When you have the spark in your eyes and the fire in your belly, no challenge remains big enough to stop.
Hi, this is Rashmi Subramanian, a 22-year old Social entrepreneur. I wake up every single day with a passion to improve the quality of education in India.
It’s not an easy task to convert your passion into your profession and picking subjects like Ancient Indian Culture at the graduate and Philosophy, Religion and Culture at the postgraduate level, when there are thousands of engineers, MBAs, CAs in this world, makes this journey unconventional and lonely.
My journey to do something for the education landscape in this country ignited in my mind as a school going kid. I had a natural inclination and a never-ending passion for history and political science. At an early stage from Grade 6- Grade 10, the negligence of these subjects and the step-motherly treatment it received. It was hard to break the herd mentality for me. To be the only student in the class of 56 to select humanities was a tough path to choose. To declare your love for history and political science
This actually made me realise that the negligence of these subjects and the rampant rote-learning is something that seriously needs to tackled and eliminated systematically in our country.
I consider myself lucky to have college professors and mentors who have given their unconditional love and unlimited support to my ‘craziness ’. And learning from them gave me an idea to start an education organization that will remove boredom and dull content of social studies and replace it with creative learning keeping the historical and constitutional values intact.
My internship stints with different NGOs and interaction with many people who work in the education domain fuelled my passion to be an entrepreneur. Somebody who wakes up every single day with zeal and enthusiasm.
When I see students question about history and political science in the classroom, I receive the motivation for my work. When I give teachers guidelines and content, equip them with knowledge, I am satisfied that I am creating change-makers.
To work in this domain is actually similar to solving a jigsaw puzzle. Hence, I realised that PAHELI would be the best name for this. And PAHELI is also an acronym for Political And Historical Engagement for Learners of India. Currently, PAHELI is working on the empowerment of teachers and students to create politically aware and historically active students who will shape the India of tomorrow.
With PAHELI, there are so many opportunities to explore and the schools today understand the need for strengthening social studies. How can we tackle social problems in this country if we cannot teach social studies effectively? This has been the central question that I try to bring to limelight through my work in PAHELI.
I believe it is the power of the dreams that helped me get the vision to work for my country. Whenever you face problems, convert them into solutions and you will eventually find the purpose to live an enriching life.
Remember self-created barriers and restrictions can be toxic in your life. These convert to regret when you turn old. Do not let these come in your way!
Live a meaningful life and leave a footprint when you die for others to take inspiration from!
(YIC RGIT Mumbai 2017)