| Dec 5, 2023
Sarberia India Update December 2023
Reminiscing - An old school photo
I have recently returned from the New Life Centre School in Sarberia and a two week visit to Alindra Naskar, with Lyn, a HATW volunteer, who has visited nearly as many times as I have.
As usual, Alindra kept us busy with visits and he had also arranged for several past pupils to visit the NLC whilst we were there.
The latter was one of the highlights as it is wonderful to see so many of these young people doing well. These young women and men are the first in their families to go to university, and to hear their experiences and ambitions was truly inspiring.
Afsana, who is being sponsored on a Nursing course by HATW, was the first to visit and she set the bar high for the following students. Afsana’s confidence showed clearly and when I asked if she would talk to the upper classes to motivate them for further education, she was only too happy to oblige.
Shushankar, Basit and Biswajit, three delightful young men returned to the school, and it was fascinating to hear their hopes for the future, as they have all graduated from university now. They were all in the same year at the NLC and are now 22.
Shushankar studied English at university and is waiting to take an exam in June 2024 for the equivalent of our Civil Service. If he passes then he will be given a job locally, working for one of the District Governors. Basit has graduated with BSc Hons in Physics and will be sitting an exam in February to join an esteemed Institute in Physics for a Masters and then intends to do a PhD. Baswajit has studied Computer Science and has set up a shop near the school, next to his parents’ grocery store.
One evening we visited Afsana’s family home and she had gathered together some more past students, including sisters Tania and Jaquia, who are both still at university studying English, Ismia who is studying Pharmacology, and Sahil who studies Pisciculture.
We spent a lively evening with this group reminiscing about their time in the NLC. Lyn in particular spent time with their year teaching English.
Later one of them sent an old school photo of them at the NLC, as shown above, and they have set up an Alumni WhatsApp group.
Whenever I arrive at the NLC I experience the familiar sense of homecoming and I realise how precious that is in our world today. Without being at all political, when you feel the weight of the outside world lift when you go to a place, then you know that all is well.
In such a poor forgotten area of West Bengal, Alindra Naskar has enabled these children to discover their potential.
Wouldn’t you like to support this extraordinary individual and his school?
Afsana inspiring current pupils
Shushankar (left) and Basit
L to R: Tania, Afsana, Jaquia, Ismia, and Sahil