The students of VidyaGyan narrate their stories about their journey to depict how drastically their lives have changed.
Shikha, hails from a village near Bulandshahr. Her father is a small-time farmer and mother a housewife. The only girl child in her family, Shikha’s life constituted little more than helping her mother with the household chores and attending the government primary school. Her primary responsibility was helping manage the house. However, in spite of her irregular attendance at the school, her school teachers and Principal identified her as a sharp student with a sense of curiosity and a hunger to learn.
Shikha was part of the batch of 10,000 students who took VidyaGyan’s first entrance test in 2009 and was selected as one of the 200 students who constituted the Founding Batch of the school.
Her story is remarkable not because education has turned around her life but because she has been instrumental in touching the lives of her peers in her village and motivating them to pursue education. She topped the grade XII CBSE examinations with 97%. She has set an example in her village that girls can excel if given the right platform and opportunity.
Shikha’s transformative journey has led her to securing admission in one of India’s top colleges, Lady Shri Ram College in University of Delhi. Today, inspired by her journey, Shikha’s entire village enthusiastically bats for girls’ education and treats them equally with the male children – a major achievement in the typical social context of gender-based discrimination in the country.
Vaishali comes from a family of four residing in the small village of Faidpur Jaskoli in Moradabad district. Her father is a farmer and her mother a homemaker. Always an intelligent student, Vaishali joined VidyaGyan in 2009. She had consistently been a top performer from her class.
Intelligent and ambitious, Vaishali was keen to study Public Relations or Political Science at the undergraduate level and would like to follow that up with a postgraduate degree in International Relations or Law. She understands the finer nuances of the subject and likes studying ethics and ethical dilemmas.
She likes to watch Michael Sandel’s series ‘Justice’. She is also making an effort to widen her horizons by reading books on philosophy, which she finds “fascinatingly challenging”.
She is currently pursuing her undergraduate studies from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Shubham Kumar, the son of a potter, was fascinated by geometrical figures right from his childhood. He saw art in pottery. Preparing clay with his mother in early childhood for his father, he developed a passion for designing. His father gave up the potter’s work only to begin working as a farmer and later opened his small grocery shop. A family of six is supported by his father as the only earning member with an old grandfather to support too. His grandfather and mother are most of the time ill and hence his father has to cater to the doctor’s bills as well.
Shubham aspires to make it big, one day and introduce innovation to the world of pottery. His area of interest is product designing but it is only after he attended workshops at the London College of Fashion that he realized that it is a subject he could study. His aspiration is to use his talent to help the potter community market their products better.
Although offered an admission at the London College of Fashion, he couldn’t accept it due to paucity of funds. He is currently studying at the Delhi College of Arts.
Nisha Bharati, yet another promising youngster who joined VidyaGyan from Budhera Village, Uttar Pradesh is no different from her peers. Her father, a labourer manages to earn merely three thousand rupees in a month. Her family of 10 members is supported by her mother’s earnings, who sells milk.
Nisha had always been a diligent, dedicated, and devoted student throughout her stay in VidyaGyan. She was not only good at academics, but also proved her skills in Sports. She participated in national level athletics (4x400mtrs) and was also good in Discuss throw and Shot-Put events. She participated in inter-school painting competition (Magic with Colors) and brought laurels to the school.
Nisha has been a mentor for her juniors at VidyaGyan and she also acted as an ambassador of her school for younger students at her village.
She scored 91.6% in Grade XII and secured admission in the National Institute of Fashion Technology, Jodhpur where she is pursuing Bachelor of Design (B.Des.)