Dr. Ashok Arora

SOAHAM is not an NGO, but an institute for upgrading the level of education of aspiring students from economically weaker section of society. It is in action for the last almost 20 years, since 2002.

It started with just one student of 8th class who was arguing with his father, a vegetable seller, to permit him to join tuition class for English. I offered him my free help, to which both the son and his father accepted. Thus started the worship of Goddess Saraswati through the service of humanity, but not as profession. At present there are around 50 students, +/- 5 being guided by 10 well qualified teachers ranging from IIT graduate to double M.A. in English and Punjabi,  MD and some Ph.Ds., retired professors and principal from colleges. Dr. Mrs. Subhashini, a Ph.D. in Hindi, retired as H.O.D. and senior lecturer, is teaching Hindi, Mr. J.S. Babra (M.A. English and Punjabi) is teaching English, Mr. Rajeshwar Dayal, an IIT graduate and Mr. Ulhaas, who worked earlier with T.I.M.E. and Mrs. Smita Ulhaas are taking care of science and mathematics, Dr. Mrs. S. Srivastva Ph.D in Pol.Sc., retired as lecturer, Dr. Mrs. S.Aggarwal (retired from Safdardjung hospital), Mrs.Anu Dayal and  Mrs. Jain are taking care of social sciences and other subjects.  They are teaching these students free of any remuneration or tuition fee from students. The one and only one reason for their involvement in this work is absolute dedication, dedication and nothing else. As the classes are held in open, in a park in D-3, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi-----70, the vagaries of weather, extreme cold, extreme summer or humid conditions have not yet been able to deter the enthusiasm of these selfless workers.

The onset of pandemic forced us to pause classes for some time. All the teachers are senior citizens and the age of students ranges from 6 to 16 years. But, the dedicated teachers decided to resume classes, after a short pause, using technology as a means. Thus with pandemic we upgraded to online classes. The unconditional devotion has not gone unrewarded. The deserving students are supported to go to college to pass their graduation courses. The teachers and residents of D-3 and D-4, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi, have always been voluntarily coming forward to help such aspiring students.

As the result of their hard and selfless work, one student is appearing for final part of C.A. examination, some students have been able to get desk jobs with AIA Tata, PolicyBazar.Com and other such well known establishments. In the beginning we had thought that if one student gets settled in life, we shall consider our efforts worthwhile. A combination of our efforts, God’s blessings and students’ sincerity, it has resulted in uplifting the level of aspirations of students. Many students are now well settled in life and others are aspiring to be so.

It is not only the students who have been guided well to develop disciplined and well integrated personality and explore their abilities, even the teachers have also utilised their worth in a positive manner. They no longer feel themselves as isolated retired or worthless members of society. This work has given them emotional strength and respect in society to re-establish their self–confidence.

Involvement of the students in SOHAM has encouraged them to express their potential through various co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. At the time of start of the session writing, singing, recitation and painting competitions are held. A cultural program is organised near Diwali. Students participate in individual and group items like dances, skits, recitation of poems and other items. This helps them to develop their personality as a whole and as an independent and complete individual. Cultural Programs are held before elite audience of the area. The selected items are presented on Republic Day and Independence Day held by RWA.

Thanks to God and the devoted teachers.



Two of the Books Authored by Prof. Ashok Arora



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