Albert Einstein once said, “Adversity introduces a man to himself.” He might as well have been talking about Jitendra Singh. Despite financial hardships, the engineering student from a village near Agra found great resolve to overcome his circumstances and pursue an education that could change things around for him and his family. Always an excellent student, his efforts found just reward in the form of the Marubeni India Meritorious Scholarship which supported his endeavours for higher education.
His journey has inspired him to give a helping hand to students who face similar obstacles in their studies, and is sure to inspire others as well. Below are a few excerpts from his interview with Buddy4Study:
Buddy4Study: Tell us about your academic and professional background before joining the engineering programme.
Jitendra: I hail from a remote village near Agra, Uttar Pradesh. I did my schooling till 5th class at the Government school in my village. After I topped my district in 2009, I got an opportunity to study at VidyaGyan – a residential school located in located in Bulandshahr district of U.P. that imparts free-of-cost education to meritorious and financially challenged rural kids. In class 10th I got a CGPA of 10 in CBSE, and my score for class 12th was 94.4%. To continue my studies further, I took admission in B.Tech in the year 2016 at Shiv Nadar University. The journey after class 12th has been a little challenging but all the effort to cope with adversities has made me stronger and more dedicated to my studies.
Buddy4Study: What motivated you to pursue a course in Engineering?
Jitendra: To be frank, I wanted to pursue my higher studies in such a course which would ensure me a job once I graduate. When I see my father who’s a farmer barely able to suffice to family needs, I can’t help but think of my responsibilities as the eldest son and the desire to help my family as soon as possible. This is why I see a good job as something that could help me fulfil this short-term goal of seeing my family become financially stable. Hence, I took admission in B.Tech at Shiv Nadar University through an education loan. In spite of these financial hardships, I find myself enjoying the courses and being motivated to learn something new every day.
Buddy4Study: What were the key challenges faced by you during the course of your journey to reach here?
Jitendra: Today, when I look back and think of the challenges I faced, I realise they were simply opportunities in disguise, to make me stronger and skilled enough to tackle such things in life. I did face hardships where it felt like I had no hopes of admission due to financial issues but there were several people/organizations who helped me in those times to get me where I am today. In life, there are always times when we feel demotivated because of one or the other reason. I remember the day from my first year of B.Tech in coding class when we were all required to bring laptops, and among the 200-odd students, I was the only one who didn’t have a laptop! Luckily, I always had people looking out for me, and borrowed one from a friend. All of this only hardened my resolve to remain motivated and focused on my education.
Buddy4Study: What has been your source of inspiration?
Jitendra: It has to be my father. I remember once casually asking him about the crops he sowed and why he chose to grow them instead of cash crops which would reap more benefit. To this day, I remember his answer, something that always keep me motivated. He said I have sown seeds for such a crop that will benefit us all the most – educating my children. These words of wisdom from a farmer who himself couldn’t receive the education he fought so hard to provide to his children shall always be the inspiration for me to make the most of my opportunities. It instilled the belief in me that the more challenges I face, the stronger I shall become.
Buddy4Study: How has your family supported you in your venture to pursue this course?
Jitendra: I know the limitations that my family had in terms of financial assistance that they could provide me. But, there are other aspects that they always fulfilled. Emotional motivation is something that I always get by noticing the situation of my family and it keeps up my spirit to achieve my goal. I believe our way of thinking is what makes us what we are and I have always been lucky enough to listen to amazing thoughts and life principles that my father as a farmer lives by. The life lessons I’ve picked up have inculcated in me a value to work honestly without worrying about the credit for one’s work.
Buddy4Study: How did you come to know about the Marubeni Scholarship? What was the process you followed to avail the scholarship?
Jitendra: While searching online for scholarships in class XII, I came across Buddy4Study and subscribed to it. When I was in my first year of UG studies, I got a mail from Buddy4Study stating the details of Marubeni Scholarship. I read all the instructions carefully and after finding myself eligible for it, I applied and provided all the necessary documents. The team assisted me completely and helped me receive the financial assistance I badly needed.
Buddy4Study: What are your ambitions in the future and how do you plan to execute them?
Jitendra: As of now, my short-term goal is to help my family financially and for that I plan to work for some reputed firms for a few years. Once I am financially stable, I want to become financially independent and for that I plan to become an entrepreneur. Eventually, I want to be in a position to contribute back to the society and help the students who due to lack of resources can’t continue their study further. After seeing the dropout rate of girl students after primary education in my village due to lack of schools in nearby areas or financial constraints, I plan to open a school for them in about 15 years from now where they can get quality education without paying any fees.
Buddy4Study: Any piece of advice that you would like to impart to other potential aspirants like you who are constrained by various challenges towards pursuing higher education?
Jitendra: I believe everyone has the potential to excel, we all need to identify opportunities to bring that potential into use. Whenever we face challenges, instead of giving up, we should think that this is the time that makes us stronger. So, I would tell them to stay self-motivated and dedicated to their goal. There are ample opportunities for students who aspire to excel.
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