Flight…Letter From Chotelal Mehra


Siddhartha sir,
Hello Sir, I hope you are well. I am sending a mail about my three-month college experience. How did I spend my three months in Bangalore and what I learned there? I hope would you good feel after reading my experience.
With humility, all the students of their college salute the faculty and management and all the staff. Under whose supervision. I thank all those professors for completing their course. I hope that all the friends of the college will be doing well. With this, you want to share some of your three-month experience with people who are as follows.

When I was going to Bangalore, at that time I had lots of questions in my mind. How will I manage there? How will I maintain time? How will be friends? How will I do interact with the professor? Anyone does know Hindi or not? Etc. It’s like many questions were in my mind. But after came there, I get the occasion of knowing about it. I did see the first time the environment like that. My orientation programme was the start of 4th July to 16th July. That was two weeks orientation programme. Because in this period had lots of activities for doing like cinema, IT, Yoga, Music, Artcraft, property, Odissi Dance, Kathak Nratya, is it. In this programme which I did pick of Hath Yoga. It was the reason for that, they said whatever you want to do in it. Which are you don’t know that should Choose. In my group was 16 members including me. We did 5 days practice of it. And after that, we did present on the stage. It was my first day on stage front of 7 hundred people. At that time I was feeling shouldn’t any mistakes of me. If did mistake public will laugh. I did very constantly without any fear and hesitations. It was a good experience for me. I did get confidence and know more think. When was my first day of class? At that time they were talking about the programme. What will you have done two years and how will be done of assignments, lots of think they said. And also said you would be reading in one day 30_40 pages of the compendium. And assignment will come on it.

At that time I was focusing on the language. Because that language was very academic. I didn’t hear before of like that, because 1st to 12th and also college it was my Hindi medium. I did face the problem with language. l knew only basic. And also the problem early get up in the morning. I did feel very difficult manage of time. Early morning bath and ready for college. And college time is very long 8:40 to 6:30. That’s type problems. My 15 days went worst because I was not understanding well. When something does not understand at that time felt slept. Around 17 of July weekend. Pranjal sir and Prashant sir have come there. And they called me. If you’re free and want to you meet with us you can come to the Marathalli restaurant in Bangalore. I went there and did discuss with them about my situation. They said don’t worry continue your struggles. After Dinner 10 o’clock I left from there. At that time I was very happy. Day by day I get lots of reading. I thinking how will do completely. Because I had two problems one is slow speed of reading and the second one is understanding in English. I was Bother how to do. I decided to I will take help of my friends. In my class only has 4 people they know only a little bit of English. Then 40 people know very well. Also, someone has 12, 5, 3,8, year experience. I have to only there has without any experience. I did take start helping. Being two in months I had very stress on my head. Because lots of assignments reading, I didn’t do like that.

As soon I get field immersion list. That time feels comfortable because I did meet a chance goes for outside. On September 7 to 24, I was in Rajasthan for field work and school observation what’s going on in Government schools. What about Rajasthan education system. Which types of community on there and how to relate to education. What’s a problem they are facing. What is the enrollment ratio their school? I get an opportunity Know about of it. I went to Rajasthan in Tonk dist. In two weeks of my fieldwork really enjoyed. After fieldwork and now I feel better because I have a habit to that like an assignment, reading. College professors called that of name C Mehra. They kept my name C Mehra because they do feel difficulty for my name that, sway they do it. They want to only shortcut. Now I am feeling better and studying with enjoying but not fully enjoy. 

