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MUST WATCH: India's MBA sarpanch speaks out!

Last updated on: March 20, 2012 09:00 IST

MUST WATCH: India's MBA sarpanch speaks out!

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Chhavi Rajawat quit her job to become a sarpanch in her Rajasthani village. In a conversation with Rediff.com, she spoke of her concerns about the Indian youth, the Indian education system and just what is it she wishes young Indians knew.

Chhavi Rajawat hails from a village called Soda in Rajasthan of which she is a sarpanch. Having studied in Rishi Valley School (Andhra Pradesh), Mayo College Girls' School (Ajmer) and graduated from Lady Shri Ram College (University of Delhi), she quit her job and chose to develop her village rather than pursue material goals.

Rajawat was in Mumbai to address a global symposium presented by Barnard College, New York City. We caught up with her for a precious few minutes after her speech and asked her to share her words of wisdom for young India.

Here's what she had to say:

On the qualities young Indians must posses:

Sensitivity is one of the most important qualities that I look for in young Indians.

Dedication and passion are two other qualities one must possess. You must be passionate about what you're doing and stay true to it

Always be humble, honest and have respect for elders. Don't step on anyone's toes. It won't take you far.

On things this generation must know but doesn't

Few young Indians know anything about the grassroots scene. No one goes to villages anymore and knows really what is happening there. The support that rural India deserves therefore is lacking.

Not many of us know the concept of the panchayat, the truth about what kind of funding exists and what kind of things happen at the grassroots in this country.

Our nation cannot develop until you do not give rural India the attention it deserves... which it hasn't received since post independence

On young Indians choosing to study overseas

Contrary to popular belief, I don't think a lot of Indians are going overseas for education. Avenues within India have increased manifold and unlike the times gone by, our options are not just restricted to medicine, engineering and MBA. There is a lot to choose from and we do.

Those who do go abroad, I suppose, don't believe in the system a lot and our system does have a long way to go. A lot needs to improve to people to want to stay in India


Image: on Rediff iShare: Chhavi Rajawat on what ails Indian youth


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On what Indian education must focus on

We don't seem to realise the importance of values. When we were in school we would have this subject called moral science. I don't see that anymore! Things like these may be small but they are really important.

I came across this organisation called Fifth Pillar in Chennai that is seeking to create awareness in high schools and colleges on the need to build values, characters and a spirit that creates a bond between the individual and the country. Values are something we don't really focus on a lot in our education system, sadly.

On job-hopping

A lot of young people look for instant gratification. Job-hopping is a result of that. Needless to say it's not a great thing. You must be patient and the real learning is by choosing to stay in an industry or organisation rather than opting out.

I moved from Delhi to Jaipur within the same organisation when I was offered a new job. I politely refused. He offered to double my salary; I refused again. I was quite happy with my job there and I felt it was unfair to my company as well as I had a lot to learn. I refused again. He offered me four times the salary. And I turned him down again because my conscience didn't allow me. Being greedy takes you nowhere. Sure you rise for a short time but in the long run it is likely to bring your career graph down.

Advice for young Indians

Figure out what you want to do. Make sure you take up what you really want and not what your peers or parents want you to. You're bound to be stressed if you take up something you're no into. Be passionate about what you choose to do and go ahead and do it rather than trying to do what other people want you to do.


Image: on Rediff iShare: Chhavi Rajawat on what ails the Indian youth
Video: Hitesh Harisinghani
Tags: MBA , Chennai , Delhi , India

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