IMPHAL, July 11: `The more we suffer, the more we get experience`, said Dr H Hemkholun Mate.
In an informal chat with IFP at his Churachandpur district residence, the educationist was trying to put his whole life experiences in just a sentence.
An achiever throughout his whole life, Dr HH Mate as he is fondly known among his peers and family has received more than his fair share of both international and national awards.
Dr HH Mate was born on September 15, 1957 to H Holkhojam Mate and H Deihat Mate in Churachandpur district of Manipur.
He grew up at Lamjang, a small village some eight km away from the Myanmar border in Churachandpur.
An academician from the core of his heart, Dr Mate help set up many schools in the district including S Radhakrishnan Foundation School, Tuibuong, Churachandpur where he is currently the Principal cum Director cum Secretary.
The multifaceted HH Mate is not only an academician but he is also a social worker, a writer and a scientist.
He has remained a scientist with the Indian Space and Research organization, ISRO, New Delhi between 1989-91; as an Instrumental Engineer at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur in 1992 and then as a Research Officer at the Central Water and Power Research Station, Telecommunication, Pune from 1993-98.
He said in 1989, when he first started working at the ISRO, he got sick due to work overload.
Recollecting his life and his journey, he said he was guided by God himself in his life.
Even as he was trying to recuperate, he saw God in his dream in the form of Albert Einstein telling him to wake up the youth and to guide them, he continued.
He said, `God also told him that if he follows his advice, God will take him to a place where he can work independently and freely after nine years`.
He received his first two national awards Vikas Ratna Award and Vijay Ratna Award simultaneously in 1998.
That was when he realised that the best way to serve his people would be by establishing a model school, he said.
Further according to the academician, during the same time, he met Dr S Radhakrishnan`™s son in Delhi while going there to receive his awards.
He got permission from the son to used Radhakrishnan`™s name for his school.
After that he started chalking out plans for the school, and at last in 2004, he somehow managed to open the school at Tuibuong, CCpur.
Since he felt God`™s hands guiding him in his endeavour, he has been running the school on missionary lines to educate the poor and guide them along the right path.
Out of the 885 students in his school at present, he is sponsoring 35 students; he said and added that he is providing textbooks and notebooks to the students.
He continued there are also instances when his school takes only the admission fees and not the monthly fees in order to help the poor students.
Meanwhile, when asked about the popular belief that tribal students are weak in Science and Maths, the academician replied that it is wrong concept, it is just that the tribals students have failed to put in their labour in the said subjects.
Citing his own career as an example, he said if one is willing to work hard and sincerely there is no difference between easy and difficult subjects. Anyone could take up any subject and master it if he has the sincerity and willingness to do so.
Commenting on today`™s education system, he said only topping the class doesn`™t mean that he is educated, but by an educated person, he should be able to understand what he needs to do.
One should not only depend on government jobs, which has become the norm today, but should depend on ourselves and used their knowledge in their lives. One should be able to create history.
Elaborating on his future plans, he said he is hoping to convert his school to a higher secondary after his school completes ten years.
He wants to make his students social reformers and work for the betterment of the society.
He asked the students to be truly educated and not only for namesake, we should not think and work only for our survival, one should work for the betterment of the society and to change things on his own, we should not be awed by someone`™s greatness, but we should try to do our own great things.
He also said that the main exponents of a great man should be the ability to work and have determination to do something and have faith in God and that one should be strong and be able to overcome difficulties and respect ones elders.
A person who doesn`™t know his own talents should not be considered educated though he may have got high marks, the academician concluded.