Usha started her Pestalozzi World journey at the Indian Village in 2009. Now a final year student at the National Institute of Fashion Technology, Usha tells us how she is helping give back to society and why education is so important.
“I used to live with my parents in a small district called Khunti in Jharkhand where I went to a regular village school.
When I was selected, I didn’t feel I was the most experienced of all the kids, but I believe Pestalozzi World saw potential in me.
Had it not been for Pestalozzi World I would have continued my education in the same school and then for my further studies I could have gone up to the district college and that’s about it for my education.”
I remember my first day at the village really clearly, my housemother at the time was Rita mam who came to the gate and gave us a garland and red tikka which we use in India to welcome people. As soon as we entered the gate, she hugged us very warmly, held our hand and took us to our room.
The most memorable moment which I still cherish is when we used to go to the Village which was still under construction on the weekends.
During that time, we used to stay in the rented house, and we would go to the Village to grow carrots and radish. We used to catch the bus and the driver would play lots of songs and we all used to dance and talk with the senior students.
Passing on the Pestalozzi values
By the time I graduated from Pestalozzi World I had changed from a shy scared person to an outward, extroverted independent person.
My entire self was like a new Usha kind of thing! When I first came to Pestalozzi World my mother had joined me, but when I graduated, I could go out on my own.
One thing that Pestalozzi World changed in me was I was taught ‘head, heart and hands’ so when I graduated, I did not think only about my career, I also thought about how I could help society, how I should fly high but be rooted to my grounds.
The experience helped me to change for the better, the Pestalozzi teachings and all the extra exposure I got from volunteering work made me want to explore various different fields in terms of career and think how I can help people by general guidance or raising small funds.”
“Right now, I am a final year student at the National Institute of Fashion Technology in Delhi, and I help younger students from Pestalozzi World settle in when they come to Delhi for their higher education.
I am also a board member of the Indian Village and a member of the International Alumni Committee. When I graduate, I am thinking of starting my own small business so that I can help Pestalozzi World.
If Pestalozzi World did not sponsor my education, my life would have been stagnant with little opportunity in terms of a career or personal growth. I feel if somebody has helped me, I should help as many people as possible, I think this is the only way we can make the education system better.
Education is power, when you are an educated person, you think not only for yourself but for the entire society. It allows a person to speak up for themselves and know what is right and wrong. That’s why I think it is so important to be educated.
In Sanskrit there is a proverb which says your parents are like the first teacher and your teachers are your parents as well. The donors and all the staff are like a guru to me, I am forever grateful for the opportunity I got and had it not been for the donors I wouldn’t be here speaking to you.
There are some things you are not able to pay back, the only thing we can do is to complete the circle by helping out and following in our donor’s footsteps to help other students.”