Thank you

Chhotelal Mehra

MA in Education

Azim Premji University Bangalore Electronic City


By Prashant Sharma
I am sorry…. Dad!
Youngsters! The blessings of God to the universe. It is that phase of life which gives new dimensions to everyone with full energy. Sometimes, it is seen that if this energy is applied in the wrong direction then it creates more complication in the life of youngster as well as in their family.
Every time, while counseling the students of SSISM, I used to ask them about how many times they have hurt the sentiments of their near and dear ones and the response that we got was shocking. The proportion of students who have taken their parents as granted was very high. Though they realized later that the things should not have happened as they have occurred still the sense of apologizing or saying sorry was very almost absent. Over a specific period of time, the tendency of not apologizing before parents has grown up substantially among the youngsters.
I saw that the present generation always wanted everything very fast without thinking and understanding about its side effects.
So, we conducted a special session for a group of students focusing on the remembrance of any one incident that occurred in their life when they had an outburst on their parents or any close family member for a petty issue and considerably hurt their sentiments.
Almost all of them confirmed that they had gone through such incident. One precaution was taken that a complete secrecy was maintained as these incidents were of personal nature and many of the students could be more hesitant to share the same.
We also observed that though a considerable time had been passed in between the incident still all the students had a strong memory of the same.
When we asked the students how many of them had apologized, the response was surprising – almost no one. Even after observing that the behavior of the concerned family member had changed they couldn’t collect the courage to be sorry for them.
I said to the class “ Ok !! Now I wish to give you a chance of apologizing in a unique way. You all will write a letter to the concerned family member who you have hurt knowingly or unknowingly and we will post the sealed letter on your behalf. The class agreed and started writing a letter. We guided them that they should write the specific incident first, then they should point out their particular unwarranted behavior. Later on, they should apologize and give assurance that such incident would not happen again. At the end, they should also mention the importance of the particular family member in their own life and what they expect from him/her.
It took almost 20 to 25 minutes and students wrote rapidly. We sealed the notes and put up the name of the concerned family member. I then added my personal letter with the sealed letter and clarified to the parents about our intention of sending the letter to the parents.
I asked the staff to post the letter through the post office and was eager to get the feedback of the parents. I also asked the students to share me the observation they made in the home after receipt of the letter. My anxiety was growing slowly about the outcome of this initiative which was a part of our teaching strategy to motivate the students to understand the importance of family bonding.
The feedback after four days that I received was very encouraging. One parent told me that tears came to their eyes as they never ever believed that their son would be able to understand the importance of relations. Prior to this letter, the behavior of their son was very rude with all and they never ever expected such letter would reach to them.
One girl contacted me with joy and shared with me that due to this initiative she was able to communicate with her parents properly as she belonged to a joint family and did not get space to talk freely with parents. She also wrote a small poem of appreciation for us and gave it to us.
Some more students told me that the family atmosphere had become cozy and comfortable after this letter had reached their homes.
We witnessed a positive behavioral change among the students also.
In all, it was a great soul satisfying initiative!


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मैं आशाराम भावसर देवलाल भावसर का सुपुत्र,  माता गेंदा भावसर । मेरा जन्म 7 जुलाई 1994 को खंडवा जिला के नंदाना गाँव में हुआ । हमारा गाँव शायद खंडवा जिला का सबसे पीछडा गाँव होगा ।

यहाँ आज भी कुछ नहीं बदला,  बदला तो सिर्फ लोगों कि उम्र । बचपन से मेरा लगाव पढ़ाई से था।  लेकिन पढ़ने की सुविधा नही थी ।क्योंकि हमारा परिवार गरीब था। मुझे बकरियां चराने जंगल जाना पड़ता था। पिता जी ,यहाँ तक की भाई – बहन भी रोजी रोटी के लिए मजदूरी करने जाते । मुझे गर्व है कि मैं एक मजदूर परिवार से हुँ ।

जहां तक मुझे याद है परिवार से  लेकर कुटुंभ तक कोई पढ़ा लिखा नहीं था । लेकिन आज में थोड़ा -सा हुं।
मेरी primary की पढ़ाई गाँव से हुई । विषयों में अच्छी पकड़ होने के कारण मेरा चयन  Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya  में हो गया ।

मेरी माध्यमिक और  Higher Secondary  की पढ़ाई भी  JNV  से हुई । इस बीच मेरा रुझान संगीत और खेल में अधिक था । जब मैं कक्षा नवमी में था तब मेरा चयन  भोपाल के भारत भवन मे नाटक के लिए हुआ जिसका शीर्षक था, फिरंगी लौट आएँ । अच्छा  performance के कारण मेरा चयन आगे लिए हुआ।

परंतु किसी कारणवस आगे जाने का अवसर नहीं दिया गया । इसी समय मेरा चयन जिला स्तरीय athlete in disc through में चयन हुआ परंतु मै वहाँ भी नहीं जा  सका। मुझे आज भी वो दिन याद है , ये सब आर्थिक रुप से सक्षम न होने के कारण हुआ । Navodaya Vidyalaya  मे  हर महीने के पहले रविवार को parents day होता था । इस दिन सारे बच्चों के माता -पिता अपने बच्चों से मिलने आते थे । लेकिन स्कूल दुर होने के कारण मेरे माता -पिता मुझसे मिलने नहीं आ सकते थे । इसका कारण था,आर्थिक समस्या का होना लेकिन मै खुश था । मैं यह सोच कर अपने आपको सांत्वना देता था कि कम से कम मुझे पढ़ने का अवसर तो मिल रहा हैं,  औरों को यह भी नसीब नहीं है ।

