Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Bulbul proves that the pursuit of knowledge is limitless, irrespective of age! (Back to studies after 18 years)

"I am Bulbul Kumari, Batch-7 Edu-leader. I wanted to share my journey of education and empowerment. I got married in 2003, the same year I completed my 12th grade. My marriage took place in a family and society where education was lacking. No one in my family understood the importance of education when I expressed my desire to study. As a result, my studies were interrupted, and the family situation was not favorable. So, I suppressed my aspirations and became involved in household responsibilities, cutting off my connection with education. The desire to learn within me faded, but I still had a passion for teaching, so I started teaching the children around me.

In 2006, I got an opportunity to teach in a private school where I worked for a year. During that year, my mother passed away, which caused me immense sorrow. I left everything behind and isolated myself at home, disconnecting from the outside world.

In 2011, I had the chance to study in a residential school located in the mountains (Santhal region). However, the school only operated for 11 months before closing down. I found myself in the same situation as before, with no significant changes. Then one day, I received a call from a teacher at the school where I initially started teaching, suggesting that if I wasn't engaged in anything else, I should come and teach at their school. In 2017, I resumed teaching and continued for three years.

A significant change occurred in my life when everything seemed to come to a standstill. In 2020, Sanjay Bhaiya and Dharamveer Sir visited my house, and I joined i-Saksham. That was the most transformative moment of my life! After a few months, I noticed a change within myself. Teaching the children has always brought me happiness and contentment, something I had been doing for many years. However, I realized that my teaching methods were not correct. As I received intensive training during my fellowship, my self-confidence started to grow.

One day, during a session, I learned about IGNOU (Indira Gandhi National Open University), and a voice from within me said that I could start studying again. But I was afraid. It had been 18  long years since I left my studies, and I didn't know how I would resume my education. However, my husband encouraged me to study and pursue my certification. Along with him, my sister-in-law (elder to my husband) became my friend and provided great support. I would also like to express my gratitude to i-Saksham for becoming a platform that allowed me to restart my studies after almost 18 years. Currently, I am doing my graduation and I am enrolled in the second year of my Bachelor's degree."

- Bulbul Kumari, Gaya Bihar

i-Saksham Edu-leader Fellowship for the community change leaders like Bulbul Kumari is active in five districts of Bihar. The fellows undergo two years of transformative journey that builds their skills in three tracks - Personal, Educational, and Community Leadership. The program's three-pronged approach is well-rounded and comprehensive. Firstly, it focuses on enhancing the personal leadership capabilities of the selected fellows, which will not only empower them individually but also enable them to inspire others and lead effectively. This emphasis on personal growth and development is crucial for building strong leaders. Bulbul Kumari is an edu-leader from the 7th Cohort and they are going to graduate soon from the fellowship. Bulbul and other change leaders from the 7th and 8th cohort are fully equipped to create change in their communities and beyond. 

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