One of the main apostolates of Hazaribag Jesuits is Dalit Apostolate. This particular group of people who are widespread in Hazaribagh area is deprived of their basic rights. They are downtrodden people in society. Hazaribag Jesuits are involved in their upbringing by education ministry both formal and non-formal, conducting awareness programme in villages about basic health, government project, social issues etc. also helping them to make women self-help group in order to make themselves economically strong. Many have come up and started living a bitter life by doing some good jobs after being educated.
Here is a life story of a boy coming from a village named Allounja which comes under Tarwa center. His name is Amit Kumar Das, his father is Deglal Ravidas , a village farmer by occupation and mother is Gulbi Devi, a simple housewife. He was born on 3 February 1999 in Pune as his parents were working as migrant laborers in Pune. He spent two years of his childhood with his parents in Pune and came back to their own village Allounja. He started his primary school at the age of five in St. Maria Prathmic Vidyalay Allounja Khurd. This was our Dalit mission school which is recently closed. As a child he was very naughty, instead of attending the class he was going to play with his friends to the forest. His mother was scolding him even beating because of not going to school but his father was very much loving that he was not even saying a word to him. After completing 3rd standard he went to St. Joseph’s school Tarwa for his further study and got admission in class 4 in the year 2009. He stayed in a hostel. In the beginning, he did not like hostel life. The food which was provided in the hostel, fixed timetable for everything and a new place and new students in the hostel made him feel uneasy, homesick, awkward and disliking of the things. It became easy for him to stay in the hostel because his uncle’s son and daughters were studying and staying in the same hostel who took care of him. When he reached class 8th, he had a hostel in-charge a regent Br. Rajesh Hembrom SJ who cared for him and guided him well in his study and for his future life. He used to visit his home during holidays which inspired him to do well in his study.
When he reached class 10th he was shifted to Hutpa, a part of the hostel where only a few boys stay. In Hutpa Fr. Philemon Tirkey SJ was his hostel in-charge. He used to be very close to the hostel in-charge and Fr. Philemon also cared for him and guided him very well. He was even very close to all the teachers and he was respecting them all equally and obeying them whatever they said. He started preparing for his matric exam. It happened that due to the close affinity with hostel in-charge and teachers other boys of the hostel started hating him. Since he was sincere and open to the hostel in-charge it became hard for him to be with his friends in the hostel. It was his struggle in the hostel. He prepared for his matric exam staying in the hostel and he passed the exam with a good percentage (71.3%). Hostel in-charge Fr. Philemon played an important role in his school life especially in class 10th and so he is very grateful to him.
Rest of his life journey I would write in his own words. He says, “After completing my matriculation, I joined Holy Cross Vocational Training Institute Hazaribagh Jharkhand. I completed my 11th and went to Pune for my industrial training for two months. It was the first time I went out of Jharkhand and I had a good experience. After this, I started preparing for my CBSE board exam. It was the time I was facing the financial problem. Nobody was giving me money for my fee. The board exam was near and I had no money to pay my fee so my admit card was held back. Then I took help from Fr. Francis Marian to pay my fee and then I got my admit card. St. Xavier Hazaribagh was the center for my exam. After finishing my exam I came to Bangalore for my job training in hotel management for six months. After a month I got my result. I passed with a good percentage (71.6%). I have completed my job training and got selected for the job in Bangalore.”
This is the success story of Amit who comes from Allounja, a rural place of Hazaribag. He finished his job training on 31 October 2018. Then he went to Pune to give his interview for the job. He got selected there but they offered him Rs. 8500/- per month for the job, whereas in Bangalore where he did his training offered him Rs. 13000/- per month. So he started his job in hotel management in Bangalore. He has got three sisters younger to him; two are studying in St. Joseph’s School Tarwa.
I thank Amit for sharing your life story with me and allowing me to write it down and share with many people. It is very much inspirational and an example for those who are studying in Tarwa and our mission schools.
Thanking you all
Sch. Nirmal V Kullu sj
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