Poverty to Professorship: Odisha’s first Catholic Professor in Christ University, Delhi
“My poverty did not dampen my determination to achieve something big. I had no hope to study after standard 7, but today I am a professor in Christ University in Delhi,” says Susanto Kumar Beero.
Susanto Beero born January 31, 1985, hails from a poor catholic family from the village Ambogan, of Antarwa Parish, Gajapati District under Berhampur diocese of Odisha. He is second in eight siblings. Parents are Saimon and Margarita Beero.
“I began my schooling at Aligonda Mission School from standard one to seven. After passing the 7th I had no hope to continue study due to acute financial crisis. By the grace of God and help of some generous persons, I joined in Technical High School Suroda, Ganjam,” he said.
Suresh Baliarsingh, the headmaster of Suroda technical high school, and the assistant teachers of the same school, Sunil Kumar Nayak and Sudarshan Nayak, played a vital role in imparting knowledge in this high school.
“Once he suffered severe malaria and he could not come to the school for 15 days. He was totally hopeless. I assured him of our availability to clear his doubts on any subject,” said his class teacher. With perseverance and determination, he succeeded and stood first class in grade 10.
“He received `Best student award’ carrying cash award of rupees 1000/- and a certificate,” said Suresh Baliarsingh, Headmaster of Suroda Technical High School.
He has a great respect for the teachers and elders and displayed best character as a student.
“He discusses different social issues with us till today and also expresses his hope and aspiration to create a model school,” said Baliarsingh.
He did graduation at Kholikot College under Berhampur University in 2006. Master in Economics in Ravenshaw University, Cuttack in 2008. He pursued Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in Economics and completed in 2011 at Periyar University, Tamil Nadu. He went to Delhi for civil service preparation but upon failure he joined for Ph.D. in Economics, with a NABARD Ph.D. fellowship, at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, India, one of the finest and most prestigious Universities.
Currently, he is an assistant professor of Economics at Christ University, Delhi.
“We are proud of Susanto Beero, an alumnus of Suroda Technical High School. He was a good, a hardworking and obedient Catholic boy,” says Sudarshan Nayak, assistant teacher of Suroda Technical High School.
“Self-determination is the quality which helped Susanto to stay motivated and continue striving towards to achieve his goal,” affirms Nayak.
“It was a desperate situation for me during my school and college days. At times we did not have sufficient food for all of us at home. Once my father was able to send only Rs. 20/ during my Inter-mediate College study at Rayagada. It was so painful to tell my classmates because they used to get Rs. 100/.” Recalls Susanto
He added, “In the depth of despair courage was born in my life. I remember always Psalm 28:7, ‘The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped, my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. He helps those who are helpless,’” he said.
“I was diligent and hardworking, trusting God to work through my labour. I see God’s helping hand in all the persons that helped me, the Church, the priests, teachers, parents and well wishers who groomed me to reach this stage,” acknowledges the 36 –year-old professor.
“His poverty did not deter him from his determination to achieve something big. Now Susanto Beero, is a good example for our young people to pray and dream big coupled with strong determination, perseverance and hard work that one can `move mountains’,” said Father Alwyn Michael Joseph D’Souza, former Executive Secretary the Catholic Bishops’ conference of India (CBCI) Commission for Youth and National Indian Catholic Youth Movement (ICYM).
“I am proud of Susanto Beero. God bless his family abundantly. May he be an inspiration to many young people as he serves as the Assistant Professor of Economics at Christ University, Delhi, India,” wishes Father D’Souza.
“The success of Susanto Beero brings great joy and happiness to the Odisha Church,” says Father Valentine Uthansingh, Parish Priest of Mohana, the neighbouring parish of Susanto under Berhampur diocese.
“Susanto has become now an inspiration and an icon to many aspiring youths to dream big in life,” says a graduate Kiran Nayak, youth president of Mohana neighbouring Parish of Susanto.
Christ (Deemed to be University) was born out of the educational vision of St. Kurikose Elias Chavara, an educationalist and social reformer of the nineteenth century in South India. He founded the first Catholic indigenous congregation, Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMI), in 1831, which administers CHRIST (Deemed to be University). Established in 1969 as Christ College, it was raised to the status of Deemed University in 2004.
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.