Education sets us Free
Story of role-model Ashok Herur
Ashok said, ‘My father helped set me free, with the gift of education. Similarly, I helped set my daughter free. This is my story.
We were 4 brothers and 5 sisters, growing up in a tiny house in Gulbarga, a small town in North Karnataka.
Even though the text-books, and occasionally some clothes, were hand-me-downs, we were always content with what we had, and never felt deprived of anything.
However, at every available chance, my father, a lawyer and a freedom-fighter, used to share his humble background to drive home the importance of a good education.
We - all of us - understood what we needed to do, and didn’t let him down.
There was no choice but to do well academically. So we did!
After completing his BE, my elder brother, Suresh, joined the prestigious NITIE in Mumbai to study Industrial Engineering.
That is when he showed all of his younger siblings that there is something beyond the pond, called Gulbarga.
I couldn’t believe what I heard when he first broached the topic of my applying to study for my Masters degree in the US.
He kept prodding me, with a large part of his stipend being used for the Application fee and the Courier charges.
To my delight, I was offered admission at Clarkson University, with full financial support in the form of a Teaching Assistantship.
So I did my Masters there.
I always had the urge to return to India, and so I did, upon graduation.
On my return, in 1987, I joined an Engineering college in Belgaum in a teaching position.
I have been teaching in various colleges in India and Singapore ever since. It is my calling and career. I love that it lets me help many youngsters to set themselves free in the process!
Following in my father’s footsteps, I gave my only daughter the best possible education. She too did her best and finally graduated from the London School of Economics.
Whenever the choice came to holding her dear or letting her fly - we chose the latter.
Education set me free. I was her guardian, until she set herself free.
I know, I did the right thing, by her.
I also know she will too, when her time comes.