Edit: The previous version of this article inaccurately stated that Mastram had quit his job. This is not true and we’ve corrected this now. We apologise for the inconvenience caused.
Mastram Hitesh, a 21-year-old engineering graduate who belongs to a tribal community in Jimra, Madhya Pradesh, is leaving no stone unturned on his way to educate children and elders in his community.
In 2016, Mastram graduated from Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology (MANIT) in material science and metallurgy with a gold medal and secured a job at Bharat Oman Refineries Limited. He has the sole distinction of being the only graduate of engineering in his village. Despite this, no one from the village came for his convocation ceremony because they were embarrassed by their poor economic and social condition.
This incident deeply moved him and Mastram decided to return to the village and contribute towards its development. He also spent a certain portion of his salary on buying books for students.
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According to reports, there are many people in Jimra village who secure jobs through the reservation system, but very few return to their villages. They rather chase the glamour of big city life instead of educating villagers.
Mastram feels that there is rampant social inequality in his village, where there is no electricity supply and villagers struggle to make ends meet. He told The Hindustan Times, “I feel that the benefits of reservation are being exploited more by the affluent class than people from underprivileged families living in rural area.”
He also intends to educate the villagers about their basic rights under the tribal scheme. He added, “From now on, nobody from my village will stand alone because I will be there to celebrate their success.”