Our alumni, after graduating from school, primarily go on to further education or training. After completing their education, they are employed in a variety of professions: as small business owners, in the education sector as teachers and tutors, as technicians and managers, and in public services: in the police, Army, etc. A small sampling of what our alumni are upto:
A Journey of triumph
Nalini Shelke from the interiors of Aros village in Maharashtra will find herself as a confident police officer in the Mumbai Railway Station, earning a monthly salary of Rs.18,000 per month after her training period.
Back home, everyday was a struggle for her parents and four siblings. Born to formers, she put aside her dreams to study and helped her parents in the farm. She worked hard at it to help the family out.
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Kolli Raju Babu is a post graduate in biotech and a quality assurance executive in a pharmaceutical company in Hyderabad.
Raju hails from a family of laborers in Centapalli Village near Vizag. His mother Ms. Nokaratna worked in the fields to support her two sons through primary school. She was at a loss when they grew up as reaching the Govt middle school meant crossing a river every day. And there was no bridge.
How to send a 9 year old walking 7 kms all alone, across a river and to the next village? If he drops outof school, he would probably end up as a wasted youth prone to drinking and abusing family members.And then his mother came across AIM for Seva.
Raju got a new lease of life. He moved into the AIM for Seva Trivikrama Bala Boys Student Home in Gudivada, Krishna District.
The Student Home provided a safe shelter where he was given nutritious meals, clean and hygienic living standards, help in academics through regular tuitions, and above all good values.
Raju progressed from school to college to post graduation. An M. Sc. in Biotech, he also has a Post Graduate Diploma in Environment and Health Safety Management in Industry.
Currently he is pursuing Post Graduate Diploma in Quality assurance and Regulatory affairs while working at Bharat Biotech.
Raju proudly declares that he is an inspiration to his entire village and a role model for all young boys. Even the elders come to him and seek advice!
He supports his younger brother who is still in school. And has finally realized his dream of seeing his mother smile!
S. Sampathkumari was in the AIM for Seva Free Student Home, Anaikatti since the time it was inaugurated in 2008.
Her parents, landless daily wage earners from Odapalli Village near Erode, found it very difficult to support her education.
She joined AIM for Seva FSH in Sembangudi, TN, when she was in Class 11. Even then it was clear she had a penchant for the visual medium. She was good in painting and would often sketch for hours the portraits and the landscape at the FSH.
She participated in and received many prizes for the same in her school and college. After her 12th standard, she joined the Dayananda College of Arts and Science for a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology. She completed her course in 2013 in first class.
She is the first graduate in her family; in fact she is the first person to be lettered in her entire village.
Sampathkumari now works as a graphic designer for a company in Erode. She supports her family and her younger brother’s education as well.
She says with gushing emotion, “Thanks to AIM for Seva that I am able to follow my dreams. They provided me food, clothes, shelter, and education. It is a home I will never forget.”
She is one of the many instances of AIM for Seva students doing justice to their god given talents with a right opportunity and encouragement to flower.
Nittur Sunitha belongs to a middle class agricultural family. Her father’s alcoholism resulted in the family losing everything.
Her father subsequently passed away, when she was only in the 1st standard and piling debts meant that the family also lost their land.
After her father’s death, Sunitha’s uncle took care of the family. But when she was in her 5th standard, her uncle also passed away and family fell into dire straits.
Sunitha says, “Immediately after my SSLC, I came to know about the AIM for Seva Free Student Home in Madikeri. I met Swamini Suvedananda and she agreed to take me to the chatralaya at Madikeri.
After that, Swamiji asked me to join the AIM for Seva chatralaya at Mysore and I got admission in the Government Pre-University College in Hebbal.
I studied well and joined B.Com in Mysore Open University and my studies continued. I had a dream in my life to wear Khaki Dress to join the Police Force to protect the law and work for the nation.
In 2012, my dream came true. I got selected as a lady warden in the Karnataka Prison Department.
Whatever I am today is due to AIM for Seva and Swamiji’s care and guidance.
