SalamatRaho presents the story of a man who is on a mission of establishing 100 libraries across India- Joginder Rohilla.
“Everything you need for a better future and success has already been written. And guess what? All you have to do is go to the library.”
Young Change Makers of India: Joginder Rohilla
This was how Joginder Rohilla took off -first with his library project, to open 100 libraries in rural India- followed with counselling workshops to motivate the rural student population, next was the ETechDreams startup to generate employment amongst the youth and then writing a book to guide young Indians towards achieving their dreams… Kudos to the young change makers of India.!
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Story of Small Town Boy- Jogi
Taking up such a mammoth task was not easy. It never happens overnight. As a young child, Jogi- as he is popularly known, grew up in Bahadurgarh, the small town in Haryana. He was a brilliant student, but what was lacking in young Jogi’s life was a place where he could read books, study and get guidance. He always missed having a library around.
He was the youngest of five siblings. His father understood the value of education and always motivated them to study.
His eldest brother, Ashwani, became the person who supported the education of other siblings.
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Influence Of Brother: Jitender
Jitender, who was older than Jogi, graduated from Delhi university. He always believed in the power of education. Jitender was the first one who started a group named ‘Sanskriti’ to spread light via educational initiatives. He guided many students to get admission in Delhi university and also provided free education to many students.
Both brothers Jitender and Joginder had so many dreams like opening a school, library etc. in their place. Unfortunately, His brother passed away and Jogi was deeply hurt.
Jogi thought to keep this Sanskrit name alive and continued doing the social activities in the name of Sanskriti.
Jogi got to know about the library in his college during his graduation days and since then he became a huge fan of libraries wherein you can sit and read for hours without disturbance. During his home visits during holidays, he used to miss the library. In those days, he went to the extent of going to Delhi just to be in Delhi Public library to sit and study quietly.
Educational Background: Joginder Rohilla
Jogi completed his bachelor’s degree in engineering and a PGDBA degree. He then realised that education can change someone’s future and career. Coming from a small town, education opened many doors for Jogi.
He always had a thought to keep Sanskriti name alive. In 2007, he got the thought to start a library in his home itself. His father loved and supported the idea. That was the first Sanskriti library in Bahadurgarh city. Slowly children started trickling in and spending time there, instead of loitering around. It was a very good initiative, hence became popular and was covered in the newspapers too in those days.
Wearing different Hats: Joginder Rohilla
Joginder joined a reputed organisation and kept managing Sanskriti alongside his job. He started visiting orphanages and schools to support and guide students in all possible ways.
Fate keeps surprising you with opportunities and choices. He was transferred to Belgium and Chile and for Jogi, this was a huge eye opener. A small-town boy, now working in Europe and South America was a huge leap of fate.
But his conscience kept pricking and he wondered where this corporate career would take him. He wanted to do something bigger in life. He was missing the satisfaction he used to get while working on his library and student guidance projects.
The Turning Point: Joginder Rohilla
He took a life changing decision- to leave the secured and well-established job abroad and go back to India to take charge of Sanskriti in 2013.
This was a major turning point in Jogi’s life. This kind of decision, to sacrifice a lucrative international job, is not an easy one to take. But Joginder Rohilla admits this was the best decision he ever made. No regrets.
His father passed away in 2014 and there was no one to manage the library in the city. He had to shut it down but somewhere deep down, the library idea was always in mind. He wanted to take it forward.
Mission 100 Libraries
To open more libraries, he needed infrastructure which was difficult to manage financially. He made a group with his colleagues, school and college friends and created a fund to raise money to start more libraries and came up with the idea of mission 100 libraries. He tied up with schools in rural areas who agreed to manage the library so the infrastructure issue was resolved. Next, he discussed the library idea with publication houses and they too agreed to supply the books with a very good discount.
Soon the process of opening one library after the other took off under the banner of Sanskriti. They started covering many remote areas where children had never seen such books. Sanskriti libraries were seen in Haryana, UP, Telangana, Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Biharm, Orissa and in many more places in just a couple of years. To put it in short, from Gujarat to Meghalaya and from Kashmir to Tirupati, you can find Sanskriti libraries in action today.
Based on his own educational experience in government school, he realised that most students lacked motivation and career guidance. So being Jogi, he started visiting schools and colleges and conducting counselling and motivational workshops as well. A pleasant experience was when he met a student who approached him and said that he was an engineer today because of the Jogi’s lecture he heard when he was in class 12th. Jogi was now clear that he was on the right track. He soon discovered that actually only 19.4 percent students in India procure a higher education as per MHRD statistics in those times. He then organised various initiatives in Delhi, Haryana and Rajasthan, and has been able to guide roughly 2,000 students since then and many say their lives have changed after listening to his lectures. He hopes to turn this number to 10,000 students and more in coming years.
He also realised that many rural youths could not move forward in their careers because they lacked self-confidence and direction. Another fact was that many youths migrate to metro cities just because of jobs. Jogi has been an IT professional for more than a decade at that time and then thought to make a difference in rural youth lives via his professional career experience.
Birth of ETechDreams
This was when his next project- ETechDreams, his rural-based IT startup was launched. ETechDreams, generated employment in rural areas. He set up his centre with the help of his wife, on the outskirts of Dehradun, in a small town called Sudhowala. He involved and taught many young IT diploma holders and engineers and even graduates, who were trained to do back end work for corporates and provide low-cost IT services to clients around the world. After basic experience, these youngsters get better jobs and it benefits them and their family’s growth.
No path to bringing in social changes is without challenges.
Jogi too experienced huge obstacles while building a team. People joined with enthusiasm but soon lost interest. Dedication and perseverance has always been an issue, yet, Jogi never took it as a setback. ETechDreams is in its 4th year of operations today with a client base across the world with great success stories.
Sanskriti is completely funded by personal and friends/family contributions since it began; repeated contributions from benefactors have kept them going. Without a steady flow of funds, it is difficult to plan ahead. But somehow, the progress of Sankriti never faltered.
Thanks to his Tech background, Jogi uses social media to connect with people who want to help and donate. Each library costs them between Rs 7,000 and Rs 10,000 to establish.
As they say -“Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation.”
People have now started recognising Joginder Rohilla and his contribution towards education. By 2021, Sanskriti libraries will be touching the 80 mark soon.
The Author: Joginder Rohilla
Milestones are challenges Jogi likes to face. The next one was writing a book- ‘@ Dreams’ – Your every breath should remind you about your dream. –says Jogi. It is about motivation and how to achieve your goals in life. Highly inspirational especially for those wanting to start on the journey of their dreams. He has published 2 books and is working on the third one named, ‘The art of starting up’. The book is focussed on entrepreneurship and will be for people who want to be entrepreneurs to start up their business or social venture.
Joginder Rohilla who is now merely 35… has achieved so much due to his belief in his dream and dedication.
A true-life example of a simple boy from a small village who is a real change maker because he dared to dream big.
You can reach out to Joginder Rohilla at Jagsrohilla@gmailcom
Team NomadLawyer salutes the young changemaker Joginder Rohilla!
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