By Mayura Choudhari
"From this motto of 'Educate Agitate Organise' given by Dr B R Ambedkar, we have picked up and are focusing on the first 'Educate' for now. We have understood that this has really changed our lives", said Mr O P Singh, father of Tushar Singh who scored 100 % marks in his HSC exams.
Mr O P Singh in his Interview with The Colourboard told that his father was just a small farmer in the village called Mursana in Bulandshahar but he gave importance to his son's education and thus Mr O P Singh is a reputed Professor of Economics in the University. His wife and Tushar's mother, Mrs Kiran Singh also holds a PhD degree. The legacy of education then is transferred to son Tushar as well as he takes care of forwarding the legacy to other children as well.
He often goes to villages and slums, meets young children deprived of education and motivates them by giving them books. He says, donating books to children every year gives a satisfaction of him being doing his duty of 'pay back to the society' and encouraging the poor towards education will definitely change their lives.
They have a room full of books in their house, which is very close to their heart and is also their pride. Mr O P Singh attends cadres and is a very social person, whereas he has not yet introduced his son to it, perhaps has asked him to complete his first step with all focus, which is nothing but gaining knowledge at first.
Tushar says, he was not always 'the topper' but was often in the first 5 toppers in his school. He never have thought of scoring 100 out of 100, but now is very happy with his achievement and is pleased with people throughout India appreciating him, continuous people coming to their house and phone calls wishing him and congratulating makes him feel good and inspired to keep up the spirit and dedication for studies.
Tushar loves swimming and wants to join his swimming classes again which he had to leave for HSC preparations. He has decided to take his further education in History from Delhi University and later appear for UPSC exam. He says his parents have always supported him in any decision, like earlier he wanted to study Political science but now his interest has grown in History.
After becoming an IAS in future he wants to work for rural development and change the perspective of people looking at the rural life.
Tushar considers 'competition' to be his constant motivation and Inspiration, besides he considers Abraham Lincoln and APJ Abdul kalaam as his ideal benchmarks whereas Tushar's father takes inspiration from thoughts of Dr B R Ambedkar because of whom everybody is been able to take education and lead a life with dignity. He also added that he is inspired by M K Gandhi's thoughts and thus aims to work more for village upliftment, which could be seen reflecting in his son Tushar's objectives too.
Mr. O P Singh on questions asked about 'Merit' in a Scheduled Caste boy which is a much debated topic and is highly denied, he said, "There is nothing like that, anybody can have merit and anybody can prove it." He added further, "Today everybody came to my door to congratulate my son, from every community, every religion, whether a worker or minister, everybody is proud of Tushar, he should not be known as a topper from so and so community, he has proved his merit and he made the whole nation proud of him, in future he will do good for this country being a citizen, he will definitely make this country proud again, so he must be known by that and not get limited to his caste identity."
He urged not to limit his son's identity to just a caste identity, as 'caste' is supposed to be annihilated and what should remain is pure 'merit', that anybody and everybody has, in its own way; irrespective of their location in the social hierarchy, or region or religion or gender or anything else for that matter.
Mayura Choudhari is a co founder of The Colourboard.