homemaker, used to step in. Unfortunately, Sudhanshu Sahoo has been suffering from chronic illnesses all his life.
Today, Shubhro is one of the most popular professors in a college in Kanthi and is able to duly support his family from his earnings.
Life has not been easy for Shubhro. When he was studying in school, education was not a Fundamental Right backed by the Right to Education Act. There were times when his father would talk about stopping young Shubhro’s education as there were a lot of recurring costs towards it. But, the bright and intelligent student that he was, his eagerness to continue with his studies and his traits of a natural team leader shone through despite his hardships , his merit was soon spotted. While he was studying in a Primary School named Dakshin Sarada Saradamoyee Shishu Shiksha Niketan (run by Kajla Jana Kalyan Samity, a project supported by CRY – Child Rights and You) his teachers identified, nurtured and promoted not only his academic interests but also his talent in the performing arts.
They supported his studies with books and copies to reduce his expenditures, they encouraged him to organize and participate in the school’s cultural programmes, and they cultivated the multi-faceted talent that he was. He turned out to be a leader, a fine orator and an efficient organiser with excellent command over the Bengali language coupled with a flair for writing.
During his time in the Kanthi’s Kshetramohan Vidya Bhawan (a Government run Higher Secondary School), he continued to be the Cultural Head of his school and was given the responsibility of bringing out wall magazines, school magazines, and organising cultural programmes on special days in the school calendar. He won the school many awards and accolades during various competitions pertaining to debates, elocution, and theatre fests by representing his school.
Today, after completing his Post Graduation and B. Ed. with flying colours, Shubhro teaches Bengali in the very Prabhat Kumar College in Kanthi from where he had graduated in First Division with Honours in Bengali (the first student to ever get First Division in Bengali in the college). But he has not stopped there. He also coaches 30 school and college going students while teaching them the values of life, child rights and also encourages them to find their calling in life.
Shubhro is a success story by himself. But more than that, he is an example of how great things happen when one focuses on the child. That with the right guidance, encouragement and involvement, children can not only grow to their full potential, but also become agents of positive change, leading from the front.
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