All the values I have learnt in the chatralaya: love, affection and care, are helping me in my work. Now I am married and well settled.”
S. Muthuprakash of our Sembangudi FSH has done us proud by topping the school with 95.6% marks in his Class 12 board exams!
With an astounding 98.6% in his core subjects of Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Biology, he is sure to achieve his dream!
Muthuprakash has been at AIM for Seva since 2009 when he was in the 8th standard. He has always been a consistent performer in studies as he was the school topper in class 10 with 93.4%.
Hailing from Tirupur, Muthuprakash’s parents are daily labourers in a banian factory, unable to afford even a square meal a day.
When his parents heard about AIM for Seva, they were very eager for him to join the home. His two brothers have also been given admission in the school.
The school where he studied earlier refused to let him go, because they were sure he would do very well.
He attended the Government Tribal Residential School in Anaikatti till class 10. He then moved to the student home in Semmangudi, for class 11 and 12.
His confidence has grown after he topped the school. A very quiet, disciplined boy, his ambition is to become an engineer and serve India.
“Without AIM for Seva, I would never have scored such high marks. AIM for Seva supported me throughout my education,” he exclaims proudly.
Master S. Muthuprakash, AIM for Seva Anaikatti and Sembangudi graduate is now pursuing an engineering degree at Anna University, Chennai
From a remote tribal settlement in Indore, all the way to IIT is some achievement!
It was definitely not a smooth ride for a tribal agricultural labourer’s son.
Hirmal Bhargav joined AIM for Seva FSH at Indore in 2006 while studying in Class 6.
Hirmal Bhargav from Indore had only one dream: join the Indian Institute of Technology. He says, “I mustered the courage to dream big at the FSH. IIT JEE is the toughest exam for an Indian student and I wanted to crack it.”
Unfortunately while studying in Class 11 his father passed away and he found it difficult to pursue further.However, the extra tuitions to prepare for IIT entrance exam aided by the FSH came as a timely support.
He cleared the entrance exam and is now pursuing mechanical engineering at IIT Indore.
His exposure to various social issues has helped him to nurture a new dream. He wants to be a civil servant and bring about social change.
Hirmal Bhargav says, “I was fortunate to get into a secure setup as AIM for Seva. There are millions of poor children who need support. I want to shape government policy in rural education so that even the very poor have a level playing field.”
Mukesh is a 22-year-old boy presently pursuing B.Com in Bank Management from Swami Dayananda College of Arts & Science. He has bagged a job at Sundaram Finance Ltd as an Officer at the campus placement and feels, “It all feels like a dream!”
Hailing from a small village, Dhanras village in the Dindori district of Madhya Pradesh, Mukesh studied in a local school in closest proximity to his house till his 5th standard and spent the evenings tending the cows in the farm where his father worked.
But in between when he found some time, he would switch over to the world of his dreams where he was the Managing Director of a multi-national company. And sometimes he would even stretch his imagination to think of ways that could show him the path.
That’s when Shri. Tahar Singh, the warden of the AIM for Seva Free Student Hostel for Boys in Vikrampur, Madhya Pradesh spotted Mukesh and encouraged him to join the hostel. Mukesh saw a great opportunity to learn and readily agreed. He was sent to Prathmikshala in Vikrampur. From then on, there was no looking back for Mukesh. After the completion of his 12th standard he continued his college education and now lives in Smt. Sukanya Shankar Memorial AIM for Seva Free Student Hostel for Boys in Thippanampettai, Tamil Nadu. Talking about his hostel life he says, “I love the disciplined schedule that has a balance of both academics and extra-curricular activities. We rise early at 5 am and do Yoga. After a brisk walk and the daily prayer, we enjoy a sumptuous and healthy breakfast. A little bit of studies and then we are off to college. Back in the evening we spend time reading, playing, chatting with friends, study and after an early dinner go to bed.”
His parents are proud of not just his academic achievements, interest to learn, growing ambitions but also for his good behavior and how far he has come. Mukesh in a tinge of lament and a line of smile says, “Our village problems get clouded by all the developments that take place outside.
