Friday, April 24, 2020

Sonam- A Story of Determination and Discipline

"Age is just a number, in order to achieve your goals, you need to be disciplined and work harder." - Sonam

Sonam Bharti

Sonam, a 20-year-old lives in Daniyalpur village, Dharhara, Munger with her mother, three siblings, and a dream: a dream to educate others. Her father works in Bangalore to earn for the family. She is punctual, zestful, sincere but besides all of that she is disciplined. Her primary education was in a Middle School, Govindpuram Jharkhand, till 8th std. She had to shift to another school named, AadarshBalika Secondary School, Dharahara for her secondary education. As there was no school nearby for Higher secondary education, so she shifted to her maternal grandmother's home and got admission in a school there only. Today, Sonam is pursuing a Diploma in Education (D Ed.) from Sri Krishna ManoramaShikshakPrashikshanMahavidyalaya, Banka, Bihar.

She loves to learn new things and teach others about it. At a very early age (i.e., when she was in 4th std.) she started teaching her younger siblings and other children nearby along with her studies. Being diligent since her childhood, she started building efforts to attain what she wants. The only dream she has is to be a teacher - she wants to teach those who can't afford education or where there is a lack of resources & awareness. Sonam wants to provide all the support required for such children to meet their educational needs. But she is also aware of the fact that educating children only is not enough. For a better-educated society the teachers need to be well trained as well. She dreams to work on training teachers in such under-resourced regions for children to become better educated. 

Her hard work and efforts reflect her ardency of becoming a teacher, as she started her 3 months teacher training with i-Saksham when she was in 11th standard. Despite the training venue being 7 km. away from her residence, she never missed any session. She knew that this training is the first step towards reaching her dream of being an educator. She progressed well in the training and when i-Saksham started its fellowship program of 2 years in the year 2017, Sonam made through it. 

As a part of her fellowship. she started teaching at Primary School, Daniyalpur (her own village) for 2 hours/day to practice her learning. Teaching through action, using teaching and learning materials, and all the other innovations in education; she experimented with everything that was being taught to her in her fellowship training. It was year 2017 when her community saw a completely different mode of teaching for the first time and was amazed at the way their children have started showing interest in learning. 

Sonam during her fellowship days

Not just the alphabets and numbers, Sonam wanted children of her village to be the better citizens of tomorrow. She progressively worked towards the holistic development of her students. From spreading awareness about health and hygiene, introducing good day-to-day habits to making children spread awareness in the community about the same, Sonam gave her every possible effort.  Today, we can acknowledge positive behavioral changes in children of her village by the way they are showing interest towards education and keeping their surroundings clean. The place she has made in the heart of people in her community was seen when one of the parent said- "We can't imagine the education of our children without Sonam".

Sonam's students leading a health march on World Health Day

  "Whenever she looks at her students and the changes, she has brought in them, she feels really happy and proud of herself," she said. "This fellowship program helped her to build her confidence and to put her views in front of others without being hesitant. She enjoyed her journey with i-Saksham" she added. 

Sonam is today a part of i-Saksham team and facilitates training of i-Saksham fellows coming from different villages. With herself being a part of the fellowship from 2017 to 2019, Sonam is leading the fellowship training really well. She is aware of the challenges a fellow faces during the fellowship and thus is a go-to person for a lot of fellows at i-Saksham.

Besides teaching and learning, Sonam loves to draw, do crafts, and write poems too. Sonam is today and inspiration and a role model for so many other girls in her community who are skeptical about taking the very first step towards their dreams. As Sonam stood up for her dreams, a few more girls from her community joined i-Saksham fellowship program and are today working hard for their dreams. Sangeeta, a neighbour of Sonam is today a part of i-Saksham fellowship and is teaching in the same school where Sonam taught during her fellowship. Inspired by Sonam and her work, Sangeeta is experimenting with her creativity every single day to create a better learning space for children in her society. 

We need more such youth in the society who can stand up for their dreams and community to make it a better place. Here are some words for all girls like Sonam-

“Just like the stars, I belong to that sky
I have also dreamed of flying high
Odds can suffer me, I won't let my dreams die
Dreams don't come true with a blink of eye
You need to focus, work hard & try
People keep asking me -"I’m doing this why?"
Because I know one day,I'll fly high
I know one day I'll reach that sky...”

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