Sudeeksha Bhati isn’t your average student. Daughter of a tea-seller and a first-generation learner, this Humanities student scored a stupendous 98% in her Class XII exams, topping her district. From a small village in Bulandshahr district, Sudeeksha is one of the few girls in her village who had the chance to not only pursue college but receive an education.
Her life since the board results were announced took another major step when after she received a full scholarship to study entrepreneurship at the prestigious Babson College in Massachusetts, USA. For the four-year course at Babson College, her scholarship roughly amounts to Rs 3.83 crore!
She is a student of VidyaGyan School, an initiative of the Shiv Nadar Foundation, which offers a learning/leadership academy for the economically underprivileged, meritorious students of rural India.
“The biggest hurdle was of limited finance. I was expelled from a private school when I was nine years old as my father could not pay the fee. After that, I took admission in the village primary school. This did not go down well with my family and relatives as it was against the custom in my community to send a girl child to study,” Sudeeksha told NDTV, in a recent interview.
However, her fortunes changed when she scored well in her Class V exam and earned admission at VIdyaGyan. Her family began supporting her educational pursuits.
“Another serious challenge was to overcome the prejudices of my family and community. But I rarely looked upon those as challenges because I knew that if I decided to do something — nothing could deter me. I learnt that god helps those who help themselves,” she told Times Now. Despite her community’s misgivings, she had the full support of her teachers.
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How did she secure a full scholarship? In large part due to her sheer hard work, but the networks set in place by the school also helped her that extra bit.
“So, it was due to the strong profile that I built during the last few years that I was able to win the scholarship. I was actively involved in various activities all through my senior school years.
I also attended summer programs like Duke TIP (in India) and Pennsylvania School for Global Entrepreneurship (Lehigh University, USA). I was in school council as Vice-head girl in grade 11th and served my house as Senior Cultural secretary and House Prefect in grade 10th and 9th respectively. I also initiated a campaign called Voice of Women to convince girls and their families to send them to school and fight against eve-teasing, which is a major problem in my locality,” she tells Times Now.
Already an agent of change in her community, Sudeeksha is on the cusp of greater things. We wish her all the best!