Bare exposure and scanty facilities make it hard for a healthy living. I am lucky to have been sheltered by AIM for Seva.”
Mukesh has three elder brothers; the oldest drives goods trucks, the second one is a farmer and the third brother works as a tractor operator in Tata Steel.
Sharing about the interview process and how he aced the group discussion, Mukesh reveals, “The topic was ‘what are the cultural differences between Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu’. My opinion included the different festivals in the two regions and how they reflect their cultural ethos; and living in two geographical regions has given him an exposure of the two cultures. “Initially I was nervous but with consequent questions, I felt at ease to answer them. My happiness knew no bounds when I came to know.”
Mukesh, a sincere student is thriving with spirit to get every child in his village educated. “I want to encourage the students to join AIM for Seva; not only would it help them to shape their lives, but be ambassadors of our rich tradition, heritage and culture. I want them to experience life at AIM for Seva Free Student Hostel and make the most out of this life changing experience,” he says it with a note of confidence and goodwill.
Writer: What do you want to do in life?
Vikram Kushwah: I want to earn a lot of money to be able build a school in my village in the name of my mentor Swami Aiswaryananda ji.
Vikram Kushwah is a 3rd year B.SC Chemistry student at Swami Dayananda College of Arts & Science in Manjakkudi, Tamil Nadu and lives in our Smt. Sukanya Shankar Memorial AIM for Seva Free Student Hostel for Boys in Thippanampettai, Tamil Nadu.
He got placed at Sundaram Finance Pvt. Ltd through campus interview. He will be drawing a salary of Rs. 13,500 after his training period.
Vikram belongs to a family in Panigaon Village in Dewar, Madhya Pradesh and the family members are dependent on his father, an agricultural labourer with an annual income of Rs 30,000 to sustain on. When the village school did not meet his expectations and support his willingness to learn, he came forward to find himself an admission at AIM for Seva Free Student Hostel in Nemawar, Madhya Pradesh during his 6th standard. “The village school did not conduct classes regularly and the teachers too were not giving their fullest,” he shares. After finishing his 12th standard, Vikram wanted to take up mathematics. But owing to unavailability of seats, he took up Chemistry because his aim was to study in Swami Dayananda College.
“All through I have been studying in Hindi medium, but here the texts and the teaching are in English. This was tough for me. But I kept consulting the dictionary, asking friends and teachers to help me grasp the language as fast as possible,” shares Vikram (in English). Vikram enjoys Sanskrit as much as he gets excited about Science. “Sanskrit is our tradition and culture. It is fast disappearing and it is only through proper propagation will it sustain,” opines Vikram who has learnt to define his own path.
There were 78 candidates, out of which 13 of the boys were selected. Talking about his experience at the interview, Vikram says, “The first round was a group discussion on advantages and disadvantages of cultural exchange.
Vikram has two brothers, one of them is pursuing 1st year B.SC computer science and lives in our AIM for Seva Free Student Hostel in Nemawar and the other stays in the village and studies in the 11th standard.
In the hostel, Vikram is now an inspiration and guide to the juniors who seek his help in academics and preparing for job interviews. He also enjoys cooking and sometimes tries his hands along with the cook, to treat his friends with North Indian dishes.
What is inspiring is that at 21, Vikram Kushwah has already made up his mind about what he wants to do in life; how he wants to channelise his potential and contribute for the well-being of the people around him. This, he says with a sparkling smile, “Is because of my grooming at AIM for Seva Hostel and the education I received in the college which followed a holistic code of discipline and conduct.” But what makes this a heart-warming story is his concluding statement – “I have had my set of struggles and I am sure there will be more. But each one of us dream and aspire. It is up to us whether we want to make it a reality.”
In 2006, a Hindi medium school called GMS Nayakheda was inaugurated in Narasimha village in Madhya Pradesh. Many children joined the school, but Reetesh Kumar, son of Ravti Prasad a farmer, decided not to.
