Last week, we started a weekly spotlight on the female graduates of Shanti Bhavan’s first graduating class — a momentous occasion. Keep in mind that 13 years ago, the Shanti Bhavan Children’s Project, a proud member of She’s the First, opened as a first-class boarding school in India for the poorest of children. Today, they are releasing 50 future leaders into the world to continue their college education, which you can directly support through this link.
Today, we highlight the personal statement of 17-year-old Ranjini Pushpa Rayappa, who horrifically writes of how her father tried to murder she and her mother when she was four. But then Shanti Bhavan discovered her and enrolled her in school, where an education transformed her options in life:
“Kutti (my mother’s pet name for me) I expect you to be independent,” said my mother one day when I witnessed the hardships she faced at home. Only sorrow found itself in our house, combined with constant quarrels. With hope in her eyes she added, “I never want you to depend on me or my wages to succeed in your life. I want you to study well and have control of your life. I don’t want my fate to be yours.”
Even today, at the age of seventeen, these words have been the driving motivation that keeps me moving towards fulfilling my goals. In school, being surrounded by teachers and caregivers almost 24 hours a day has made me aware of the power of education and advantages in using it. In school realizing my capabilities I created dreams for the future. My teachers, friends and principal helped me grow into who I am today. To my teachers my work was an evidence of my ability. They sought every opportunity to tell me they had faith in my strengths and made me believe in myself.
Through the years, I developed into a confident student possessing a strong sense of leadership. I too expect a lot out of life and myself. I want life to be a challenging path towards success where I give my best in everything I do. I relate my expectations to my positive approach to life. Many people have said ‘Expectations hurt.’ I believe they hurt when you let them defeat you, when you turn down opportunities, when you have lost faith in yourself.
On completing my studies in the twelfth grade, I am determined to complete my Bachelors degree in either Business Administration or Management. I am also looking at options such as Chartered Accountancy. This is a highly desired position in the business field and is difficult to attain, but I am prepared for this challenge. Having the passion to one day become an entrepreneur, my strengths lead me towards this line of career. I want to earn multiple degrees in order to fulfill my personal goals and simultaneously work towards meeting my family’s needs. My main goal in life is to help my family and give back to society. I was one of the few privileged children who received help through Shanti Bhavan. Many of my neighbors and friends are in the same critical condition as I once was, but luck turned out to have betrayed them. I want to make a difference in the lives of other children who are also waiting for an answer to their prayers.
We are deeply inspired by Ranjini, how about you? Read her full personal statement on shantibhavanonline.org.