Our team member Vigneshwaran writes about the importance of persevering and striving for personal growth despite challenges posed by the flawed education system.
My name is K. Vigneshwaran. I was born in a small village called Alankuppam. I would like to begin my story from the time I was in school. People tend to have fond memories of their school days, but not me. The reason? My parents, my teachers, my friends.
My parents & teachers pushed me to study, but not once did anyone bother to explain to me what I was studying – or even why.
I was not like others; my ability to comprehend, not to mention my memory did not match up to expectations. I have appeared for more exams learning by rote, than understanding what I was writing. This system of education did not inspire me or motivate me in any way; I remain a strictly average student.
From childhood through the end of school, my home environment posed a massive challenge for me. My father was fixated on me getting an excellent education, but he never recognized the talents within me, my eagerness. To him, anything except studying was pointless & good for nothing. I loved sports, was I any better at sports? Sadly, no. My lack of stamina ensured that I was always the first one to fall behind in any competition with friends.
Somehow, I finished school in 2015, & went to college. I had very different expectations for college; I had hoped that, unlike school, I would be guided well, & fantasized that I would become an excellent engineering student. There was no great difference between (the teaching system in) my school & college.
I’m not blaming the education system in my country; I have met a few people who have succeeded with our system of education. I simply feel that, if only a few succeed, it’s not a successful system.
I would feel that my college had turned me into a shining symbol of a student lacking critical thinking, self-confidence & gumption. Was it going to be easy for such a person to find a job?
This was the time I started the lesson called Life. Unable to find employment, I faced routine humiliation from parents & others. Finding it unbearable to put up with their words, I did whatever jobs I could find. I have worked the night shift in vehicle manufacturing units; have delivered food, and worked in a biscuit factory. I have been a VMC operator, worked in construction, & even in temple festivals. Every job gave me a different experience, but none of them could give me happiness. As a result, I never lasted too long at any of them.
I have always strongly believed that if we don’t add value to our life, it is our greatest betrayal to ourselves. It was around this time that I felt the calling to learn the ancient Tamil martial art form of Silambam. It was a calling I could not ignore. Three years ago I finally found the right master and started to train in Silambam. Very quickly my practise became my companion. It helped me not only express myself but also empowered me to face challenges with confidence.
During the same time, my friend who saw my difficulties, referred me for a job in his place of employment. Here is when I began my journey at Yuvabe.
Working at Yuvabe has been a life-changing experience for me. As a designer, I was able to secure a job at the company based on my skills, rather than my education. The atmosphere at Yuvabe is one of respect and freedom, allowing me to consult with my colleagues and learn from their experiences. This was the first time I truly enjoyed my work and felt fulfilled in my career.
My boss at Yuvabe is quite unique. What sets him apart is how he treats his employees like human beings and friends. Yet, despite his approachable nature, he is no pushover and can keep a watchful eye on everything.
During my time at Yuvabe, I've been able to expand my skill set and learn new things that have had a positive impact on my life. I've delved into street play (acting), which has helped me better control my emotions. Additionally, I've gained proficiency in visualizing, communicating, and sustainability, and even picked up yoga, which has allowed me to express myself in new ways.
The best part of my experience at Yuvabe has been the people. My colleagues have been a constant source of support and inspiration, and I've even had the opportunity to give back by teaching local children at a school in Auroville once a week. Overall, my time at Yuvabe has been a truly transformative experience, and I'm grateful for the company for providing such a nurturing environment.
So many things I believed were impossible, became possible once I refused to give up. I have started expressing myself with confidence; I have understood that my life is meant to create something great.