Growing up in rural Bihar, Dileep Sahni had to juggle his work as a daily wage labourer in farms and as migrant labourer 250 km away from home during the harvesting season. Yet, he continued studying, becoming the first person from his village in Darbhanga to complete schooling.
In his twenties now, Dileep is a successful engineer earning in lakhs in Singapore.
However, this is no ordinary feat as, for almost two decades, Dileep fought a lot of battles on the social and economic front. For instance, after getting admission at a college to pursue engineering, banks turned down his request for a loan. Talking about his struggles, he told Hindustan Times,
“I knocked at the door of many banks for education loan when I was offered admission to an engineering programme at Millennium Group of Institutions, a private technical college in Bhopal, in 2013. But all my requests were turned down. Had my father and brother not assisted me with money, I would not have become an engineer.”
Dileep’s family was supportive of his dream and his father and younger brother offered to work to pay his college fee.
His father, Laltuni Sahni, sold icecreams in Nepal when he wasn’t working in the farms, according to Financial Express. His younger brother worked in Chennai in a tiles company to help his brother pay his college fees. Dileep also joined them to work on farms whenever he had a holiday.
All this was amidst constant ridiculing by the villagers as they did not believe in him and felt his struggles were pointless. However, eventually, Dileep’s and his family’s efforts started bearing fruit when he received an award for graduating as a topper in 2016.
Few months back, a leading steel company offered him a job in Singapore for Rs 8 lakh per annum. It is a several-fold jump from Rs 3000 that the entire family put together was earning only a few years back.
Dileep is happy, but he is not content. His ambition is to work for the well being of thousands of children who are working as child labourers.