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.
Sujipriya lives in T.P Chatram where we had taken photos for My Daughter Is Precious last year. Unfortunately Suji Priya’s father wasn’t home as he has to work long hours as a construction worker and her mother was busy at her housekeeping job at an old age home. We spoke to Suji Priya and her grandmother, who had supported her education from the start. Their family had a sad history when it came to getting a good education. Her older brother failed class twelve and he is currently unemployed. Her sister was married off before she could even finish high school. Fortunately due to her hard work and good marks Suji Priya was able to get admission to study B. Com with Computer Applications at the Sri Krishnaswamy College for Women in Chennai. If she completes this course, Suji Priya will be the first college graduate in her family. She dreams of getting a good job after her graduation, and then would like to do her MBA. Even though she is the youngest child, Suji Priya feels that the responsibility of having to support her family in the future is entirely on her shoulders. We obtained Rs. 70,000 to fund her first and second years and are currently raising for her third.
Sneha (New Delhi)
Sneha is currently in her second year at the Janki Devi Memorial college in New Delhi. She is studying for a BA degree in History Honors and dreams of teaching History to students like herself someday. Unfortunately her father passed away, leaving her brother Pravesh as the sole earner of the family. “My family relies on him for everything.” she said. She scored 93% in history in her class 12 boards and obtained a CGPA of 7.09 last year in college. Her history professor Dr. Saumya Gupta says “Sneha remains committed to educating herself and working towards a better future”. We have funded her second and third years at the college.
Santa (Dhaka, Bangladesh)
Santa Akther is currently completing eleventh grade and has an avid interest in the sciences in Bangladesh. Despite the fact that she missed out on a year’s education because of a family move caused by poverty she got an A+ in her PSC and JSC exams. She has been a class captain for three years and is an active member of her cricket team. Despite her many talents, Santa has been unable to get funding to complete High School. MDIP exhibitions and ambassador fundraisers have enabled her to pursue her dreams.
Pooja (New Delhi)
Pooja is currently in her third year at the Janki Devi Memorial college in New Delhi. She lost her father when she was very young, but her mother is adamant that she gets a good education. Earning over 80% in her 12th grade examination enabled Pooja to enroll in the BA. History honors program. She plans to pursue a B.ed and get a job as a teacher some day. Pooja worked hard and scored a cummalitive GPA of 7.82 in her first two years.
The only person Ravita has to support her is her brother. Her parents passed away a long time ago, leaving the siblings to fend for themselves. “Our relatives helped out at the beginning, but soon it was too much of a burden for them so they stopped.” Ravita told us. Her brother quit studying to get a job to keep them afloat but supported Ravita’s decision to enrol in college. Despite her tragic circumstances, she managed to get into the Political Science Honors program at JDMC college and maintain a CGPA of 7. She has received certificates in debate, poetry, and mental maths. Ravita dreams of getting a B.ed after college and passing the CTET to get a job as a high school teacher so she can inspire teenagers.
Muskan Dadhwal is a keen 2nd year political science honors students who is determined to make a difference. After college, she aspires to apply to be an IAS officer. “I want to serve society.” she told us. Her mother is a housewife and her father has been suffering from depression for six years, making their household income unstable. Despite her situation, Muskan has shined in college. She has obtained a 7.36 CGPA while being a painter and participating in theatre. She also won the Inspire Award at the Science Model Exhibition at the state level.
“My dream in life is to be a teacher.” says Deepa, a third year History honors student. She intends to take the CTET examination after her graduation next year and apply for teaching programs. Deepa’s teachers say that she is a hardworking and dedicated students, and this reflects in her CGPA of 7.71. She also has experience teaching as she tutors younger children in her neighbourhood. In addition to academics, Deepa is a member of the National Cadet Corps (NCC) on her campus and is interested in singing and dancing.
As a political science honors students, Apurva wishes to be a judge. She plans to do LLB and face judiciary examination. She hopes to provide justice to those who deserve it. Apurva plans to take a gap year to study and work a part time job in order to earn money to pay for law school. She maintains a 7.32 CGPA while pursuing interests in debate and gardening. As a confident and determined student, Apurva fully intends to succeed in her endeavours and follow her passions. She is fairly fluent in English and even participated in anchoring in college last year.