Life is not a bed of roses. And this is applicable to every human being in this world. Some face difficulties in their childhood, some face in their teenage and some face in their old age. At certain point in everybody’s life these difficulties do come. But how you face it shapes your destiny.
Helen Keller once said “Although The world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming to it”. This is the story of Rajiv, a boy from West Bengal, who rose above his grim financial circumstances, overcame all sorts of odds, and studied his way to success.
He wasn’t born with a silver spoon and so had a long way to struggle. Rajiv as a kid was not too intelligent. He started his schooling from a hindi medium school. His father’s income was not enough to sustain his family of four which included his mother and an elder brother. To supplement the family income, his mother used to work as a part time maid in a few houses. They managed a meagre meal of dal and rice twice a day, but that was not enough as expenses were increasing.
To make the situation even worse, his father lost his job when he was in class nine.
His mother admitted him to the school by selling her new clothes .
They couldn’t even afford a good pen to write. As an alternative, he used to collect waste refills with ink in it, blank pages of used copies and make new copies by stitching all the pages to write. To read, they arranged books from other students
Tuitions, those days cost no less than around Rs.1000 a month. He went to many teachers but none of them agreed to waive his fee. But finally, a teacher named Sri Bhagwan Singh agreed to teach him at half the fee. “He is really a Bhagwan for us”, says Rajiv.
He was too weak in his studies and could hardly score marks to pass.
Realizing his family conditions, he started the business of book binding. “My first earning was Rs.25 which I got for binding a Ramayana”, he recalls. To add to their income, Rajiv, along with his brother and mother, started giving tuitions. Still, they continued to live eating one or two times a day.
New clothes, for them, were a luxury. Even during his college days, he used to wear clothes of other persons. He had only one means of convenience, an old bicycle which he used to go to his college. Because of this, many of the students refused to talk to him. But this couldn’t stop him to move ahead
He joined CA and the fee was paid by his mother from her past savings.
“For years, I woke up at 5:00AM and slept at midnight”. Rajiv’s day started with teaching. Fortunately he got an article ship job which started at 10:00AM and ended at 6:00PM. “I used to travel a long distance by feet just to save the auto fare and used the reimbursement money received from the employer to buy stationaries”. Rajiv had to skip his studies so that he could continue his studies. He used to miss most of his classes so that he could teach students to earn money in order to continue with his studies. After returning to home, he used to bind books if any order came. He used to study late into the night, if he could.
“Despite these setbacks, I never thought of giving up my studies”, the pride in his voice is unmissable.
Finally his handwork did pay off — He became a Chartered Accountant.
He attributes his achievements not to his intelligence, but to his hard work. “I’ve made it this far with others’ help, so I too wanted to help those who’ve been struggling in life.”
He thought of becoming a teacher so that he could teach poor students free of cost. After passing chartered accountancy, he opened a coaching centre under “GYANODAY EDUCATIONAL AND CHARITABLE TRUST” where he used to teach at less amount of fee and even free to many students. Now he has already given classes to around 500+ students and most of them have reached great heights.
Life, he says, will always try to knock you down. “It depends on how strong you are to get up and fight back.”