Seventeen years after the first Chatralayam 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 Chatralayam for Boys, Udaipur resided at the Arsha Vidya Tirtha AIM for Seva Chatralayam 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 Chatralayam 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 Chatralayams. 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 Chatralayams 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.