From now on Khokon Sarkar would be addressed as ‘Mr. Khokon Sarkar’. He has recently become Block Development Officer (BDO), having appeared in Indian Government’s Civil Service exams, which is a highly demanding, competitive, lucrative position. He would be looking after the development of various rural areas, which are officially called ‘blocks’. He would be paid handsomely in Indian social context, and which would be increasing when he would be serving sincerely from his position. He is going to have his own office, possibly with assistants, and vehicles. This success put Khokon Sarkar over the moon.
Considering Khokon Sarkar’s impoverished family background, it was impossible to think about such a high-profile responsible government position. His elderly father, Santosh Sarker was unemployed, mother, Padma Sarkar was merely a housewife. His family also included older brother, Sanjeeb Sarkar, second brother, Ananda Sarkar and youngest sister, Anima Sarkar. All were dependent on £14.00 (approximate) income from the older brother Sanjeeb Sarkar’s tailoring work while he was married, having his own family to support. And all lived in a bamboo thatched wall and corrugated tin roofed house in a remote village in North East part of West Bengal. Khokon Sarkar had a tremendous aptitude for education, but his family had no means to fulfil this dream.
IIMC found him as a likely candidate to have a sponsorship. Having achieved the sponsorship, he was able to see the light to resume his throttled education. For his comfort for carrying on his education undisturbed, the sponsorship was covering free medical service, uniform, books, stationaries and school meals. Gradually, he was improving his confidence and intellect. He was passing classes one after another scoring brilliant result up to university level. Before appearing for the Civil Service exams, he was successfully holding a teaching job in a high school.
To express his heartfelt thanks, Last week, Khokon Sarkar, with his mother, came to IIMC office. He overwhelmingly talking to Dr. Sujit Brahmochary about his remarkable achievement and IIMC’s great contribution behind this success. Sarkar put up a wonderful proposal: He wants to sponsor a poor student who needs support. Dr. Brahmochary welcomed this wish wholeheartedly as he always wants sponsoring a poor student should follow a chain-effect in poor society like in West Bengal. Everybody in the office was called in to share the good news brought by Khokon Sarkar and his mother. All congratulated him.
Dr. Brahmochary took the opportunity to thank the people who were instrumental behind the Khokon Sarkar’s unprecedented success. Foremost, he appreciated the team members of IIMC’s Education Programme for their sincere efforts in looking after Khokon Sarkar’s educational and family needs, painstakingly keeping his records for a long time. Next, more importantly, his thanks went to Tracy Ford, an active member of IIMC-UK, who confidently continued her sponsoring support towards Kokhon Sarkar’s education.
Dr. Brahmochary, who always believes ‘an educated child can bring light of education for all family members’, was probably the happiest person in witnessing Khokon Sarkar’s success. He was confident that there are many like Khokon Sarkar being supported by the IIMC’s Education Programme. But he looked forward to include more who are still helplessly waiting in remote areas without education. His dream is,
‘Possibly we can’t change the world, but we can change someone who will change others and this chain of change will remove the poverty, illiteracy and inequality’.
Let us hope to realise this dream.
Abu B. Siddique, Ph.D.
Research and Policy, IIMC