बहुत  से ऐसे मुकाम आए जब मुझे लगा, मैं समाज के लिए बना हुं ।इसिलिएमैं IAS officer बनना चाहता हुँ।शायद मुझे समाज सेवक ही बनना चाहिए । लोग कहते हैं समाज सेवा के लिए पैसे चाहिए । लेकिन मैं लोगों  की छोटी -मोटी आवश्यकता को पुरा करके खुशी महसूस करता हुँ।क्योंकि फिलहाल तो मैं इतना ही कर सकता हुँ ।

Higher Secondary Education  मैं 2 बार राष्ट्रीय खिलाड़ी के रुप  चयन हुआ । इसी बीच कप्तान  की जिम्मेदारी भी अच्छे से निभाई । Teachers के स्नेह और दुलार के कारण मुझे बहुत कम घर की याद आती थी। बचपन से मेरा सपना IAS बनने का है । क्योंकि समाज सेवा के लिए पैसा भी चाहिए । मैं जानता हुँ आज भारत देश एवं  देशवासियों को ईमानदार लोगों की  जरुरत है ।

नवोदय मे तो जीवन खुशी -खुशी गुजर गया, लेकिन जिंदगी की असली परिक्षा की घड़ी बारहवीं के बाद शुरू हुई । क्योंकि  बीना रुपयों के कुछ नही होता । 6 वी – 12 वी तक नवोदय की मेहरबानी रहीं  लेकिन अब मेरे माता -पिता आगे पढ़ाने की सोच भी नहीं सकते थे। मैं उन्हें और ज्यादा परेशान नही कर सकता था। इस बीच पढ़ाई करने के लिए मैंने मजदूरी करना शुरू कर दिया ।

आगे कि पढ़ाई के लिए  AIPMT  की exam दी,  परंतु 15  marks से रह गया । फिर सोचा drop लुँ, एक वर्ष का, परंतु जब मैने संत  सिंगाजी काॅलेज के बारे में सुना तो अपने आपको रोक न सका। सोचा यही सही समय हैं, समाज को जानने और समझने  का।क्योंकि  अभी तक मैं गाँव को ठीक तरह से समझ नही पाया था।

अब शुरुआत होती हैं मेरी ग्रेजुएशन की पढ़ाई की।कुछ शर्त के मुताबिक मेरा admission  BSc Microbiology में हो गया । इसके पीछे सारा योगदान काॅलेज के chief mentor  श्री संकल्प जी  भार्गव  का था। अब मेरा  admission हो चुका था।परंतु मेरी समस्या अभी रुकने का नाम नही ले रही थी।अब मुझे आने जाने मे समस्या थी,  तो उन्होंने  मेरी रहने की  व्यवस्था AIM for Seva नेमावर में कर दी।

अब मैं खुश था और मेरे घर वाले भी। दिन गुजर रहे थे और मैं मन लगाकर पढ़ाई कर रहा था। तभी कुछ कार्यो के कारण मेरी पढ़ाई में बाधाएँ आ रहीं तो मैंने AIM for Seva को अलविदा कह दिया। अब मैं दीदी के यहाँ यानी राजौर से काॅलेज आने लगा । लेकिन क्या करें किस्मत का मारा जाए तो जाए कहां। प्रतिदिन मैं आता तो बस से था लेकिन वापस घर पैदल आना पड़ता था।तभी ये परेशानी  हमारे HOD (राजीव सक्सेना ) को बताई तो उन्होंने सायकल खरीदने को कहा,और कहा  10 कि.मी पैदल चलने  से तो बचोगे।वो भी खरीद ली लेकिन उससे भी बात नहीं बनीं फिर क्या था, हम तो ठहरे  गाँव के  लाल पैदल चलने की आदत बना ली और यहीं रौजाना चलता।

पढ़ाई मैं तो कोई कठिनाई नहीं आई , क्योंकि संत सिंगाजी महाविद्यालय के शिक्षक मेहनती और लगनशील होने साथ -साथ Motivated and dedicated थे ।
जिस तरह मेरा पहला वर्ष बीता ठीक उसी प्रकार मेरे दो वर्ष भी बीत गए । इन तीन वर्षों ने मुझे इतना धनवान बना दिया कि, अब मुझे समाज का Development  करने में ज्यादा कठिनाई नहीं आएगी । यह अतिशियोकति नहीं सच है, जितना सिंगाजी काॅलेज बच्चों के लिए सोचता है उतना शायद और कोई नहीं ।

