Keeping the Memory Alive
April 25, 2017
Sujita Chaudhary had told Kabita Parajuli (Former Recruitment and Selection Manager) that she wanted to create equal opportunities for children in public school in Nepal during her interview for Fellowship. So in 2014, when Sujita was placed in Sindhupalchowk district with her co-Fellow Drishya Gurung at Shree Bhimsen Ma. Vi. she was both excited and nervous about taking the responsibility to help create the future of Nepal.
After a year passed, she was more confident about her efforts to bring about positive change. “Sujita had her own unique blend of hundreds of qualities. She always found a way to make teaching appear effortless and seamless making one believe that it is the simplest thing in the world – until one tries to do it.” Drishya said.
Sujita, a 2014 Fellow who taught Science and a graduate from Kantipur College of Medical, wanted to pursue a career in Microbiology after her Fellowship, died during the April 2015 earthquake in her placement in Khatrithok, Sangachok, Sindhupalchowk district. She was 27.
Born in Udayapur district, she grew up with a passion and dedication towards teaching that her mother instilled in her. Her mother was a public school teacher. As a child, she watched her mother correct student’s papers at home, and whenever her mother was busy with household work, she would sneak opportunities to read the papers.
After graduating, she applied for Fellowship after her brother shared Teach For Nepal’s Facebook page with her. While surfing through the Facebook page, she learned about the low percentage of pass rate of students in the SLC and wanted to join Teach For Nepal’s movement so that she can provide access to a positive and supportive education environment to underprivileged communities.
Throughout her Fellowship, she was a role model to many girls in the schools. She conveyed her passion for volleyball to students by forming a student volleyball team who participated in the inter-school tournament for the first time in school’s history. She also inspired girls to pursue the field of science.
Amita was one of Sujita’s students when she attended Shree Bhimsen Ma. Vi. She helped her understand the role of microbes in global terms. “Everything I am is because of the foundation she gave me and the knowledge she shared with me ... and there are hundreds of other students she’s provided these opportunities for,” she said.
Sujita was a prolific teacher, she taught science through inquiry and investigation by providing theory and practical advice to help students learn science. “She was a teacher who worked tirelessly to create a challenging, nurturing environment for her students,” Jigme Sherpa, 2014 Fellow said.
For her, students she taught were larger than life. She saw them clearly and saw them whole, and responded to them wisely. She projected the condition of her soul onto her students, her subject, and her way of being together. Her teaching held a mirror to the soul. When the students look in that mirror, and not run from what they see, they had a chance to gain self-knowledge—and knowing themselves is as crucial to learning as knowing the subject. But, more than intellect, emotion and spirit she passed down, Sujita made a mark in her students by genuinely caring about them.
Drishya said. “Sujita had the biggest heart... She wasn’t just teaching science. She was helping them fulfill their potential.”
Teach For Nepal has started a campaign, "Keeping the Memory Alive" in her honor to provide a scholarship to girls interested in pursuing higher education in science after SLC.