This interview was conducted with Surekha, a valued staff member and inspirational figure at CRHP!
What is your educational background?
I obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in zoology (with honors) from Karjat College and another MsC in entomology from Ahmednagar College.
What were your initial responsibilities?
I joined CRHP in 2011 as a social worker. I also served as a counselor and Women’s Group facilitator. I held trainings for the Adolescent Girls Program, collected health data from the VHWS, was a member of the Mobile Health team, and also participated in CRHP research. Now, I work primarily in the CRHP Science Center, teaching practicals such as biology and physics.
How has your education helped you succeed in your position?
My education has helped me very much. My knowledge of zoology has prepared me to teach many topics such as physiology, anatomy, environment, and reproduction.
Why did you want to work at CRHP?
I heard CRHP was working for the betterment of society, and I wanted to be part of this change.
What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of my job is sharing knowledge with others. I also love speaking with people, especially women, about social issues such as domestic violence.
What are your goals for the future?
I want to continue my education and make a lasting change in my community. Many people here are not very accepting of others, such as those with HIV or who are suicidal. I want to encourage these people to not give up or become depressed. I want to show this community how to love and accept others, and spend the rest of my life working for the community. In class, I teach young girls how to show respect for all, from their parents to the larger community.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I find inspiration in serving others and spreading knowledge. This is from where I derive my satisfaction- a satisfaction that is worth much more than money. My degrees are just an ornament, certainly not the most important thing in my life. The most important and inspirational thing is creating community change. I am proud of my job and gain value by helping others.
How has your work impacted your community?
Because of our work at the Science Center, I have seen a tremendous shift in attitudes. When the students were first attending, they were very shy like little rabbits. Slowly, over time, they started sharing knowledge with the group and asking questions. They became better public speakers and started to build their confidence. Relationships between the sexes have evolved, too. During the first classes, boys and girls would always sit separately and not talk with each other. We would always tell them, “there is no such thing as girl and boy. We need to treat each other like family.” Now, during sessions, everyone mixes and speaks with one another. We have seen these changes spill over into families as well; girls and boys are starting to be treated more as equal and share their problems with one another.