आज मैं graduate हो गया , और आगे पढ़ाई के लिए अज़ीम प्रेम जी विश्वविद्यालय जा रहा हुँ । यहाँ से मुझे  MA development की पढ़ाई 2  वर्ष मैं complete करना है ।इसके लिए भी मेरे शिक्षक(SSISM) Siddarth sir ने admission fee जमा की । कहा जाए तो SSISM से  वो  सारी सुविधाएँ मुझे प्राप्त हुई जो एक विद्यार्थी को होनी चाहिए ।समय पर guide line , motivation ने अहम भूमिका निभाई जिससे मेरा चयन APU के लिए हुआ । अच्छी बात तो यह है कि मुझे रसायन शास्त्र पढ़ना और पढाना अच्छा लगता है । इसके लिए कभी -कभी जुनियर की क्लास लेने का अवसर भी दिया गया।इससे मेरे दो फायदे हुए एक तो मेरा Revision  और दूसरा विषय में अच्छी पकड़ ।भले ही मैं अब दूसरे विषय मे प्रवेश लेने जा रहा हुँ परंतु रसायन शास्त्र का  भूत हमेशा रहेगा।

अब ये जिम्मेदारी मेरी है कि मैं सिंगाजी परिवार के लिए कुछ करुँ ।सिंगाजी परिवार में बच्चा आता तो खाली हाथ है , लेकिन जाता बहुत कुछ लेकर । खास बात यह है यहाँ का अनुशासन मुझे बहुत प्रीय लगा। मानता हुँ यौवाओं को ये सब अच्छा नहीं लगता परंतु जीवन के अंतिम पड़ाव पर बच्चों को सही मार्ग पर लाने का अच्छा प्रयास है।शायद समाज को अब मैने करीब से देख लिया , अब सफर होने जा रहा है बैंगलौर का । वहाँ की चकाचौंध में या तो कोई बहुत कुछ प्राप्त कर ले या फिर कंगाल ।
जाने का किराया तो फिलहाल उधार ले लिया , लेकिन बाद में क्या होगा मुझे नहीं पता । कहते हैं एक अच्छे कार्य के लिए कई हाथ आगे आते हैं । कल मैं जो भी रहुँगा  सिर्फ SSISM के कारण ।

मैं जानता हुँ गाँवो का development होना बहुत आवश्यक है। मैं मजदूर परिवार से हुँ परंतु मैं मानता हुँ मेरा हर कदम development  के लिए ही होगा । तीन  वर्ष graduation  के कैसे निकल गये पता नहीं चला।इन 3 वर्ष मैं कम से कम मैं मजदूरी करना तो सिख ही लिया । इस बीच यदि मैं कुछ बन सका तो एक- दो परिवार के लिए कुछ तो कर पाऊँगा बस यही इच्छा है।

मेरा यहीं संकल्प रहेगा जो भी ज्ञान मुझे APU से प्राप्त होगा वो समाज को समर्पित हैं ।

आशाराम भावसर
गाँव – नंदाना
जिला -खंडवा  (म .प्र .)


I met Babita at Government school of a village called Vasdev. We usually go to government school to do career counselling and identifying good talent. We interact with the students to know their interests and hobbies. It was such a meeting with students of 12th standard in Vasdev.

Babita was sitting in the front row and I casually asked he along with some other students “What sports do you play”. I focused on Babita to ask and I was literally shocked to see that she started crying.

I was puzzled that what I have asked ? The teacher standing next tome whispered in my ears “ सर यह लड़की दिव्यांग है. इसे पोलियो है “ Sir she is differently able, she has polio” .

I immediately understood the situation and asked her not to cry and meet me after the session.

She told me about her family situation and with a very firm head told me “ I want to become something and help my family”. In the very next moment she was also doubtful that how will it happen. As the nearest place where she can get higher education is far off and she cannot travel.

I assured her that we will help with transportation and education If you will work hard and will try to achieve something in life. She got admission in BA in our college.

She started coming to college on a regular basis and 3 years passed by and she successfully completed her graduation with first division. She really worked hard and was sincere.

I somehow was not able to meet her at the farewell of BA. Few days later I heard that she got a Job as a teacher in a local school and was also doing tailoring job from home. Meanwhile her sister also joined our college as a student. I was getting generic updates about Babita.

