As a little boy I recall running after my younger brother over cement and granite piles at construction sites. My mother closely watched us as she stirred cement in bins and carried loads of bricks on her head. “Keshavan, be careful,” she would shout every time she caught us playing in dangerous conditions that often accompanied construction.

Though life was hard for the family, my mother was assured by the fact that in a few years my brother and I too would join her and bring in income.

But today I am not a laborer building other people’s homes but constructing my own future. I got an opportunity to join Shanti Bhavan School where my childhood was spent playing with toys, competing in soccer, eating tasty meals, and learning from teachers. I now dream of a good future that I am determined to realize.

During vacations from school I would return to my village. To fight boredom I would join my parents at the construction site. After a day of hard work we would return home, eagerly waiting for a dinner of ragi and curry. Seeing the difficulties faced by my parents, I am motivated to make the most of my time at school.

Throughout my early school days, I kept to myself most of the time and didn’t mix much with my classmates. I was encouraged to participate in school activities, and soon developed my confidence and communication skills with the help of people around me. I also learned many virtues such as kindness, honesty, courage, and loyalty.

Ever since completing my 10th grade, I have been pursuing business studies.  I find finance and law enormously fascinating subjects. I am thrilled to learn about successful businessmen, and to learn about justice. Having come from a deprived family, I consider social justice to be very important to the nation.

I recently passed my 12th grade national exams and am seeking admissions in law or business. While my parents are elated and boast about me to neighbors, I know that it is just the beginning and I need to work hard to succeed professionally. I am determined to achieve what I have set out to do – make a good future for myself, my family and all those whom I can help.