September 19th, 2015
Source : Anand Kumar
- When all odds are against you:
When you get a stomach-full of food only on festivals, how can you think of studying, turning a blind eye to a stomach rumbling with hunger? When your father is unemployed, and your school shuts down because of Naxal activities, how can you get the courage to go hundreds of miles away to an unknown city? But a die-hard determination enabled Jyothsana not only to make it possible but also be successful where she went.
- A toiling father and his vision:
Ravishankar Bharadwaj, a farmer lived in a small village called Supa in Raygarh District of Chhattisgarh. He had a small piece of land but that wasn’t enough to feed his family. He used to work in others’ fields to make up for it. He had two kids and Jyotsana is the elder one. The kids used to wait for festivals to come in order to have a stomach-full of food. He was not educated but knew the importance of education. He did not want to compromise with his kids’ education. So he sent Jyotsana to a school in the village when she grew old enough.
- A fight against her own body:
She was physically weak, so used to get sick often. She would come tired from school and sleep soon after. Her parents would let her sleep, sometimes even without stomach full of food. However, they were shocked to see her awake and studying in the middle of the night. When asked about it, she would say that study alone could get her a good job, and ample food and clothes. She liked studying as well.
- Unimaginable Hard work, a success and a dream:
Her dedication for studies grew with time. Often she had to wait for the harvesting season to get over so as to have money for her books, but it did not stop her. The school in her village wasn’t of much of a help, there was no one who could help her with the tough Mathematics and Science questions. So she would read the books many times to understand the concepts. Studying by herself she passed her 10th board exams. And she started dreaming of becoming an engineer.
- A ray of hope and a failure:
Her father got a temporary job which earned him a little more than 6000Rs, which was still not enough for sending Jyotsana to a city for studies. She studied till 12th standard in the village school. She prepared for IIT and took the entrance test too, but she could not get through. This was a major setback for her, as she had nowhere to go now. The village had no college, and studying in the city was a distant dream.
- Troubling times and a way out:
Naxal activities grew in the village during that period and young kids started joining them. They were leaving no stone upturned to cajole the youth into becoming Naxalites. Jyotsana’s parents kept their kids protected and saved them from joining in. During that time they got to know about Super-30 in Patna, but it was difficult to send a young daughter to such a faraway place.
- Courage to go far and the reward:
Her father took a bold step and took her to the Patna. When they met me, I was moved on hearing her story of struggle and dedication. Moreover, I saw a strong will to do something in her. And finally she became part of our institute. She was diligent and soft spoken – that won her place among the fellow students and in my family as well. She used to do household chores to take a break from studies. If my mother fell sick, she would take care of her.
- The final test and the dream comes true:
In 2014, she took the test again and she did it wholeheartedly, giving her best. After the exam, she was confident of cracking it. On the day of result, she came to Patna along with her grandfather. After seeing her name on selected list of students, she couldn’t control her tears. Everything flashed before her eyes; the struggle, the failure and the days in the dark with no way out.
- And the dream transcends:
She got into ISM Dhanbad. When she bid us farewell she cried like a baby. Now she is a second-year student at ISM Dhanbad. And her success has changed everything. Her family’s condition has also improved now. When I met her a couple of days ago, she told me that she wants to become an IAS officer after engineering. And I am sure she will become one someday because even abject poverty and Naxalism couldn’t break her will.