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Case study - Sachin Rokade

Sachin Rokade shares his success story…

I belong to a lower income group family that comprises my mother, grandmother and my two siblings. We were not very well off financially. Today at the age of 24, I am a telecom engineer by profession, working for HUAWEI Telecommunication India Pvt Ltd, a world-renowned equipment and service provider and software company in the world.”

When I was studying in second grade, one day, I saw many students from my class getting new uniforms, notebooks and stationery. I was very excited. I went running to collect mine. After waiting for my turn, I received the packet with all the education aid. I was thrilled. But since my name was not in the register, one of the staff members told me to return the packet, giving me the assurance that it will be given to me after speaking to my mother. I felt so sad that I started crying loudly. Everyone heard me crying and turned around to look at me. But since I was small, I couldn’t do much, other than wait. I told them that my elder sister was in grade V and my mother had already left for work and that there was no one at home. They met my sister and asked her when it would be possible to meet my mother at home? Soon, they visited my house and interviewed my mother about the situation at home. And thereafter, I got my packet of books and education material. Oh! I was so thrilled!

I made a drawing to send to my sponsor by extracting a paper from my new drawing book. I don’t remember what I drew first, but I used the crayon to my heart’s content. I had never had crayons before in my life! I started seeing colorful dreams of becoming someone by making the best use of this golden opportunity to study.

I really owe it to CWB for being with my family and me at every stage of my education. They not only gave me educational aid that was required for my academics but also provided me with food material, midday meals, groceries for our family, and medical assistance whenever required. A huge support was in the form of the guidance that I received from the CWB team in every major decision I had to take. What I am today is because of my sponsors, without whose support, I would not have come this far.”

CWB speak
I remember my first meeting with Sachin’s mother Maya. It was soon after the death of her husband. Her neck and hands covered with the end of her long sari to hide the burn marks on her right hand and neck, the result of their kerosene stove bursting while she was cooking, many years before. These scars will always be part of her, yet they pale into insignificance when we consider the grit and determination of this gutsy woman. She is truly a lady of substance, who, as a young widow, brought up her three children by taking up part time jobs as a domestic worker, working in people’s homes.

Sachin was the second of three siblings of this young mother. He was studying in Grade I when his father passed away. I clearly remember my first interview with Maya and what she told me about her children. She was determined that nothing would hinder the dreams she had for her children, despite the absence of their father. Her positivity was infectious and over the period of my interactions with her, there would be times when I learned a thing or two from her.

Sachin and his siblings studied up to Grade VllI in a State board school. Under the aegis of the Government of India’s universalization of Elementary education program which states that free and compulsory education should be provided to all children up to the age of 14, the economic burden wasn’t too high on Maya. Being bright students, gaining admission into a private school that catered to students from lower socio-economic groups was easy. However, the crunch came when the school fee had to be paid - in a household that was already struggling to make both ends meet on the measly earnings of their mother.

It was at this juncture that Children of the World (India) Trust (CWB) stepped in to extend sponsorship support to Sachin and his younger sister Suvarna. With this, the children received educational aid in the form of the tuition fee, books and stationery, uniforms, school bags and footwear. The Sponsorship program also provided family support in the form of monthly rations/lentils, medical assistance, guidance and counseling. Thanks to our sponsors, this support was a great boost for them.

This was a significant turning point in the life of Sachin and his sister, Suvarna. Sachin worked hard and passed his Grade X examinations (the first public exam in school life) with an excellent aggregate of 77%. That was the first milestone in his academic progress.

He then took admission for technical studies into Fr.Agnel Technical Institute, a reputed college and cleared his 4-year diploma course with a whopping 85%. Campus placements landed Sachin a job but a year later he decided to study more so that he could improve his job prospects and earning capacity, which led him to take admission to a degree course in Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering. He cleared the final semester scoring 65% marks. Even before the completion of his final semester, Sachin landed a job with ZTE — a telecom multinational — through another campus placement! The interviewers were impressed with both his technical grasp of the subject as well as his witty replies to non-technical questions.

Sachin came with chocolates directly to our office to share the news of his selection for the post. It was one of the most heartening moments for the team at the CWB office. He was extremely happy that day. After a year’s stint with ZTE, Sachin joined another telecom firm – HUAWEI.

Sachin’s younger sister Suvarna has also, at present, completed her computer engineering degree. Maya, their mother, continues to work as a housemaid though Sachin wishes that she would stop working. Maya says she wishes to continue working until she has the strength, though she has reduced her workload considerably.

Maya maintains that her children were focused and knew their responsibilities. “They never bunked school and were always sincere. They were also very understanding and adjusting.” The family also understood the importance of living within their means. This ensured that no moneylender ever came knocking at their door for payment recovery.

I salute the spirit of Sachin’s mother first. Despite all the adversities, she supported them in their education and brought them up with the right values. She feels that the timely and continued support of the sponsors from CWB gave her the courage to ensure her children completed their education. Her eldest daughter is a Masters in Commerce and is presently married and based in Pune.

Case story documentation – Susan Jacob