I was content but not happy. About a year passed.

We were busy in preparation of documentary of SSISM. As we made it about 2.5 years back. Now was the time to revisit and cover many success stories we had.

Babita was covered in the first documentary so idea came that since she is working now we should cover her story to encourage others as well.

Unfortunately I was not able to go during the shoot to her house. The shoot was done. After about a month final edited documentary was delivered and when I saw it I got a feeling that we could have and should have done more for Babita as she has more potential than what she was doing.

A Bangalore Trip was being organised for students who are in need for a job. I along with Siddharth started working on people we should take along with us for Unnati Skill Training (http://unnatiblr.org/).

This was kind of an experiment as we had taken many students to Bangalore usually for IT training and trips, But never BA students for a skill based training and job that too for students from very humble background.

I called Babita to come to college and meet me. I asked her that “Are you happy ?” initially she said yes but after persuasion she opened up a little and started sharing her problems both personal and financial. I told If you want to prove it to the world and to yourself that you can also support your family and work in a Metro you have pack your bags and come with me to Bangalore.

Going to Bangalore or any other city for a girl in rural India is not at all encouraged from society and parents, on top of it if she is differently abled it is a strict no. Her parents and so called big brothers were completely against it. She called me and told me about the situation and also a affirmation that “सर यह लोग चाहे कुछ भी बोले मुझे तो आपके साथ चलना ही है चाहे कुछ भी हो “(Whatever these people say I will come with you to Bangalore whatever happens).

Next week we were ready for a Bangalore trip along with 7 students 4 girls and 3 boys. She joined us early morning at 5.30 on the Highway to Itarsi. She was ready with a small backpack with no sweater(It was November end). I asked her no sweater ? she said she will manage.

I was sure that time that this girl is going with a mission and will go far.

We boarded the train. Babita was the eldest amongst the students. I told her that “You are the eldest so you need to take care of other girls as well”. She played the part during the complete stay of 50 days. I was becoming more and more confident of my decision that she will for sure achieve success. It becomes difficult for a person to come out good where he/she is reminded of her disabilities on a regular basis. Somehow that’s how our society is built that it becomes very difficult to forget about your disabilities be it physical or social taboos.

Only your firm belief and grit can overcome this unnecessary fear.

I was happy that our continuous hammering of “You can do it” was working and we were seeing a confidant Girl capable of handling what was in store.
Finally we reached Unnati centre and students were accommodated in Hostels. Girls were accommodated near to the centre and only 1 more girl was present in the hostel at that time. She didn’t knew English or Hindi and our girls knew only Hindi and very little English. Our girls were very apprehensive of how they will handle the situation. I was happy as this is the situation which will enhance their personality and they will become more independent and confident in coming days ONLY IF they will face the situation bravely. Since our stay was there only for 3-4 days It was more important for us to leave them in a comfortable and confidant space.
Initial few days were good and smooth as they were being helped with many students of the Unnati batch. Everybody was very upbeat about the training.
We came back after few days. I asked Siddharth to be in touch with them regularly. Siddhartha gave me updates that by and large students are happy and enjoying the stay. there are common problems of food and language. 50 days of training was complete and they successfully performed at the final graduation day at Unnati.
As the training was coming to an end the jittery feeling of going back started hitting the students. It was tough for them to stay back and appear for placement interviews. Babita was regularly updating us and telling that she is trying her level best to explain the students also expressing her own fears in between. Finally we were able to convince them for appearing for interviews.
All of them were placed in companies in few days. They were asked to join immediately. This again came as a surprise as they were mentally thinking that they will get a chance to visit home and come back.
Only 2 of students were ready to join Babita & Sunil. They were feeling helpless as they were not able to convince other students. Somewhere inside they also had fear and itchiness to go back to their comfort Zone. 
But the grit and the willingness to prove overcame the fear and the itchiness. 5 students came back and Sunil & Babita stayed back.
Luckily Ankit Jain our faculty was in Bangalore who helped Babita in getting a PG near the company.
it has been 5 months now since these 2 students are in Bangalore.
Babita is in a company and enjoying her stint. She has started speaking in English, and the confidence with which she speaks is amazing. Life has taken a turn for her in 7 months. She is fighting it out in Bangalore to prove it to herself that she can do it. The only occasional support she requires is few words of encouragement from us and that’s what we give.
She is and will be an inspiration for all of us…
Best of luck Babita….!!!!