Indian farmer’s daughter gets full scholarship to USA

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NAME

Sudeeksha Bhati

HIGH SCHOOL

Vidyagyaan Leadership Academy, India for underprivileged children. 

ABOUT THE PARENTS

Sudeeksha’s parents are from rural Gautambudh Nagar in India with little formal education but supported their daughter’s education.

SCHOOLS ACCEPTED TO

Babson college, Massachusetts, USA with full scholarship

Meet Sudeeksha’s Parents

Daughter of a small tea-shop owner and first-generation school student, Sudeeksha Bhati fought her way through an economically and academically poor environment to win a full scholarship to study entrepreneurship at Babson College, Massachusetts in US. Sudeeksha will receive a full scholarship of $70,428 per semester for a four-year undergraduate degree at Babson College. The B-school focuses on entrepreneurship education, and is often ranked as the most prestigious entrepreneurship college in the US.

However, her journey from the small village in Bulandhshahr to Babson in US, was never easy. Due to her family’s meagre earnings, Sudeeksha’s education was stonewalled when she had to drop out of school in second grade despite winning a trophy for her good grades. She stayed at home and helped her mother with housework and care of her six siblings but didn’t want to let the fear of disagreeing with her family to stop her from attending school. The following year, when she was barely 10 years old, Sudeeksha walked up to the village elementary school alone, but unafraid to enroll herself in fourth grade to continue her schooling. It took courage and a strong sense of self to show initiative at such a young age, especially when she realised that people may be displeased with her actions.

Sudeeksha thinks, “challenges are opportunities that can help you to do anything you dream of, it may be hard but not impossible.”

An avid learner from a young age, it was the drive to educate herself that helped Sudeeksha to develop a strong social conscience and independent thinking to advocate for educational equality in rural India.

She started an initiative called ‘Voice of Women’ (VOW) with seven girls to empower women. Under this program, she took upon herself to fight against eve-teasing, a major concern in the locality that she belongs to. Her step was a reaction to an unfortunate incident, wherein a girl from her village in Uttar Pradesh, India was molested on her way back from the village school.

“Groping, rape and sexual assault are common, in our village. Parents are afraid of sending their daughters to schools because there is no protection for us. And there is no support from the village authorities. Girls are alone in this fight for education, freedom and equal rights,” says Sudeeksha.

To raise awareness, she adopted all routes possible which included street-plays, speeches, door-to-door interactions and social media reach.

She has adopted all possible routes to raise awareness, including street-plays, speeches, outreach to the electronic and print media, and door-to- door interactions. Derisekher, Deri Machha, Dhupkheda, Dhoom Manikpur, and Amka are some of the villages/districts in Uttar Pradesh covered by Sudeeksha, under the VOW initiative.

Tu bahut choti hai, teri kaun sunega abhi, ” her concerned family members had told her back then. They meant she was too young to be heard in the community.

But her resolve has been so strong that she not only created awareness across villages but also undertook community services during her schooling at the Shiv Nadar Foundation. She convinced women to get educated, taught self-defense by learning on youtube video lessons and also worked on the installation of smokeless stoves in her village, which affects the eyes of rural women at large.

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