You’ve seen Shahrukh Khan’s Swades, right? If not, you should definitely watch it, cause it’s an exceptionally brilliant piece of work with its core being based on rediscovering your roots and the metaphysical journey we all go through in life to find our “home” to do something we strongly believe in.

real life swades story
Picture Source real life Swades

The reason why I bring this up, as people who have already watched it will be able to understand soon, is that we have a real life Mohan Bhargav, straight out of the movie, and his name is Shuvajit Payne.

real life swades story

Picture Source real life Swades

An Economics graduate from Presidency College, Shuvajit had also completed an MBA course from IIM Lucknow, before landing an extremely enviable job at IBM, London, which was just as cushy as it gets! However, little did anyone know that he was destined for much greater things. Shuvajit soon realized that droning away as just another big shot corporate honcho wasn’t what he saw himself doing with his life. As soon as he thought of this, in his epiphanic moment of “madness”, he decided to quit his desk job and embark on something that would be truly fulfilling to him!

real life swades story
Picture Source real life Swades

Turning his attention towards rural India, much like SRK’s Mohan Bhargav, Shuvajit brushed off all the doubts and apprehensions from his friends and family and joined the fellowship program offered by SBI – Youth For India. With just his laptop, a chatai, and a bag full of his belongings hurriedly packed up, he reached Waifad in the Wardha district of Maharashtra. The old run down computer center where he settled in had no luxuries, and even the electricity and internet connection were unreliable, but, determined as he was, he didn’t let that stop him. Starting with English, he soon began teaching the younger generation, having fully adjusted to his new life in just a month.

There are schools in villages but no teachers. If there are teachers, then they don’t come to work. Instead of doling out freebies, the government should make people accountable for work.

Apart from English, Shuvajit also provided personal mentoring and vocational training to his 300 students, and today, one of them is working as a software developer and another as an animator! He didn’t stop there, however. After the fellowship ended, he had a brief run as the Programme Director, Monitoring & Evaluation for the Reliance Foundation, working to uplift rural masses, which once again brought him back to Waifad itself. Shuvajit now oversees the functioning and expansion of the Youth For India fellowship program as its Program Manager, and tirelessly works to give back to the community he cares so deeply about.

real life swades story

Picture Source real life Swades

This proves that if there is a will, there is always a way to do something, be it making a change in society or anything else. Our sincerest respect for you, Shuvajit. May others also be inspired from your awe-inspiring life story.