Shravan: An Inspiration To Be A Better Human Being

Aditi Tulsyan, an India Fellow writes about Shravan, co-founder and her mentor at i-Saksham. In 2012, Shravan started his journey in Jamui, Bihar where he voluntarily started teaching local youth who were preparing for competitive exams. Since then, he has been an epitome of positive energy.

5th Feb 2020
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I have known many people being primarily concerned about their professional growth. From close relatives to friends and society, there has been a common concern towards career. Only my mother and a few books had inspired me to be humane until I met Shravan, who, in the last couple of months has given a new meaning on how to live and stay focused. 


Shravan, co-founder and mentor at i-Saksham, is an epitome of positive energy. In 2012, Shravan started his journey as a Prime Minister Rural Development Fellow (PMRDF) in Jamui, Bihar where he voluntarily started teaching local youth who were preparing for competitive exams.


For his students, he has been more than a teacher as he has always inspired them to be a good human being and loved them like a family.


Know Shravan from the experience of one of his most favourite students, Tanuj, who likes to call him Shravan bhaiya. I asked Tanuj about the first time he met Shravan and how he got to know about him from one of his friends, Aman, while they were pursuing BBA from KKM College, Jamui.


Aman: “यहाँ बॉम्बे कॉलोनी में एक शिक्षक बिना पैसे लिए पढ़ा रहे हैं, चलोगे?” It was natural for anyone to be surprised. Tanuj was skeptical too. He asked, “मुफ्त में क्यों पढ़ा रहे हैं, देखना बाद में ज़रूर पैसे लेंगे”. Anyway, next morning they reached the class and a beautiful journey began. Tanuj, while looking back about how Shravan has impacted his life, shares moments that are close to his heart.


“हमें याद है जब हम पहली बार वोलंटीरिंग के वक़्त श्रवण सर के साथ ऑटो में गए थे | उन्होंने सत्तू खुद बनाके पिलाया और साथ ही खाना भी खिलाया | उन्होंने बोल दिया था कि खाना खा के जाना है | उस वक़्त सर के साथ एक लगाव और जुड़ाव सा महसूस हुआ था | उनकी बातों से कभी लगा नहीं कि वो एक शिक्षक हैं, हमेशा हमें मज़े करना और ज़िन्दगी में पढ़ाई के साथ खुश रहना बोलते थे |” Even now, while working in office, Shravan ensures that everyone in the team is well fed. Just when the clock strikes 2 pm, Shravan would say “जाइये पहले खाना खाइये”, until everyone takes a break. Most of the times, we all have lunch together.


His acts of kindness have no boundaries. They extend to anyone he meets. Tanuj shares, “सर को जो अच्छा लगता है, वो उसके लिए दिल से सोचते हैं | वो दूसरों के लिए बहुत इमोशनल हैं|There was a long pause and a comfortable silence. I chose to keep quiet as he recalled his difficult times in life and said “हमे याद है अपने बी.बी.ए पार्ट III का समय| यूनिवर्सिटी ने कहा फिर से परीक्षा देनी होगी, हम एक दम शांत हो गये | उन दिनों ज़्यादा किसी से बात भी नहीं करते थे| इस बात से हमने श्रवण सर को भी बहुत परेशान देखा, तभी थोड़ा उनके साथ काम करना चालू किये| चाहे कितनी बार फ्लॉप करे वो हमेशा यही बोलते आगे देखते हैं, नया शुरवात करते हैं| छोड़ना नहीं, करते रहना है| हम बहुत संघर्ष करे थे, श्रवण सर लगातार नए-नए तरीके अपनाये| हमने उनसे सीखा काम को आसानी से कैसे किया जा सकता है, बिना बोझ लिए |"


एक बार की बात मुझे याद है, हमने पूछा लैपटॉप ले जाये, घर में काम करेंगे | उन्होंने कहा लैपटॉप ले जाना है ले जाओ, लेकिन ऑफिस का काम ऑफिस में ख़त्म करो | घर में काम नहीं करना है, लाइफ नहीं ख़त्म करनी है| घर में मज़े करो|


We both laughed and I recollected moments when I also failed at several fronts in last few months. I had felt confused, lost, doubtful about myself and reached out to him for feedback to which his response was, “Fail ten more times, everybody is on the same path of trying and learning including you, me and people around us on earth. I don’t know much about moon or mars.” He strongly feels that every human being is capable of a lot. As I was drifting away in my thoughts, Tanuj brought me back.


“एक चीज़ जो मुझे उनके बारे में बहुत पसंद हैं, वो है उनकी सोच और ये मानना कि हर चीज़ को रिश्ते की नज़र से देखो, खुद को कभी किसी से ऊपर नहीं समझो| उनको हमेशा लोगों से घुलते मिलते देखा हैं, जब भी हम फील्ड, ट्रेनिंग या कहीं भी और जाएं, हमने सर की तरफ से दूसरों के लिए बहुत रेस्पेक्ट देखा है| वो बहुत इज़्ज़त से पेरेंट्स को मिलते थे और उनके पैर छूते थे| उनके अंदर ये कला है कि वे जहाँ भी बैठते हैं, एक नया माहौल बना देते हैं| कहानी किस्सा बता के वो सबको मिला लेते हैं, काफी लोगो से जुड़ते हैं| मुझे ऐसा लगता है कि वो एक ऐसे इंसान हैं जो हमारी सफलता में ख़ुद की सफलता ढूंढ़ते हैं, उन्हें हमारी ख़ुशी में हमसे ज़्यादा ख़ुशी मिलती है| जब मेरा अज़ीम प्रेमजी यूनिवर्सिटी (APU) का फाइनल रिजल्ट आ रहा था, सर मुझसे ज़्यादा नर्वस थे| उन्होंने कहा, क्या हुआ जल्दी देखो| वो मुझ से ज़्यादा चिंतित थे, और मुझसे ज़्यादा खुश भी| मेरा हमेशा से एक अच्छे कॉलेज में पढ़ने का मन था, उन्होने बहुत मेहनत करके रात-रात भर इंटरव्यू की तैयारी करवाई है|"


This is just a glimpse of who Shravan is, someone whose dream is to make other people's dreams come true. He goes out of his way to make sure it happens.


India Fellow iSaksham

How people like to define him

There have been sleepless nights, long hours of hard work, high spirited attitude and immense positivity behind Shravan’s students doing what they wanted to do. At present, Aman, Tanuj, Nalini and Mamta are doing Masters in Education from APU, Bangalore. His another student, Nikita, is pursuing Women studies from Tata Institute of Social Sciences and Ekta, who has already completed her MA in Education from APU, says, “मैं आज जो भी हूँ, सर की वजह से हूँ". Each one of them has a unique story and strengths. Shravan has acted as a catalyst in their journey of life.


India Fellow iSaksham

Shravan's library

I feel extremely grateful too, to be around him, learn from him and feel supported. If you spend some time with him, you will often find him saying, “तुम लोग के पीछे-पीछे काम करके बुढ़ापा आ गया है”, while he is just 35 years old who laughs out loud like a child and manages to spend some time with his parents in Darbhanga, working with us in Jamui and travelling around India attending workshops. He enjoys meeting people and loves his personal space too. In his spare time, he enjoys watching movies and reading.


About the author: Aditi Tulsyan is an India Fellow from 2019 cohort. During her fellowship, she is placed with i-Saksham in Jamui, Bihar where she is involved in coordinating a program with youth in rural areas to develop them as educators for local communities and empower them as leaders.


India Fellow applications are currently open. Know more and apply at indiafellow.org

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