There are a few people in this world whose life story fills you with lots of motivation and determination over the course of hearing that story. One such man is Mr. Rajeev Poddar, a teacher by profession who teaches accounts and economics to high school students in Calcutta, teaching 500 students every year.
He’s not just a teacher, but an inspiration to many. Crossing all the hurdles which life set up for him, he has successfully created a niche for himself. From being a stock market trader to forming “Knowledge Capsule” to help the students with Current Affairs, he has performed each task with utmost dedication and integrity.
In the past few years Mr. Poddar did not share his life story with anyone and always said no interviews, he always felt that it was like blowing your own trumpet or a way to get sympathy or took it as a joke, but his student once said that “when we become author of our own story we let other people learn from our life without having to live through it”
It is then when he decided that he not hesitates in discussing his life story. In the last class with his students, he decided to share his life story with them and named that class as the “ THE LAST LESSON”.
For being a doctor you need to have an MBBS degree, for a teacher a minimum is a graduate degree in any field, but Mr. Poddar has gone to school only till the 2nd standard. So how did he learn so much that he is able to teach accounts and economics to high school students, here is his story:-
Born a normal child he had a normal childhood with his family of 6 ( father, mother,3 brothers and one sister), schooled in Calcutta only. On 28th January 1980 he came from school did his everyday task and went to sleep in the night, midnight his stomach ached he was given medicine by his mother and made to sleep. Next morning his stomach ache vanished but he caught fever, he tried getting up from the bed but couldn’t his parents thought that it might be due to weakness and they made him sleep. After a few hours he said to his mother that he could not feel his legs his mother panicked, she pinched his legs but he felt nothing, he was rushed to the nearest hospital where the doctors checked him, treated him and tested him and they said that he has lost the power and sensation of his body below the shoulders his body was dead under the shoulders he had paralysis.
In the human body the most important organ is the brain, instructions generated in the brain are transmitted to the entire body through the spine if any accident, injury happens which affects the spine instructions stop passing through the spine and paralysis happens.
Since he had faced no injury or any such harm to his spine doctors were unable to understand how it happened, some people said that his body caught fire in the night and his body parts burned. His family left no stone unturned they ran from pillar to pole, tried everything from allopathy to homeopathy to naturopathy but nothing happened, all their efforts went into vain. Mr. Poddar finally said to his family that he knows that he has a wheelchair-bound life and he can’t change that, he understands that. From that day till now there has been no improvement but decay and deterioration in his body.
He stayed in north Calcutta on the 4th floor in a small apartment with no balcony, no verandah. His friends used to come and play lots of board games with him but they also had limitations as they had school, exams etc.. according to Mr. Poddar we have only 2 reasons to study one is from our own wish and the other is from our fears.
Since he did not have any school to attend he did not have any fear or wish of studying, he studied to auto-promote himself. He got the same books which his friends were prescribed in school and studied from them the entire year. In 1982 when the newspaper the telegraph was launched it became his best friend. It showed him the world, art, language, politics etc. he learned everything from it. He read comics, novels etc.
“Life was tough is an understatement, it was dull, depressing, boring to the least.”
After shifting to salt lake in Calcutta he started going out but his health worsened and one of his kidneys failed which had to be removed. The kids from his neighborhood came to him one day to ask some doubts which he made them understand in a simple method and it became a continuous process since he had a lot of free time in his hands he borrowed their textbooks and read them to make them understand there doubts more easily.
“The more I taught the more I learned”. Teaching is the best process of learning. At the age of 23-24 when people finish their academics, he started his academic journey. My room which is his everything from there he can teach 1000s of students all around the world.
While teaching he realized that students might get there degree in their chosen field but they lack knowledge on current affairs etc. he added current affairs and his personal experience to teach the students which they liked. He made his personal website where he posted quizzes and gave away awards. Taking it a step further he started knowledge capsule organization which goes to different schools in Calcutta and gives a 5-10 presentation on current affairs in a very interactive way which the students like.
He says that what I do for my students is not even 1% of what they do for me, I cant repay their debt ever. His story is not a sob story or an emotional one, there are lessons that can be learned from his life, which he also learned
- The 1st lesson that he learned was that 36 years ago his room was his cage and god had closed all the doors and windows, he couldn’t escape but god in a small corner kept a hole open which he didn’t even know existed but god sent his students. There is no dead end in life, there is always a way but you have to survive for that. In the 80s he had no aim, no goal nothing, he just had willpower. Life is a celebration enjoy it then only you can live your life to the fullest problems will come but always enjoy your life.
- Everything in life happens for good. With nothing to do, Mr Poddar read newspapers, books novels etc. he knows every word every phrase which he hasn’t read or heard. He regrets that he didn’t go to school, that he had no mentor, but he self-studied and made methods which his students liked. So everything happens for good.
- Have passion and don’t focus on your problems students tell him that they can’t study they have problems at their home etc. life always has problems but you have to find the solution on your own and for that you have to stay strong, fight it, don’t be a coward only then you’ll succeed. It’s easier said than done and always remember that if it is not easy it is not worth it if it is worth it’s not easy at all.
- Why me? A lot of people whenever they face a problem will always say why did this happen to me and all sorts of thing. If something happens in your life it happens for a reason be it good or bad so if something happens don’t blame anyone finds the solution and make it right or find a way to solve that problem and never give up at all.
Latest posts by Sakshi Jain (see all)
- The Akshaya Patra Foundation which feeds Mid-Day Meals to children. - March 2, 2019
- 30 Lessons you can learn from Chanakya Neeti - February 6, 2019
- How to stay Positive – Ways to train your mind! - January 24, 2019