Traditionally, a changemaker is viewed as a person who decides to plough back his wisdom and wealth into the society after having lived a life of privilege, created either through his own hard work or through inheritance.
Ranjitsinh Disale is not that kind of a changemaker (read our exclusive interview with him). While he put the wheel of change in motion, he rolled with it too. Never just the onlooker, but an integral part of the process. Perhaps, that’s what makes him worthy of the prestigious Global Teacher Prize. Yes, Ranjitsinh is a teacher – shaping young minds, moulding personalities and nurturing their imagination is his job. But he does not stop there.
Belonging to a family of limited means, Ranjitsinh did not allow the challenges emerging from lack of resources to hamper his passion to bring about sustained change not just in the current condition of his pupils but in their mindsets as well. And in spite of all the obstacles, he has never lost faith or hope. Since the time he became a teacher at the small dilapidated school in a remote village in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, he worked tirelessly to ensure his wards not only had access to technology and textbooks, but understood the profundity of education and it being the key that unlocks their potential.
In the process Ranjitsinh has built a community of confident girls who no longer see the archaic custom of child marriage as their only future, but a position on the world stage questioning such traditions. And he does not stop there. He is not only using technology to spread his simple yet path-breaking ideology to other parts of the country and the world even, but has also decided to share his prize money with other nominees. Generosity, he clearly proves, is not so much an act but an attitude.