Remember, how we used to dash to catch the school bus every morning to meet friends, learn something new or maybe just to win a football match? We’ve all had our reasons to make it to school every day and no matter the reason, in the end, it helped us take a step towards a brighter future.
Imagine your life taking a brutal turn at that young age and you’re burdened with the responsibility to fend for your family! Something similar happened to one of our teachers on Pedagoge: Bahniraj Chakraborty. He took adversity in his stride and is now a successful Physiotherapist, Self-defense and Yoga teacher in many renowned institutions across Kolkata.
One of our team members, Reneta, got a chance to talk to Bahniraj Sir, and interview him about his life story. Here he is spilling the beans to us:
Reneta: Tell us something about your childhood.
Bahniraj: I was 8 when my dad passed away. Kolkata was a new city for my family and in the beginning, my mother felt helpless. At that age, I had to take charge of my family. I found work at a local T-shirt factory and earned around 300 rupees per month. Back in those days, 300 rupees per month was good but not enough to run a family. I had to give up my martial arts classes that I had started at the age of 4. It was then that I realized the value of having to sacrifice something for the greater good. It was only when I turned 11 that I managed to borrow my friend’s cycle van for supplying goods and stabilize our financial condition.
Reneta: When did you get interested in physiotherapy?
Bahniraj: I had a great affinity for learning. Hence, if something seemed interesting to me, I would put my heart and soul into learning it. I had just appeared for my class 10 exams and physiotherapy was relatively new in Kolkata back then. I developed an interest and decided to pursue a course on it. It was because of physiotherapy that I decided to take up Science in Higher Secondary. Subjects like Biology became easier for me because I knew a lot about the anatomy of the human body already from my fondness of physiotherapy.
Reneta: What made you decide to pursue a career in physiotherapy? Were there any risks involved?
Bahniraj: I will not deny the fact that choosing physiotherapy as a career was a risky option. Pursuing something such as engineering or medicine failed to impress me. Also, the growing influence of western culture in the 90s made people realize the importance of staying healthy through yoga and physiotherapy. I had noticed that despite the demand, there were only a handful of trained professionals in the country. There was an opportunity disguised as a risk and I knew I had to grab it. Initially, it was hard for me to find work. Most people in India were scared to approach a physiotherapist because of the lack of awareness. So yes, spreading awareness and learning was difficult in the initial days.
Reneta: Are you glad that you took the leap?
Bahniraj: Of course, I am! I’m not caught up in the 9 to 5 office humdrum and I am able to take up challenges and learn something new every day! I realized quite early that I was too finicky to fit in an office cubicle. I’m definitely better off teaching and training young people in order to help them improve their physical and mental health.
Reneta: What would your advice to youngsters be?
Bahniraj: Education is very important. However, always have the zeal to learn something new. Try out a sport like basketball or a hobby like painting sometimes. It will help you focus better in whatever you do.
Pedagoge Baba decodes Bahniraj’s story for you
- We all go through a difficult phase in life. That does not mean it is the end of the tunnel. Always be on the lookout for more options and opportunities.
- Most of the times we are driven by the herd mentality. It is in times like these that it pays to do something different. If you are uncertain about your career, talk to your family, and peers to figure out where your true calling lies. More often than not, we leave the zest to pursue something for the fear of failure. You’ll never know until you’ve tried!
- We all have busy schedules or are always occupied with the next thing to do but it is important to pursue some kind of hobby or activity to help us de-stress.
- Keep an eye out for opportunities. Success will come more easily if we have the ability to spot an opportunity before anyone else does.
- It is important to remember that Michael Phelps was NOT born a champion. It takes a lot of perseverance and dedication to reap the rewards of hard work.
Pedagoge assists you finding the right teacher to help you excel in whichever career you choose!