Uninspired by the small world around him, Reetesh decided that he must move out of his village to see the real world. The ambitious young boy, convinced his father to enrol him in AIM for Seva’s Krishna Rani Papneja AIM for Seva Free Student Hostel for Boys in Narsinghpur District, Madhya Pradesh.
At this hostel, he made new friends, learnt valuable virtues and understood that life has no short cut and only hard work will reap benefits. He was in Class 6 when he enrolled and consistently worked hard till Class 12, where he scored 70% in his board examinations. An opportunity to join Swami Dayananda College of Arts & Science in Manjakkudi, Tamil Nadu presented itself. Reetesh took the opportunity and decided to pursue his mathematics, which was his favourite subject.
Manjakkudi was a different place far away from home. Not only was food different, but language too was a barrier for him. But all these were too small compared to his bigger goal. After his degree in Manjakkudi, he appeared for the job placement interview in the campus conducted by Sundaram Finance. “There was a preliminary introductory round, which was followed by a group discussion round. The topic of the group discussion was demonetization and I spoke against.
The final round included a personal interview where I was asked how I could be an asset to the organization. My answers were simple and short,” shares Reetesh.
Elaborating on his interview experience he says, “It is our grooming at the hostel that helped me to stay calm and confident. When asked how I would be an asset to the company, I replied that my mathematical expertise would help them in computations and calculations. Coupled to this was my disciplined nature developed at Aim for Seva.”
Reetesh will begin with a salary of Rs. 13,500. He loves to play cricket and as part of his next step ahead, he has already created an email ID to get connected to a whole new world. “My parents work for an everyday wage. For anyone it might be just a step, but for me it was my step to success, a pillar to sustain my family and a key to achieve my dreams. I am afraid to think what would have happened if AIM for Seva not been there,” he reiterates with a smile on his face and a choking voice.
From contemplating a doctoral in music to joining the armed and police forces, the alumni of AIM for Seva are making varied career choices.
Meera Kumari Honat who studied at our hostel in Rajasthan from 2010 to 2016 got selected in the Rajasthan Police Force after her training at Jodhpur and is in Udaipur now. She works 12 hours a day, from 8 am to 8 pm every day.
Meera says her biggest learning while living in the hostel was discipline and focus. “The hallmark of AIM for Seva hostel life is value-based education. Our Guruji, Swami Brahmaparananda Saraswati taught us the importance of daily puja and recitation of the Srimad Bhagavad Gita,” says Meera.
Meera hails from a village located in Udaipur district. He father owns 10 bighas of land on which the family grows corn, rice, wheat, mustard plant and chickpeas.
If the rain Gods are merciful, then the family is able to get an annual income of Rs 25,000.
Meera joined the hostel in 2010 when she was in high school. After completing class XIIth in 2012, she enrolled in a teacher training programme. Simultaneously, Meera also pursued a bachelors of arts degree with a focus on political science and Hindi literature via distance education through an institution located in Udaipur from 2012-2016.
After completing her graduation, Meera started preparing for competitive exams including the one for police.
We are proud to have an alumnus who is now with the Rajasthan Police Force. We wish Meera all the very best.
Our alumni from the Arsha Vidya Tirtha AIM for Seva Free Student Hostel for Boys in Jaipur continue to do us proud. Sukhlal Bhajat who studied in the Jaipur hostel from May 2008 to July 2015 is now currently working as an apprentice at the Maruti Suzuki India Limted plant in Manesar Gurgaon.
Recollecting his hostel life, Bhajat says that 50 of them lived under one roof and he imbibed strong cultural values during the Jaipur hostel years from 2008 to 2015.
He is grateful that he stepped into the AIM for Seva hostel network at a crucial juncture in his life. “Many of my friends in the village got addicted to smoking and drugs. I am happy that I focused on my studies,” he says.
