“Maybe life isn’t about avoiding the bruises. Maybe it’s about collecting the scars to prove we showed up for it” – Unknown
Giving up is the easiest option everyone has, most of them choose it but a very few have the courage to turn the tides in their own favor. Shashikant Jaiswal is a perfect example of hard work, dedication, and courage who went on becoming a reputed employee at an MNC from being a newspaper seller in the past. A 22-year-old Shashikant never loses the hope and keep his goals bigger than the adversities of life.
Shashikant was born in Mahatma Phule Nagar, a slum cluster in Mumbai with Dalits being in majority. Shashikant, as a mature boy never let the discrimination, being a part of his world. He also believes that a gender-equal society is possible but change has to begin from home. He even fought with his parents to let his younger sister pursue a degree in BEd after her graduation.
“I follow Babasaheb’s writings. They are remarkably insight especially when people all around are so strongly divided by caste” – Shashikant
He was even not mature enough to understand when he has to go through a very tough life. His father was thrown out of the house by his parents so they were forced to live in a jhuggi for a very long time. His father used to earn just Rs. 3,000 per month by selling corn to support the bread and butter for a family of four with his parents and an elder sister including him. They were forced to borrow many to buy books to support their education. Shashikant started taking up odd jobs like distributing newspapers and helping political parties set up their billboards to complete his education when he was in seventh grade. He could only earn Rs 500 a month and all of that went in paying his school fees.
Shashikant Jaiswal was able to cope up with every problem with the help of his positive outlook. He has a great love for learning so he wanted to grab every opportunity to learn. He even his teacher to teach him English during recess when someone asked him an address written in English, to which he had no clue because he did not know the language. However, he felt helpless and completely discouraged for the first time when he could not pursue Electrical Engineering to continue his passion because of the shortage of money. He was forced to settle for a degree in Commerce.
Shashikant Jaiswal knew that only a salaried job can help him coming out of his financial crisis and also support his dream for further education. In 2014, he joined the first batch of Magic Bus’ Livelihood programme at Vikhroli. Magic Bus connected the aspirations and potential of young people to available market opportunities. It was a perfect platform to build employability skills and mapped job potential based on individual strengths and mobility. Shashikant too got an insight into his skill sets and drawbacks and based on that he developed a road-map for his career. Even after three years of completing his Livelihoods training, he still takes career-related advice from his mentors of the Centre.
Shashikant is presently working as an Account Representative for multi-national software company Accenture, earning Rs 25,000 per month. He has been saving enough to support his further education after meeting his family’s needs keeping in mind a dream to buy their own house in their hometown.
Shashikant Jaiswal has faced life and its challenges with a lot of courage and patience which makes him a role model for others. The training, he got in Magic Bus as a Youth Leader has made him more determined to change mindsets around him. He dreams of opening a school in his neighborhood and help many more children to taste success by fulfilling their dreams. Magic Bus has been one of the pioneers to support people like Shashikant and we hope these small efforts from the society will bring the much-needed change in the society.
“Every child nurses a dream. Poverty stifles that very dream. My education will hold a light to those who are fighting to save their dreams from the clutches of poverty.” – Shashikant
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