Shuvajit Payne holds a bachelors degree in economics from Presidency College and an MBA from IIM Lucknow. With the degrees, there was a little madness too. Madness to do something beyond the ordinary in life. He sprinted back to India leaving a job at IBM in London just like Mohan Bhargav did in Swades.
Such decisions are seldom supported by elders in India. Likewise, not his family nor friends were good to go with the decision Shuvajit made, but there was no stopping him. He took up SBI’s Youth For India fellowship program, which took him to Waifad in Wardha district of Maharashtra.
Leaving the city of dreams and coming to a small room with a chatai, his laptop and erratic power must have been a daunting task for sure. However, all this meant nothing to him as he was focusing on the bigger picture- his aim!
The villagers in India many a times hesitate to chirp out with outsiders, someone who is not known to them on a daily basis, someone who they do not consider one amongst themselves. These circles are so close-knit, that they disapprove any and every outsider. Similarly here in Waifad, they hesitated to even speak to Shuvajit. He overcame all this with the backpack of positivity he had brought down all the way from London, and within just a month, he had well adjusted himself and had also begun teaching English to the younger generation in the village.
His scope extended by the day, and he started offering vocational training. Some 300 students were coached by him, 50 of which now have good careers. One of them works as a software developer and another one is an animator! All credit it to Shuvajit’s mentorship.
About the condition of schooling in rural India, Shuvajit says, “There are schools in villages but no teachers. If there are teachers, then they don’t come to work. Instead of doling out freebies, the government should make people accountable for work.” He now works as the Programme Manager for the Youth For India fellowship program.
Such stories bring back a sense of belief that humanity is all not over yet!