While living in the hostel, Sukhlal also learnt driving and obtained a four wheeler driving license. Sukhlal has four other siblings—2 brothers and 2 sisters and he is second of the lot. His father owns a small plot of land in Chokdi village which is in Jhadol tehsil in Udaipur district. The family grows corn, rice, spinach, wheat and soybean in this farmland.
After completing his schooling, Sukhlal enrolled in ITI (Industrial Training Institute) in Udaipur from 2015 to 2017 in the motor mechanic course.
After completing his training, he appeared for a written examination conducted by Maruti Suzuki and was one of the six who made it to the interview stage. In this final round, only two candidates got selected, one of them being Sukhlal.
Sukhlal is currently earning Rs 14,000 per month and is employed as an apprentice in the auto major’s Manesar plant.
Sukhlal’s biggest learnings have been hard work and motivation. “After coming into the AIM for Seva network, I realised the importance of being focused. Competition has increased in all sectors and the only way to remain focused is to work hard,” says Sukhlal.
Sukhlal is contemplating to open his own mechanic shop sometime in future. At the moment, he is look preparing for training and recruitment in the armed and police forces.
While our students continue to make us proud with their academic achievements , our Free Student Hostel alumni aren’t far behind. In this blog, we share two stories and testimonials of alumni free student hostelers who continue to maintain their link with us.
Raj Kumar Dhurve who studied at the Bapu-Buddh AIM for Seva Free Student Hostel for Boys, Indore from 2006 to 2010 is now a teacher in a private school in Dindori district in Madhya Pradhesh from where he hails from.
Dhurve teaches Sanskrit, English and general knowledge to students from class 6 to 9. In addition, he also added PT (physical training) to the school curriculum for he knows its importance since his days as a Free Student hosteler in Indore.
Dhurve pays a visit to the Free Student Hostel at Indore and volunteers in the premises as often as he can . He guides, motivates and encourages our students on the importance of value-based education and how it is important to have an encompassing personality. “My own inspiration is our founder Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati. I had the good fortune of meeting him in person twice. In addition, I am grateful to Swami Aishwaryananda Saraswati , the coordinator of all our hostels in Madhya Pradesh. Swami Aishwaryanandaji always told me that when I grow up, I should not only give back to my parents and friends, but I should also give back to society.”
Dhurve who did his bachelors of arts in sociology from the P.M.B. Gujarati Arts and Law College, Indore and BEd from Shri Gujarati Samaj B.E.d College, Indore from 2006 to 2010. Around the same time, he also doubled up as an assistant warden at the hostel from 2006-07 and then was warden at the hostel from 2009-10.
Apart from value-based education, the disciplined life at the hostel also left a deep impact on Dhurve. The daily routine of rising up early and doing ablutions was followed by yoga, prayers, study and breakfast.
Then it was time for everyone to go to school and college. Evenings were devoted to play, prayers and study.
Another alumni from the same hostel (Bapu-Buddh AIM for Seva Free Student Hostel for Boys, Indore, Deshchandra Riyaang also shares his story. He joined the aforesaid hostel in 2012 when he went to college. He did in graduation degree in commerce from the Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya , Indore.
Like Dhurve, Deshchandra Riyaang also became a warden of his hostel in 2014 and continued in this role till last year. “I had to go back to North Tripura as my parents are very old now. My father is 80 years old and there is no one to take care of them.”
Nevertheless, Deshchandra is grateful for getting an AIM for Seva Free Student hostel exposure first as a graduate and then as a warden that left a huge impact in his life. “I got to meet people from all walks of life. At the hostel, I realised the importance of community and living together. As students, we used to have our fights but then we used to become friends again. The hostel experience helped me gain critical life skills like how to live in a society, give respect and love to family, friends and importance of cleanliness and hygiene.”
Our alumni continue to make us proud. Some of them are dreaming big and are working hard to achieve their goals. Gulab Damor, an alumnus of the Arsha Vidya Tirtha AIM for Seva Free Student Hostel for Boys in Jaipur, Rajasthan recently won the second prize in a speech competition organised by the Ramakrishna Mission. The topic was on the ‘Life of Swami Vivekananda’ and Gulab delivered an eloquent speech and wooed the audience. There were 100 participants in this competition.
