Never too late to learn


Durga Didi, a helper didi at Laxmi Nagar school completed her graduation at the age of 40. An inspiration to so many of us at Akanksha, she shares her experiences, challenges and her journey to graduation and her dream of becoming an Akanksha teacher.

“Three years ago, the school team set a goal that helper didis will complete their graduation. I had left my college in 1997, which is almost twenty years ago. It was not just a difficult decision but also a challenging one. Initially, I was sceptical and I wanted to learn to tailor since I already knew the skill. I also somewhere knew that I would just not get time to study after managing both work and home. I told Aurene didi (social worker at Laxmi Nagar school) that I don’t want to study but she had different plans. She was adamant, she kept telling me that I could do this and one fine day; got me admitted in college.

For me, the experience was similar to learning how to swim. When you are thrown in water; you somehow manage to find a way out. I was admitted to National College. I struggled a little with the curriculum and also to make friends. I was the oldest in the classroom. I felt I shouldn’t be dependent on anyone and started spending most of my time doing self-study.

I live with my family in a small house and rarely would I get the time and space to sit quietly and study. So, I started going to a temple near my house to study. It was a quiet and positive space and it helped me learn better.

In the first year, I failed and I got a KT. I feared I would never make it. I would study very hard but during exams I would be completely blank. My family kept boosting my confidence. It was no surprise that I was very scared of exams and that I would forget everything I had studied out of fear. I decided not to focus on the outcome but to enjoy the process because I knew I was learning something new, every single day.

I didn’t give up. I kept working hard. There were days I would end up sleeping while I was studying. My mother also supported me through this journey. She loves watching television and would never miss a show. However, she would keep the television set off only to make sure I could study even at night.

After my exams, I was nervous. I checked my result online and when I saw that I had become a graduate; I was so happy. I cannot describe that feeling. It was one of the most beautiful days of my life.

Everything is possible, only if you have the will to do it. I say this out of experience because I’ve done it. I’m 40 years old and if I can do it anyone can. I now want to do a B.Ed and become a teacher in an Akanksha school.



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