16 October 2019

How I found my true calling...

By Spark Shivam Singh

Born and raised in the district of Mirzapur, it seemed I would lead a mediocre life. Or so I thought. After completing my primary education from the local school, my father enrolled me in a school quite far from home. To support my enthusiasm for studies, my father worked in the fields all day while I rode my bicycle for many hours to reach school. However, after completing the 8th grade, my father sent me to live with a distant relative, to complete my secondary education in science.

My family’s support during this time was crucial to my life ahead and what I was going to make of it. Unlike other children from my village, I was given the chance to study my favourite subjects. During this time, my cousin (with whom I was living) helped me improve my reading skills and inspired me to do something good with my life.

I was unaware of what was in store for me next, but I eventually pursued B Pharma from Kanpur and was hired in a pharmaceutical company as the production in-charge. While working there, in Haridwar, I met two very bright kids who worked in the production facility. Saifi, 17 and Faizal, 18 years of age. I could see the same light in them, that had got me so far- the passion to study and gain knowledge. Every day during lunch hours, Saifi and Faizal would come to me and follow me around unless I agreed to teach them. Somewhere between the lessons and their smiles, I discovered the joy of teaching. 

Questions like, ‘Do I want to continue doing this job my whole life?’, ‘Is this what I was born to do?’, ‘Is there a greater meaning to my life than a simple job?’ starter to play around in my mind. 

In the 2 years working for the pharma company in Haridwar, my mindset underwent a major change. Questions like, ‘Do I want to continue doing this job my whole life?’, ‘Is this what I was born to do?’, ‘Is there a greater meaning to my life than a simple job?’ starter to play around in my mind. And a lot of thinking, and positive encouragement from my cousin, I decided to quit the job in Haridwar and return to Kanpur to put do a Masters in Social Work, using my savings.

This was, one of the best decisions I made- as it landed me right where I was supposed to be – as a Sampark SPARK. In the last six months of visiting schools, training teachers and engaging with children, I wake up with the same belief which is strengthened everyday– If someone wants to study, he/she will always find someone to learn from and make it happen. Mahatma Gandhi rightly said, ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world’!