Gulab joined the Arsha Vidya Tirtha AIM for Seva Free Student Hostel for Boys, Jaipur in 2008 when he was 10 years old. “I was the first student at this hostel,” he recollects. He hails from Makdev village in Udaipur district which is a hilly region. His father is into farming in the village and Gulab has two younger brothers, one of whom is in class 9 and resides at the same hostel in Jaipur.
Gulab’s big moment occurred when he came face to face with our founder, Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati when Swamiji paid a visit to the Jaipur hostel in 2008 and 2011.
“Swamiji’s vision is profound. At that time, he inspired all of us by telling that nothing is bigger that working towards the betterment of society.”
After completing his XII standard in 2014, Gulab went on to do a bachelor’s in arts from the IGNOU (Indira Gandhi National Open University) with his main subjects being philosophy, Sanskrit and English. Alongside, Gulab also pursued a BA in Music from Allahabad University.
Gulab is looking to take forward his musical education. He is keen to do a MA as well as a PhD in Hindustani music and he wants to focus on the Delhi Gharana. The Delhi Gharana is one of the oldest table gharana and the first one to establish improvisation rules. It was founded in the 18 century.
“I would like to take Swamiji’s vision forward. I want to learn as much as I can and spread the message of our founder far and wide,” he says.
Seventeen years after the first Free Student Hostel for school going children was set up in Anaikatti, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, we are happy to share that AIM for Seva’s intervention and hand holding is bearing fruit with our alumni either pursuing higher education or taking up a vocation or a job.
25 year old Om Prakash Dheel who is now a warden of the AIM for Seva Free Student Hostel for Boys, Udaipur resided at the Arsha Vidya Tirtha AIM for Seva Free Student Hostel for Boys, Jaipur from 2008 till 2016. He is deeply inspired by our Rajasthan coordinator, Swami Brahmaparananda Saraswati.
Om Prakash hails from village Ghasakhedi in Mavli Tehsil in Udaipur district in Rajasthan. His father is a farmer. The family has a bit of ancestral land but the annual income does not exceed Rs 30,000.
“If the crop is bad, then our income is lower. When Swamiji visited our villages and met the parents and children, we got to know about AIM for Seva,” says Om Prakash.
Om Prakash has four other brothers and he is the eldest among his siblings. The second brother is studying at the Jaipur hostel. After completing his XII class from Gaurang Vidyapeeth in Jaipur, 2010, Om Prakash went on to do his bachelors in commerce (BCom) from SS Jain Subodh PG College from 2011-2014.
Om Prakash’s educational quest did not stop there. He did his second bachelors in education (Bed) from the Rajasthan Shiksha Mahavidyalay in 2015. He then went on to complete his masters in commerce (MCom). Like a double bachelors, Om Prakash went on to do a double masters, the second master’s degree being in education (Med) from the Janardan Rai Nagar Rajasthan Vidhyapeeth in 2017.
“I would like to be in the field of education. I am now contemplating a PhD in education. I have just given my entrance examinations for doctoral admissions to five universities in Rajasthan. In addition, I am also preparing for the NET (National Eligibility Test) conducted by the University Grants Commission.
I would like to focus on challenges of last mile education in tribal areas,” says Om Prakash.
As he starts his doctoral journey, Om Prakash is grateful for having come into the AIM for Seva system early on. “I managed to get a good education and also met a lot of good people who have dedicated their lives to the welfare of others while living in the Free Student Hostel in Jaipur. My dream of a good education has got fulfilled and more importantly, I had access to value-based education, the hallmark of our Free Student Hostels. I can tell very confidently that the kind of education that I had access to will not be found anywhere else even if you pay loads of money. The academic support provided at our Free Student Hostels combined with culture validation is something unique to AIM for Seva,” he says.
Om Prakash is now busy applying for temporary adhoc lecturerships in a few universities in Rajasthan and he hopes to teach and study for his doctoral degree side by side.