First In Her Village To Go Abroad To Study, Manvi Talks About Her Incredible Journey

This 18-year-old has been offered a full scholarship from Wellesley College Massachusetts to study in their undergraduate program.

Manvi Chaudhary, Wellesley College Massachusetts, Scholarship, First in her village to go abroad, Massachussetts, uttar pradesh, dhanauri mafi, amroha, bulandshahr, vidyagyan, school, shiv nadar foundation, HCL
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While we are busy holding debates and discussions about the literacy rates, this farmer family from Dhanauri Mafi, Uttar Pradesh, is trying to bring about a positive change by working towards giving their children the best education they can.

The 18-year-old Manvi Chaudhary, the eldest daughter of Brijpal and Sunita is the first person in her village of over 2,000 people to go abroad to study. She has been offered a full scholarship from the Wellesley College Massachusetts to study in their undergraduate program.

source : huffingtonpost

“I am excited about everything”, Manvi says in a heavy American accent, as she sits on a charpoy in her courtyard surrounded by her family and extended family. She is really excited to wear a green t-shirt that says “NYC”, she adds. There’s a buzz in the air and everyone is extremely proud of Manvi’s achievement.

“She is making our name shine! Now everyone knows me as Manvi’s father!” exclaims the proud father.  The enormity of Manvi’s achievement is visible not only her family but the entire village. Manvi is almost a legend around her village. The house is filled with visitors and well-wishers who have come to wish the family before Manvi leaves.

In a state where the female literacy rate is 59.26% -19.98 percentage points lower than the male literacy rate - and where most of the rural girls are married off before they are 18, Manvi is breaking the stereotypes and proving to thousands of girls that nothing can stop them if they set a goal and strive to achieve it.

source : huffingtonpost

Most of Manvi’s friends are either married or are soon to be married. While most of them abandoned their studies, Manvi had her goal set since primary school, she wanted to study and do something different. Every day, after coming back from her local government school, she used to revise everything that was taught, with her mother. "I didn't study much when I was her age but I wanted my daughter to get the best education," says Sunita Devi, who wanted to send Manvi to a good school but could not afford it.

Even the irregularity of the classes and poor teaching couldn’t stop Manvi from excelling in studies. Looking at her brilliant academic performance, her father decided to fill out an application for a new privately-run school that was looking for its first batch of students from low-income families. VidyaGyan, a residential school run by the Shiv Nadar Foundation (run by the family of the founder of HCL Technologies), was opening its first facility that year, in 2009, to help gifted students from rural areas of Uttar Pradesh achieve their potential. Manvi was among the 10 students chosen from her district - Amroha - who secured admission in the school in Bulandshahr.

 Image source : huffingtonpost

Schooling, lodging, food, everything is taken care of at VidyaGyan School. The only rule they have is that the parents have to leave their children completely under the care of the school authorities, and not demand to meet them and disrupt their education while the school is in session. This rule scared Manvi’s mother a little, but when she saw the transformation in her daughter in just 6 months, all her fears and apprehensions vanished.

It was in VidyaGyan, five years later that she was chosen for the prestigious Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program which funded her study for a year in a public high school in Minneapolis.

After spending a year in the States, she decided that she wanted to go abroad for higher studies. “Earlier, I dreamed of finishing high school and going to college somewhere. But after that year I started dreaming of doing more."

source : huffingtonpost

Last year, she spoke at the Global Citizen India Festival in Mumbai about her experiences and the potential of Indian village girls as future leaders.

Manvi left her native village earlier this week to study International Relations and Economics in the women’s college. The Wellesley College that is ranked among the top three Liberal Arts colleges in USA is offering Manvi an annual scholarship of $75,000, which includes the tuition fees and living expenses.

Manvi wants to become a diplomat and work with the UN someday. Her story of hard work and perseverance is an inspiration to many girls who want to break the shackles of the society and do something for themselves.

Title image : huffingtonpost


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Manali Kulkarni (WRITER)

Manali Kulkarni writes for Reacho. If you wish to get in touch with them, drop in a mail at reach@reacho.in

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