"In my kids, I see pure hope", a beautiful message from a Teach For India Fellow

Growing up, I have always wondered about the impact that passion can have on this world.

Until my teenage years, I never quite discovered the power of loving what you do and where you are, until I moved to Hong Kong, where I completed my high school and if not for those four years, I’m afraid I’d have never brushed upon self-discovery, passion and positive coexistence.

I was exposed to an international community; here I learnt the joy of giving, blindly loving and most importantly, a sense of appreciation for where I’m and an encounter with my sense of possibility. I learnt how I can impact the world as a global citizen. These four years truly stood testament to the statement “Not all those who wander are lost”.

As a student, I felt like I was part of a movement, a movement that redefines what possibility could mean for the future generations and how it could renounce worldly borders, cultural divide and the struggle for a “unique” identity. Irrespective of one’s dose of uniqueness that all of us seem to strive for, at the end of the day, casting these man-made barriers and identities aside, we are all nothing but human. One’s gender, language, religion, race, caste or creed should never be used as a tool for oppression.

I firmly believe that it is a sin if we let “underprivileged” remain deprived. One cause that transgressed physical, cultural and lingual barriers; I discovered that, to me that would mean education- educational equity. I realized that changing mind-sets, revamping what education entails, inculcating a wholesome love for learning, shifting one’s communal and cultural barriers would mean accepting the multifarious dynamics that is involved in this exhilarating ancient process called education. The sheer amount of deprivation, poverty, working with potential agents of change, encountering sustainable development and paving ways for wholesome upliftment continued to bedazzle me.

I took it up as a challenge to do my part, to give back to the world that has so wonderfully provided for me. I currently work with Teach for India, as a fellow. I’m proud to say that I impact the lives of 17 second graders studying in a government school, their parents and their community. Today, I firmly believe that each and every kid of mine, is a reflection of myself. My values have continued to evolve over the years, however, five values- gratitude, passion, compassion, love and kindness have withstood the change in value over the years.

I go through several hardships on a daily basis, dealing with various stakeholders, showing persistence, patience and most of all, believing in the change I’m going to make. In a country like India where education is supposed to discipline and not inspire or create, the rigidity in the mind-set makes it all the more challenging. But one day, I know my kids will fall in love with learning. I go back every day triumphantly, because in my kids, I see pure hope. 

Shreevidhya Ravi