For years, Yogendra Singh grazed cattle, milked cow and slept without food. But his father-in-law, a primary school teacher stepped in and funded his education on the surmise that he would return the money after getting a job.
“He gave me the initial amount of 50,000 and helped me in getting education loan from the bank. It was due to his intervention and perseverance that I succeeded in walking into the portals of IIM-L campus,” said Singh, who did his entire schooling in government schools. For his unlettered parents and siblings, studying in IIM’s is just like pursuing higher studies from any other college.
“They do not understand what it takes to get into IIM. For them it is just like another college. Nobody from my village has come this far,” said Yogendra, father of a one-year-old boy. In Singh’s village early marriage is an age-old custom, which even he could not get away from. His wife has only recently completed her graduation.
Before leaving for Lucknow, Singh forced his now feeble father to stop pedalling the rickshaw. His friends have pooled in money to support his family. But life is still not hunky-dory for Singh, who works on a laptop borrowed from a distant relative. “There is a lot of pressure on me to quit my management studies and take up some job because my family is reluctant to live on my friend’s hard-earned money. I am in two minds on whether I should continue my studies or resume working,” he said.
Lack of fluency in English is another area of concern for this ambitious student. “There are a lot of things that are disturbing me. As I do not speak fluent English, I am finding it difficult to cope despite wholehearted support from my classmates,” he said, adding that his professors too motivate him not to succumb under any monetary pressure because at the end of the tunnel, there is light and hope.