Sometimes, Shivanand Sawale rues his choices and dreams.

Growing up in Dabhadi village in the Yavatmal district of western India’s Maharashtra state, the 42-year-old was so inspired by teachers around him that he wanted to become one himself.

He battled poverty, his father’s untimely death and his growing farm losses and turned that aspiration into a reality.

He is now among the most well-educated in his village: Sawale obtained a Master of Science and a Diploma in Education, a certificate degree meant for elementary-level school teachers.