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.
Payal Singh is a third year student at the Janki Devi Memorial College, pursuing a BA. History Honors. Her father is a daily wage earner and her mother stays at home. Payal has thrown herself into her education and is determined to be an army officer to not only serve the nation, but to ensure that her family is taken care of.
Payal’s mentor, Seema Seth, says that “Payal is very focused and determined to get a government job.She is an introvert and devotes herself to her studies. “
Payal is also extremely passionate about sports. She received the NCC-B (National Cadet Corps) certificate last year, which is a big step in achieving her dream of joining the army.
Sania is a second year student at Janki Devi Memorial College studying BA. Political Science (Honours). She has always been a hardworking individual and was one of her school toppers, scoring 91.25% in her board exams.
“I want to be an IAS officer to help the nation.” said Sania.
She is determined to clear the UPSC exam and make a difference. Her father is unemployed, which places a huge financial burden on the family. Sania hopes to be financially independent to be able to fund her sister’s education and help her parents.
Having attended a Hindi medium school, she has been tirelessly working towards improving her English–and has made huge progress. In her free time, she likes to read and watch the news to keep up with current events.
“Sania is bright and has gotten a very impressive score in college. She and her family are grateful for this support, without which she would have had to discontinue her studies.” – Preeti (her mentor
Uzma is pursuing her B.Sc in Mathematics (Honors) and is passionate about the subject. Her father is a tailor and her goal is to become a teacher.
Sanjot is pursing a B.Com degree at the Janki Devi Memorial College in Delhi. She has also won many music competitions and is hardworking and focused. She hopes to get a government job in banking.
Pursuing a B.Sc in mathematics, Monisha is keen to be a math professor some day. Not only does she have good marks, but she has also done a diploma course in computers and has qualified the CCC exam. Monisha loves nature and has also got first position in science exhibitions and wants to improve her village.
Babita is the daughter of an auto driver. She is pursuing her BA. Hindi (honors).
Anjali is studying philosophy as she believes that it is a unique and important subject. She also plans to use the knowledge she gains to clear the UPSC exam and follow her dream of becoming an IAS officer. Her father is a daily wage labourer. Apart from academics, Anjali is also in NCC and is doing a certificate course in Yoga. She also loves gardening and learning languages.
Ranjani is pursuing a BA Hindi. She hopes to become a professor. Her father is a farmer. She has completed a basic computer course and has studies Sanskrit as well. In her free time, she tries to learn English and History using her phone.