I am Raghvendra from Mumbai, India. I am 16 years old and I study in 10th grade in “Gumpha Road Municipal English Secondary school”.
I come from a family where most of the people are illiterate. We migrated to Mumbai for livelihood and we took shelter in a slum area. We all work hard to arrange as basic as food for the next day. I have a family of five members, my hardworking parents and my two lovely younger brothers. My parents never had enough to put me in a private school so I study in a government school.
The never-give-up attitude of my parents has been the biggest motivation for me to keep working hard. I feel that if they can do the same work for the past ten years then why can’t I do the same? This is not only about my parents but it’s about millions of parents in India who go through this and just a thought about them helps me to persevere towards my goals.
I believe that growing with underprivileged conditions was always an opportunity for me to work on diverse problems around me. Being underprivileged turned out to be a privilege since I have no other option than to work hard.
Such an environment has not only helped me to become an industrious person but has also helped me to become a person who puts a lot of effort into avoiding any kind of wastage of resources. I think it has taught me how to leverage each and every small opportunity or how to become an independent and passionate learner.
I want to make this world a better and more equitable place. Therefore, I have been working on diverse issues in my community since I was in the 8th grade, ranging from gender inequality to communal harmony.
But with time, I realized that our individual efforts can only make minor differences at one time. In order to do something big, we need to do collective action so I started working on fostering student leadership in my school through my project ‘Paramarsh’. Currently, we have 20 students working on seven different social projects impacting more than 400 people in the community.
I believe that to bring reforms in the education system we need to listen to the students and to work with them as equal partners and therefore I feel that Student Leader Advisory Council (SLAC) is a very important initiative in that direction. SLAC can help all of us to make education more relevant as well as fun for the students.