The days were turning mundane and I was definitely itching for a switch, but there didn’t seem any opportunity worth pursuing. And then it came…..suddenly!
On August 13 last year, my first day as a facilitator, I was welcomed with anger, dissatisfaction and tears. The students were certainly not to pleased to see me replace their old facilitator. I felt was dreadful! But I stood firmly facing the the 59 students students, driven only by my passion for turning impossible into possible. I had to keep the faith – theirs and mine.
Every time I began to become complacent or complaining, my students snapped me out of my stupor. Rain, hail or cold winds, most students would turn up early in the morning; housewives and young mothers would leave their babies to their neighbor’s house; girls would fight with their orthodox families- all to learn from me. When I heard about the obstacles they were overcoming to learn English, I began to reflect on my own life. In comparison to my students, I had more riches, they had more resilience and perseverance. I taught them English, they taught me positive outlook.
During the days of my rich experience as a facilitator, life of one particular student was my lighthouse of self-motivation and perseverance.
The student, let’s call her Anu, has graduated from Freedom English Academy now. Her father was an Army officer, but under the influence of his friends took early retirement to devote his life to worship. Since money was short, he stopped his children from pursuing education and forced them to follow in his footsteps of devotion to a godman. But Anu didn’t give up. She continued her studies on the sly. She would always hide her books and pursued the medical stream. She joined Freedom English Academy (FEA) one and half year ago and came regularly without disclosing it to her father. She saved her money by not shopping and not recharging her phone. The money she saved was used to commute to the center that was about 4 kms away from her house. Often, I offered her help, but her response was a very confident, “No Ma’am. I have made this choice so I have to pay for it.” It left me both, speechless and inspired.
Anu cleared entrance examination for B.H.M.S. without informing her father. By that time, I was promoted as Compliance Supervisor and was about to leave the center. I was not sure how she would respond to the news. Inevitably, I shared the news with her and saw despair in her eyes. I made her realize the importance of her goals and jogged her down the memory lane to her first day in the center. She seemed upbeat and had resolved to continue when Ileft.
On day, I received a call form Anu informing me that she would not be able to come for 2 weeks as her father had passed away. Promptly, after 2 weeks she returned with a smile and asked for her workbook to complete the lessons that she had missed. I was present at center on that day and her behavior amazed me. She didn’t expect sympathy but was focused completely on the lessons she had missed.
No amount of wealth or money could have taught me what Anu did!
On that day, my lesson in self-motivation and courage was complete…temporarily, at least.