Akshara Stories : AshwiniEntrepreneurship | August 16, 2013
I come from a family of a marginal farmer, below...
I remember a time when he did not even realize that a truck had gone over his hand rending it useless. Of course, this was used to further advantage by sticking to a drunken state as much as possible, till date.
The state of the women in my family was naturally worse. My mother got violently beaten up by my father under the influence of alcohol. It was her brother (my maternal uncle) who managed to provide some grain and essential necessities so that we could survive.
Fortunately, Asade was one of the lucky villages that had a school. This was the only escape that I had from the constantly depressing domestic scene at home. I was in the 8th grade in this school (2008) when I first heard about Akshara. I did not know anything about Akshara at that point except that they had something to do with The Mahindra United World College of India (MUWCI). It was but natural that the idea of being able to go to the MUWCI campus was aspirational for me. I wanted to see a campus that is known for its facilities and the kids who come from all over the world to study. And I figured out that the baby step to reach MUWCI was through Akshara. With dreams in my eyes beyond my means, I connected with Akshara. I was in 8th Std. then, with family circumstances as they were and no one to guide.
By the end of 8th grade, thanks to Akshara, I was interested in studies and had gained a different and thinking perspective on life. I no longer reacted by hitting or abusing others. I realised that people paid more attention to me when I spoke to them rather than when I bullied them. The most surprising thing was how the girls and ladyteachers were treated. I realized I could respect them, as well and be friendly with a few as well. This was not something I could have thought possible before Akshara. But because they made us do things together, I came to change my feelings about girls.I became more sensitive towards women due to the discussions that took place in Akshara.
The range of topics that were discussed was large. From caste issues, dowry and alcoholism to women’s position in society. Akshara gave me the opportunity to discuss these issues and to express my opinion.I remember working on a sanitation project; interacting with the juniors as well as seniors to successfully complete it. The chance to explain the importance of cleanliness to the village elders gave all of us immense confidence and a feeling of achievement.But the passion “to make a difference” was unabating. The burning desire to rise above my circumstances, made me resolve to try and get into the Mahinddra United World College. Finally, fuelled with my aspiration and with help from Akshara, after 10th grade I joined Foundation Programme at MUWCI to prepare me for IB studies.
I think I did well enough in the Foundation Program at MUWCI after grade 10 as I was selected to go and do my IB at UWC Pearson College, Canada.
I have now completed the first year and am looking forward to getting back to the campus for my second year. I have made friends of various nationalities and backgrounds.
I am going to continue to be focussed on my studies in spite of any troubles at home. I know that this is what is important right now if I want to be able to make a difference to my mother’s lifeand my life- rise above my circumstances and make a difference to me and the world. I am on my way now to do my 2nd year at Pearson College Canada, to complete my IB.I am sure I have succeeded in rising above my circumstances and will succeed in life to make a difference to my family, my village community,country and the world at large.
Thank you MUWCI, Thank you Akshara!
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