Ganji Bhagya: From abyss to motivational speaker

Ganji Bhagya: From abyss to motivational speaker

Bhagya is now an Assistant Professor in Zoology in Khammam Government College. She also has a Master’s in Psychology, a Bachelor’s in Education, and an M Phil. Right now, Bhagya, who has an honorary doctoral degree, is working on her PhD.

Born into a weaver’s family in the Nalgonda district of Telangana, Ganji Bhagya Lakshmi could have just gone along the path life had carved for her.

Instead, she chose to become a guiding force to young rural students struggling with choices relating to their education and career owing to the lack of communication skills that their counterparts in urban India have.

Bhagya is now an Assistant Professor in Zoology in Khammam Government College. She also has a Master’s in Psychology, a Bachelor’s in Education, and an M Phil. Right now, Bhagya, who has an honorary doctoral degree, is working on her PhD.

Today, students in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh look up to her, and the motivational talks she gives out are much-sought-after. She has held over 100 motivational sessions for the students of government schools and colleges. Her motivational talks are available on Josh Talks Telugu on YouTube. She has adopted over 89 children and taken care of them till they landed their first jobs.

But, behind all these achievements is a long struggle. A struggle that began with poverty at home.

“My father Ganji Anjaiah was a government employee, and my mother Lakshmamma, a homemaker, took care of me and my four siblings. We lived in Halia, a small village in Nalgonda. Our life took a sharp turn for the worse when my father quit his job, started a business, and lost everything. There were days when my mother cooked rice donated by people who had taken financial help from my parents when we were doing well,” Bhagya says.

“After topping my class in intermediate, I wanted to study further. But my father got me a teacher’s job in a private school as the financial condition at home was really bad, and my mother took up tailoring to feed the family. But I was determined to pursue my studies, and hitchhiked to Nalgonda Women’s Degree College,” Bhagya says, recalling the days when even getting a caste certificate was a struggle.

Hunger, she says, is a great teacher. In Nalgonda, she earned her living by giving tuitions. “Once I had no money, and the hostel was closed. I survived for two days on a plate of idlis alone. Meanwhile, my family’s financial condition deteriorated, forcing them to shift to Puttapaka village where my father took up weaving to eke out a living,” she says.

She prepared for her MSc entrance test by teaching in coaching centres and secured a good rank, and a seat in Zoology in the prestigious Osmania University. “Poverty teaches you many things. My university hostel inmates used to suspect me every time there was a theft in the hostel because I was poor,” she recalls.

In her talks, she urges students to “say thanks to the perils that shaped you. No one can bring the change in you as you are the master of your fate.” She even offers counselling and coaching for competitive exam aspirants. “There was no one to guide me during my college days, hence I offer counselling to students in need of it,” she says.

Though she landed the plum post of Deputy Tahsildar in the Government Fisheries Department, she stuck to her favourite job of teaching. “My husband and my two sons are proud of me,” she says.

She is also an award-winner poetess. She is a convener in three districts for Anti Red Eye, a nationwide campaign to end spy camera misuse.