This week we are bringing out the inspiring story of Serah Terima Ch. Sangma from Tura, Meghalaya. We wish her all the best in life ( Admin)
I am Serah Terima Ch. Sangma from Tura, West Garo Hills district, Meghalaya. I was formerly known as Griksera, a name given by my aunt. I have 4 siblings and all of them were brothers. My mother is housewife and my father worked in government primary school. I’m the only girl in the family and both parents love me a lot.
My first schooling was in Garo Union Secondary School where I completed my nursery level education and then was admitted to Hill View Secondary School. I remembered that time our family suffered a lot financially because the schools was not under the government and running out a grant from the District Councils and salary payment was erratic. My father was not paid for 7 months. He was compelled to take loans, private tuitions etc. However, he always provided us everything we need. My grandfather helped us with rice and sometimes money. My father opened many schools which later became government schools. The school where I was studying was expensive. However education quality was good. And teachers were very cooperative and caring. Those teachers still remember me and check about my well being from my mother.
I don’t remember the exact dates. That time my eldest brother was studying in Shillong and rest three of us studied in the same school. It was a big financial burden for my parents. It became difficult to manage the school fees for rest three of us. So, parents decided to change our schools despite school principals and teachers requests to continue in the same school. My second brother was disciplined student and was also school captain. So everyone liked us.
My brothers and me appeared entrance test in other schools. I qualified for admission in Christian Girls School and similarly both my brothers took admission in Montfort Centre School in Tura. My 2nd brother continued to show his excellent performance as a best discipline student in the class and again got selected for school captain.
I studied in Christian Girls’ Higher Secondary School, Tura. My hurdle with this new school was language. I didn’t know that from class 2 to class 4, the medium of education Garo language. I studied in English medium and switching to Garo medium proved very difficult for me to learn. However, my parents didn’t have to pay since it’s a government school. I directly passed class 2 to class 4 but in class 4 I failed. I continued my studies in same school and in the 2nd year I passed. On reaching class 5, the medium of education changed to English medium. But still since I am a slow learner and I failed in class 5 as well. My parents were very strict and I was so afraid to show my results because they also feel sad and also they spent money for my education. I felt shy to continue on the same school.
Then I took admission in St. Anthony Secondary School and studied there till class 10. I again failed in SSLC exam twice. I was very depressed and had no motivation to continue study. My parents noticed laziness and sadness in me and so my mother again took me to her hometown and took admission again as a regular student in Class 10 but again I failed. I decided not to appear examination anymore but my parents without took admission again. I told my parents that that I hate my name and I would prefer a name change. My father laughed at my decision. That time I became a big fan of Lady Gaga and her life story also similar to me. So, I do not want to be a looser and that’s why I changed my name into Serah Terima. These words taken from Indonesia and means ‘moving of vehicle’. I want to be like vehicle and I don’t want to be stuck in one place. On 4th attempt, I passed SSLC in examination in Batabari Secondary School in Rajabala. By that time, my father retired and when District Authority started taking care of teachers that time onwards my father got regular pension.
I took an admission in Tura Government College and passed out class 11 and then at the same time I joined vocational training. Then in class 12 I changed my college and joined in Batabari Higher Secondary School, Rajabala.
After passing out HSLC. I decided to joined Bachelors of Social Work and took admission in Mason Phillips Academy (Martin Luther Christian University), Tura. When I attended the class, I feel that all the faculties never taught us only to pass but they taught us to understand and to gain knowledge. They were not like school teachers nor other lecturers from colleges. Though I didn’t pass out with good percentage but I passed out with some values and I can see myself I have changed.
During my studies, my parents paid the admission fees and other expenses. If they had no money, they would borrow from relatives and pay back in instalments. In meantime I fell in love and got engaged to my fiancée. My father expired too. After my father death for us it’s difficult to maintained things. My mother got family pension of 9 thousand rupees only and again from that some 2 thousand has been deducted for loan. That time my younger brother was also studying law and so financially it was again a challenging time for us.
In 2018 I got pregnant and I suffered a lot mentally because I did not get the love and care from my fiance. At the same time our neighbor tried to encroach our land despite having all documents and we had to file a legal case. For my studies my aunt and my cousin sister helped me. Unfortunately I did not get any helped from my ex-husband.
On 2019 my husband left me and I was mentally disturbed but I never stopped my studies and I completed my assignment and dissertation on time and I passed out though my percentage is not good enough in last semester comparing to 5th semester.
Now I’m doing my Masters in Social Work in North Eastern Hill University, Tura. My mother took loan for my studies. Though it’s not enough for extra needs of my studies. Now my mother getting 12 thousand rupees per month but again 3 thousand gets deducted for the loan. I reflect at my situation often. I am an average student, I failed 4 times, my husband left, I have one daughter, we have a legal case on property and financially we suffered a lot. But still life goes on.
I continue my studies thinking that I have to be independent and if parents are not there then who will look after me and my daughter? I never got any help from my ex-husband and some of my brothers doesn’t want continuation of my study because the pension it’s not enough to run the family. They want me to apply for job but I thought now a days it’s difficult to get job. Therefore, I will continue with my Masters and then a PhD if I get a scholarship. Scholarship will help me to support my daughter’s education. I want to be a social researcher after completing my education. I learned one thing in my life the bad situation or the problems will get over and will teach to become good and fight evil.
I thank almighty God, my family members and all the lecturers’ for your proper guidance, my classmates who encourage me in my good times and bad times and my beloved daughter for giving me strength and makes me smile.
My advice to the youngsters, single mother, widows never feel shy to get educated and study not to pass but try to learn and gain knowledge to be a better decision maker in life.