Gayathri was the first recipient of an MDIP scholarship. We met her family in June 2016 in a slum near the beach in Chennai called Oorurukuppam. She is the oldest daughter of Machekantan, a fisherman, and the only one in her large family to attend college. Her mother works as a maid in a house nearby and Gayathri used to sell cobs of corn at the beach in the evening to scrape together money for her fees. She managed to pay for her first two year at Janaki MGR college but the family struggled to finance the rest of her degree. Through My Daughter Is Precious we crowdfunded Rs. 32000 that she desperately needed to obtain her Bachelor of Business Administration (B.BA) degree. We assigned her a mentor , Shraddha Iyer, to work with in order to plan her next steps.

Gayathri got top marks in her course and won several competitions. She has made an effort to learn English and has good computer skills. Gayathri has grown in self confidence and self esteem since we first met her.

Gayathri’s life is still a struggle. She had to spend most of last year taking care of her mother who suffered a bad fall. Her mother, a domestic worker, was the primary wage earner. Now, Gayathri is keen to find a good job and contribute to her family.

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