By Rahul Singh:
It is said that no matter what hardship he faces, a man will achieve what he wants if he has the will to fight. Mr. Prakash is a living example of it. He belonged to a rural family and his father was a modest farmer who was illiterate but wanted his two sons to go beyond the village life and make it big. So he came to Kolkata and took up a job at a petrol pump. He was given a small room adjoining the petrol pump where he lived with his two sons. Prakash was his younger son who went to a government school nearby and used to clean cars in spare time with his brother to make ends meet. Prakash was ambitious; he wanted to become a doctor.
He did well throughout his school and tried for the medical entrance exams. But, as he could not afford any tuition and had no one to guide him he could not clear the exam. His elder brother meanwhile kept failing the class 10th exam and dropped out. Prakash did not lose heart though, and after completing college he joined as a medical representative in a pharmaceutical company. Meanwhile, at a tender age of 21 he was married and within 1 year his daughter was born. A barely-out-of-college person, with a wife and child to take care of, felt the world of responsibilities on his shoulders. But never one to back down, he kept working hard and made rapid progress in his job and soon was promoted to branch manager.
A few months later he lost his job. He took up the post of medical representative in another company and started over again. 20 years later, he is now the vice president of sales of that company, has property in 4 states; he has built a house at his ancestral place in his village and has two Limca book of records in sales to his name. His elder brother, on the other hand, is unemployed, has 5 children and is in a deplorable condition living in that village home. Prakash has married off his brother’s 4 daughters and educated his son in addition to his own 2 children. Prakash’s daughter is a working MBA professional and his son is currently in IIT, pursuing engineering.
So how is it that two sons of the same person brought up in identical surroundings turned out to be so different? It is all due to the fighting spirit of Prakash and his determination to be successful and create a better future for his children. He has worked hard throughout his life and has tackled every issue he has faced including a near fatal accident, loss of job and poverty during childhood. Some people attribute his success to destiny but as he himself teaches his children, with hard work a man can shape his own destination. All he needs is faith in his ability and a never say die attitude.
Apart from the issues of poverty, Prakash’s story highlights the problems of education and early marriage in rural India. Disparity between education in cities and villages is depriving children of rural areas of a chance to create a better future. They end up coming to cities for it and subsequently face a huge struggle to survive as well as succeed. Early age marriage puts a lot of responsibility on young immature individuals and they have to cope with a lot of problems. Sometimes it leads to mental imbalance or even domestic violence. These trends need to change if we want to see an India where prosperity is distributed evenly all over.
P.S. : Mr. Prakash is the father of a very close friend of mine.