So near and yet so far – Ravi Teja makes it from slum to university
Ravi Teja’s place of birth in an Indian slum is only five kilometres away from Siddhartha College in the major city of Vijayawada. However, culturally the medical student had to overcome worlds. Due to its education programme for street children, the wortundtat partner AMG India gave him this chance.
There are many like him in Indian Andhra Pradesh – and their stories are often similar to the one of 18-year old Ravi. He remembers: “My father was a rickshaw driver and my mother a burden bearer. During my first years I lived with them in a straw covered hut without running water.”A few years later, he loses home and parents when his father leaves the family. Relatives sent the then 6-year old boy to work at a building site in Chilakaluripet, which is over 70 kilometres away.
Pain and beneficial change
Ravi’s life takes a surprising turn when he is spotted by an administrative inspector. Ravi vividly remembers the encounter: “Mr. Srinivas asked what I was doing there. I became really frightened. If I would tell him of my plight, my boss would beat me.” His worries are so overwhelming that the boy thinks of killing himself. Fortunately, the inspector realises Ravi’s conflict and hardship and makes contact with the aid organisation AMG, which admits the frightened boy to its street children project in Vijayawada.
Ravi experiences the first days in the facility for neglected boys and young men with not enough to eat with mixed feelings. Gradually he realises that the AMG carers only have his best interests in mind. However, only when they offer him a place at the local AMG School, he feels a sense of happiness. Ravi uses the chance, finishes middle school and in 2015, graduates from the AMG Junior College in Chilakaluripet.
The College Certificate, similar to Central European A-Levels is his ticket to university. Today, he studies health management with great attention and full of interest. However, as he says himself, he has learned even more from AMG: “I know what it means to be given help when one is in greatest difficulties. Hence, to detect the worries of others and to help those in need is as important to me as are my professional goals.”