Student Life – Perspective of Impacting!
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” – Maya Angelou
When I met Heena Kalasva at Bhiloda last week – I had a feeling deep within I was meeting someone who is an inspirational role model for the youth of today. At that moment I had not even spoken to her or even knew anything about her – all I knew was she was part of the “Matra-Puja” (Mother Worship) ceremony at our Bhiloda Center and was accompanied by her mother – whom she worshiped with deep devotion and gratitude. What stood out about Heena – was that she was attired in simple clothes – wore no finery to indicate she was participating in a puja and had a beaming smile on her face filled with pride that her mother was a part of the puja. Post the puja – I started my journey to know more about Heena and Suneel Vishwakarma the Training and Quality Lead at our Center joined me in my quest.
27 year old, Heena hails from Bhutwad village in Bhiloda of Sabarkantha district, Gujarat which has 535 families residing and has a population of 2559 (Census 2011). The average sex ratio of Bhutavad village is 978 which is higher than Gujarat state average of 919. The literacy rate of Bhutavad village is 73.54 % (male literacy rate at 89.17% and female literacy rate at 57.72 %)
Heena lives with her 49 year old home maker mother and 51 years old father who is a farner. Her father tills the land of a landowner and in return gets 60 Kgs of wheat per year. Heena could not afford to pursue her education post her 12th standard. But she is a fighter and she started working as a labourer in a farm and sold milk in her village and managed to support her family for about 6 months, to tide over the financial crisis at home.
She then came to the doorstep of RuralShores (https://www.ruralshoresskillsacademy.com/) with the intention to join us but she failed at the interview stage. She then approached RuralShores Skills Academy to help her overcome her lack of computer skills and language proficiency. Suneel noticing the fire of determination in Heena’s eyes and her desperation for success – offered her extended support during her training – which resulted in Heena clearing the selection process and joined RuralShores 2.5 years ago.
Heena did not spend the first 6 months of her earning (~ Rs 40000) and used this savings to convert her home from a “kuccha” one to a “pakka” one. She went on to equip her home with basic needs – and acquired a LPG connection under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana scheme. She then bought a Television, vessels for cooking and a large aluminium container to store wheat. During this entire journey, the self confidence, humility and grace she displayed was mind blowing. She walks the distance of about 2 Kms – to and fro – from home to her workplace – be it sunshine or hailstorm, day-shift or after-noon shift. She does a split shift – 8am to 1pm and from 5pm to 9pm – which is critical for our Center’s success and also helps Heena to use the afternoon hours for her household chores.
Impacting of Success
When I visited her home – she took me around her garden with pride and showed me the lemon tree that had borne fruit, the neem tree that had grown big and the “turai” vegetable that she has grown. She introduced me to her father – who was immensely proud of Heena and as he spoke fondly about his daughter’s accomplishments – tears welled up in his eyes. Heena then took us and showed us her buffalo – the only life-stock they possessed.
I credit Suneel completely for spotting Heena’s potential and helping her diligently to fulfil her dreams by fuelling her ambition to succeed by developing her inherent competencies. People like Suneel – are the Dronacharyas of today who understand the need and ways to develop the rural landscape of India. His selfless spirit to give all he has for high potential individuals like Heena – demonstrates that human kinship is all about rising from ashes together – confidently and with an intense sense of determination to succeed.
I had my biggest learning when I walked the 750 metres distance from the motor able road to Heena’s home along with with my team. I was tracing the steps of a woman who in every sense of the word was a winner. I was walking along with a Guru who knew his success was defined by making others succeed. Heena and Suneel are individuals who are the true creators of “Incredible India”. I am blessed to have them as part of our RuralShores team. They are the lamps that shine like the sun – bringing light to darkness.
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” – Steve Jobs