Yogendra Singh, son of a rickshaw-puller who will graduate from IIM-Lucknow next week, is using his management skills to transform the lives of children of his village in Medininagar (Daltonganj) area of Jharkhand.
“I consider myself lucky that I was able to overcome all hurdles and study at the Indian Institute of Management-Lucknow. Now, time has come for me to help underprivileged students of my locality,” said the 30-year-old tribal boy.
Yogendra wants other tribal children of his village to stop working as daily wage labourers and think of cracking competitions and get through IIMs or IITs to bring a social transformation in their district.
“If I can do it despite adverse conditions, why can’t they?” asked a confident Yogendra, who has lapped up a job in a micro finance company in Pune.
He has himself grazed cattle, milked cow and slept without food before he came to study at IIM-L. He has co-founded a society for educational development in the village.
Yogendra organises competitions related to general knowledge, essay writing, and public speaking to instil a feeling of competition in the hearts of young people so that they are better prepared for bigger competitions after 10+2.
“Our society will now conduct a general aptitude test for counselling of students from Class 8 onwards. I am doing my bit to motivate children for learning,” he said.
Former IIM professor Debashis Chatterjee, who mentored Yogendra when he entered the campus, was all praise for him. “It is heartening to see that he is determined to give it back to the society. The institutions like IIM should inculcate such feelings among the students during their stay on the campus,” he said.
Yogendra has an ambitious plan to improve the quality of education imparted at the grassroots level. He intends to do this by training local school teachers in various areas which he identified as lacking. “My exposure to IIM-L has acquainted me with best practices in teaching which I can put to good use,” he said.
“I am developing a model of rural education which revolves around the use of digital means. I found quality database of education online like the free education resources of Khan Academy videos, Digital Study Hall, YouTube videos, etc which I believe can easily be leveraged to drastically improve the quality of education,” he told Hindustan Times over phone from Medininagar.
Yogendra, who has also completed BTech, has plans to start virtual classes in rural areas for large scale dissemination of education. “He took keen interest in this model. I had not tested this model but he was more than willing to take it up,” said his friend and batch mate at the IIM-L, Jay M Shah, who is an admirer of this Jharkhand boy who grew up in poverty.
Yogendra wants to make his hometown prosperous and self-sustainable by sparking creativity amongst the villagers. He intends to arrange skill development programmes for women and youngsters and may take help of government machinery for the same.
His ideas of self-employment currently revolve around the use of natural resources available in the region. His area is rich in a resource that can be used to produce ink. Yogendra also wants to promote local handicrafts by using e-commerce for demand generation. He wishes to distribute the products throughout the country.