Rakesh Ranjan reveals how his mother Samita Ghosh braved difficult odds to teach students in a small school in Bihar.
In an era dominated by technology-driven education, where many opt for YouTube videos over genuine student interaction, it's essential to honour those teachers who prioritise the growth of each student.
This tribute is dedicated to one such unsung hero: My mother, Samita Ghosh.
I'm an IITian currently residing in Austin, Texas.
The tale I wish to narrate begins in the bustling area of Mahendru, Patna, situated on the banks of the Ganga in Bihar.
In the mid-nineties, amidst numerous challenges, my parents, especially my mother, established a primary school to address the pressing need for quality education in the region.
Their goal? To lay a robust foundation for children and help them access esteemed educational avenues like the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas and Sainik Schools.
In her youth, my mother exhibited remarkable academic prowess, topping her state in Class 8.
But like many women of her era, societal and patriarchal constraints curtailed her aspirations.
Yet, her passion for education remained unwavering.
She initiated her educational journey by tutoring her nephews and nieces.
Later, after marriage and having children, she collaborated with my father, Madan Mohan Ghosh, in this noble endeavour.
Running a school in an underserved area, notorious for miscreants (Bihar in the nineties), was fraught with challenges.
I remember, as a 10 year old, assisting my mother with the school's financial records.
It was during these moments that I would often notice the names of students with unpaid fees.
Being a naive child, I once questioned my mother about these unpaid dues.
She responded with insights that fostered empathy and understanding.
My mother emphasised that the primary goal of education is empowerment and that denying these children education due to financial constraints would be profoundly unjust.
She possessed a broader perspective on the transformative role of teachers in society -- a perspective I came to deeply appreciate.
Now, two decades later, I witness her students flourishing in various professions, a testament to the nurturing guidance they received during their foundational years.
What distinguished my mother was not merely her dedication, but her innovative teaching approach.
Eschewing rote learning, she fostered critical thinking, particularly bolstering her students' prowess in science and technology.
Due to her relentless efforts, many of her pupils gained admission to prestigious institutions.
Even today, she fondly recalls her students, her pride evident and heartfelt.
In a contemporary world where the essence of teaching is increasingly transactional and monetarily driven, narratives like my mother's are poignant reminders of genuine dedication.
In a society where life's value is often quantified by material wealth, the joy derived from uplifting lives from adversity to potential is immeasurable.
Educators like my mother forgo numerous personal opportunities for the greater good.
As they pour their energies into shaping the next generation, we must acknowledge and cherish their momentous contributions.
After all, in the intricate realm of education, it's not merely about data or digital tools, but about profoundly impacting lives, one student at a time.