No matter what people claim, the reality is that success does not come overnight. It is like a plant that has to be watered and nourished daily, right through its genesis as a sapling to when it blossoms in full bloom and even beyond. My story is also one of constant effort and growth. My name is Gulnaz Parveen, lovingly called Arshi by my close ones, and I am glad to share about my journey with you.
Years back, when I was a little, curious girl, still in the IVth standard, my mind often wandered to my school’s principal. I remember watching her attentively, as she remained drowned in office work, whether I was sitting idly in a free period or having lunch in the afternoon. It was both her inspiring work for students and the sense of authority about her that charmed me. Little did I know that she had already observed my keen attention towards her.
One fine day she summoned me to her office. I must admit I was quite surprised when she asked me why I keep observing her, what was I so curious about. She recounted how she had seen me on the CCTV footage, as I remained adrift in my thoughts observing her acutely.
Without any apprehensions, I replied, “I wish to sit in the Principal’s chair someday”, at one go. “I would like to work for children just like you do, be respected as much as we respect you.”
“Well, Gulnaz”, my principal benevolently replied, “if that is so, you will need to put in a lot of hard work. Only if you study well and develop the right personality will people respect you, won’t they?”, she elaborated.
I believe her words instilled a sense of responsibility and direction within me that very moment. For it was from that day onward that I focused my efforts on achieving the coveted chair of heading an institution. I not just worked hard on my academics but also won several accolades in drama, dance, painting, sports and other extra-curricular while in school.
This strong sense of direction continued well beyond school life. I joined college for higher studies, while also teaching students part-time without charging any fee from them. Teaching itself was a learning experience for me. On the academic front, I worked relentlessly and completed by BBA, B.A. (English), M.A. (English), B. ED and PhD in English. Throughout this phase of consistent hard work, sacrifices and struggle, my parents were my pillars of support. It was their encouragement and my conviction that pushed me towards never giving up.
My passion for working in the field of education got its first break when I appeared for an interview and got selected for the post of an office accountant. Curbing all my nervousness before the interview, I envisioned my long-term dream clearly in my mind, and I think that is something that propelled me ahead time and again. I worked harder and harder with each passing day, inching closer to my dream. After 18 years of work experience, I finally felt confident enough to start my own school.
However, marriage and the subsequent responsibilities turned into an obstacle for my dream path soon. My in-laws were not supportive of my wish to work, and I had to spend two years as a house-wife. Yet, that did not deter either my passion or my urge to keep trying. Although it took me some time, eventually, with the support of my husband and parents, I was able to realize this all-important dream of mine.
Having sold my property off, I established a school in the year 2016. It was named ARSH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL
, after my nickname, ‘Arshi’. All those years of hard work and struggle, tears and longing, finally paid off. The feeling of sitting on the long-cherished chair, and being my BOSS, still feels surreal.
With this position of authority was intertwined the bigger dream to help students, especially from less privileged sections, to attain quality education. I channelled my efforts toward helping children from the bottom rungs of the socioeconomic ladder, by reducing their fees and granting free admissions to children whose parents cannot afford to pay any charges.
At the same time, I have, and will also constantly strive ahead, to not let any child feel like an outsider because of his/her background. At Arsh International, the core values I have tried to inculcate is not just quality but also inclusive education. My students have imparted the understanding of equality and brotherhood from a very young age, for I have always believed in the power of respect and love that keeps a society knit closely together.
At Arsh International School
, we focus more on techniques rather than remaining blindly dependent on technology alone. This helps our students grow shoulder-to-shoulder with the rest of the world, while also imbibing much-needed qualities in their most tender years.
It is because of these unique pillars on which my institution stands that I have received multiple accolades internationally. My first award was Best Technology, awarded in Dubai. This was followed by eighteen more awards at Dubai, India, Maldives, a couple of times in Thailand and a few upcoming ones in the United Kingdom. Having received such a lot of appreciation within the first four years itself of the establishment of my school makes me immensely proud.
Even after achieving my long-cherished dream, the learner within me fails to halt down. Today, I can proudly call myself an all-rounder in not just the field of education but also Fashion and Designing. Besides being the Founder and Principal of Arsh International School, I am also the State President of Jharkhand at the All India Principals Association. Besides, I share proud associations with CEDx, Global Talk Education and International Progressive Education Council. I am also the Director, Marketing, of Little Miss and Mr Munchkin, besides being a proud member of COVID-19 Supreme Warrior 2020 International.
What is the reason behind my many achievements? Well, to put it simply, I work hard every day of my life. I am a self-motivated, focused individual, who believes in dedicating myself from head-to-toe toward my goals. Giving back to society, especially in the field of education, drives me. The only weakness I have, I believe, is that I am a workaholic. Yet, my work is worship to me and is the reason I wake up every morning with zeal and the zest to perform.
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