Farmer’s Girl Who Fought Her Way to a Top US College Dreams of helping India’s Poor
Sudeeksha Bhati from Bulandshahr topped the CBSE class 12 exam and grabbed a seat in the prestigious Babson College in Massachusetts this year.
Picture of Sudeeksha Bhati.
New Delhi: Sudeeksha Bhati, daughter of a farmer and first-generation learner from Bulandshahr, is aspiring to be an entrepreneur in Babson College, Massachusetts. She is determined to come back to India and work for the weaker sections of the society after the completion of her four-year course.
She told News 18 that she dreams of doing something impactful that benefits the vulnerable sections of the society. “I want to create some concrete plans during my next four years at Babson. I am open for different opportunities that will help me grow further. But eventually, I will come back to my home country and start from the scratch,” she said.
After bagging Rs 3.8 crore scholarship, she feels her hard work has paid of. Bhati topped the CBSE class 12 exams and scored 98 per cent. “I always say challenges are opportunities that help you to do something courageous and out of the league. Generally, getting easy and quick support for doing something above the norms is very difficult. But if our family supports us then we should not be worried about anything else,” she said.
Her battles were many, recalled Bhati: “Personally, the lack of capital was the biggest challenge for me. I took admission in a government school as my father could not afford the heavy fees of private schools. I always believed that a lack of resources should never deter a person’s will to receive quality education.”
“I am a first-generation learner in my family and the eldest among six siblings and three cousins. So, I have had huge responsibility of meeting my family's expectations. Often, when I wanted to take my independent decisions, situations became too tensed but I was very firm about my choices. Eventually, I would always gain my family's support. ”
While Bhati left the government school a long time ago, she has maintained her ties with friends from there. “Government schools are known to have poor infrastructure. But I feel attached to that place as my journey began from there. I made some life-long friends. My teachers remember me as an inquisitive girl and my juniors say I could be very strict sometimes,” she said.
Things improved for her when she started benefiting from the philanthropic initiative of Shiv Nadar Foundation for rural meritorious and under-privileged children that provides free-of-cost world class education in a residential setting.
She also took on few leadership-based initiatives in her village (Deri Sckner). One of the most significant was Voice of Women (VOW), a loose campaign to encourage girls and their parents to send them to schools and make an attempt to overcome all the odds that come in way. “We, a group of seven girls, communicated with villagers through one-on-one interaction, street-plays, speeches, workshops and social media,” she said.
For the past seven years, Bhati has lived in a boarding school. Her schedule is packed, devoted solely to studies and extra-curricular activities. She admires independent women “who have the courage to stand up for themselves, and are strong enough to fight the stereotypes.”
Bhati said: “We will find many people who will discourage us and only a few who will appreciate us. So, we should learn to be able to embrace criticism gracefully. There are bound to be speculations on our abilities at times. But nothing can beat our hard-work and perseverance.”
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