Ranjan Mistry, 21-year-old a college dropout, started an organization that strives for socio-economic development in Bihar, and ‘Startup City’ where Entrepreneurs can thrive through co-dependence. Ranjan Mistry firstly taught himself then went on to spread the knowledge to 10 villages and provided employment to the women.
In Talks with Ranjan :
1. How and when did your quest for the betterment of Bihar start?
I have started my career when I was in 6th class as a tutor. I gave my first tuition to a student of 1st class on his request by offering me a toffee known as “Milky pussy”. This was totally surprising to me that a student offered me a toffee to learn from me. When I asked him, Why did he wished to learn from me? He simply replied that “I often get punished in the school due to low grades in the maths and I heard about you that you are too good in studies and yesterday I heard all the discussions in the field where you were trying to help my friend to understand the maths. Then I picked every single point. That’s why I wish to learn from you.”
Firstly, I refused to teach him but promised to help him in his studies. After six months when the results were declared, I was totally shocked to getting great news from the school that he has topped in the school. Earlier he did not get any rank in the school and suddenly he topped, that was totally amazing as well as was a surprise for the whole school. When his school teachers and friends enquired from him, then he told them that I taught him!! After that, I got viral in the whole Locality. During the same year, I got approximately 80 tutions by the parents but I refused to teach them. Someone later told me that I must enter in the field of teaching. After that, I started taking tutions.
At the same time, I started working with few enthusiastic guys from BIT, Patna to teach the slum children at least for one hour a day. I worked there for three years and gained experience. But, suddenly they closed this initiative due to their jobs. After that, I was thinking about pollution in the year 2016. One day, I asked my student to design a poster and to write on a new concept known as “Plant4Bihar“. Then, I realized that I should work towards preserving the environment.
2. What were the difficulties you faced?
In my personal life, I have faced problems in studying and payment of the school fees. I failed in the 11th class due to lack of time and money. I didn’t get tution or coaching classes for the IIT preparation, I cracked JEE Mains but was unable to crack JEE Advance. Also, I got selected for various top most engineering college and management college but was unable to take admission due to financial problems. My difficulty in accordance with my startup is Bihar’s backward atmosphere where 98% people only talk about getting a job. Even my father and family asked me to leave all these things and try to get jobs in the railways or some government organization.
3. Now when you see a positive response, how do you feel?
I feel too happy as well as too surprised when I hear my friends and some people who know me, giving positive feedback saying “You are doing something new.” These things inspire and encourage me a lot. At some places, a few years ago, I didn’t get any response, but now I got responses from similar firms in just a few minutes.
4. Brief about Plant Eco Circle and its Programmes?
Plant Eco Circle aims at empowering villagers through educational impact and making them a contributor towards protecting the environment. I wanted to centre my efforts towards the villages since I am from Gaya, and there is a severe dearth of good quality schools in these areas. I wanted to combine this with something positive for the environment as well.
Two months back, when I visited the children in Gaya and asked them why they weren’t going to school, they mentioned that the teachers only came once or twice a month. I had a newspaper in my hand and started teaching that bunch of kids there and then. In half an hour, I was surrounded by about 30 students and the teaching session went on for about three hours.
I started work on a program called “Education in my Village” where qualified teachers are hired and their salaries are arranged by Plant Eco Circle. The challenge is that no one wants to run a school in these areas. I have so far been able to help 10 such villages. Plant Eco Circle is looking at creating a youth-led movement, where bright and able individuals will come together to provide quality education to underprivileged students, help under-resourced schools, and encourage women in these villages to take up entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurship in my Village
Under another program called “Entrepreneurship in my Village” women working with Jeevika and self-help groups are made aware about entrepreneurship and introduced to methods through which they can expand the market for their products like pickles and incense sticks. The finances for these programs come from CSR activities and the human resource help is provided by Jeevika. However, networking and finances pose a constant challenge.
5. What was the reaction of your parents and relatives when you dropped out?
I always wish to do B.Tech in Computer Science, even now I want to do a B.Tech, but I am unable to pursue this due to financial problems. My brother told me to pursue the course with a different subject from Patna University and the Central University of South Bihar, but I always ignored it because I don’t have any interest in studying such subjects. That’s why my brother was always angry with me. But, after two years, the situation has changed and now he supports me. I have taken admission in IGNOU for Bachelor of Computer Application, I dropped it in the between due to my Startup and 2 months Entrepreneurial Course in IIT, Kharagpur fully sponsored by Department of Science and Technology in association with Kolkata Ventures.
My father is not much educated and my mother is uneducated so, they don’t have much knowledge about Startup, but after three years they are happy to hear my name by some reputed Government Official and so many people that “Ranjan is doing something good and amazing.” I remembered when my story was covered in local news then all of my relatives and friends called me and started querying about what was I doing?
6. Tell us something about “Campus Varta” first online campus affairs media in Eastern India?
Campus Varta is the first Campus Affairs online media in Eastern zone of India, which covers all the campus updated News. Campus Varta is a one stop destination for all campus updates, events, news and even campus gossips. As Varta means communication, Campus Varta takes care of all the communication happening in and around your campus. It helps you explore other college’s activities and your college diaries. The underlying purpose of this is to motivate and encourage young students unleash their true potential. It is an initiative to promote academic as well as co- academic events in college.