The Shanti Bhavan Children’s Project, the India-based school of the She’s the First network, announced incredible news on its Facebook page this week! Six of the girls in their senior class will attend college at Mt. Carmel, and five of the boys will attend St. Joseph’s, two very good universities in India. These students are all the first ever to graduate in their families, as well as from Shanti Bhavan, a state-of-the-art school for the most marginalized children of India.
These students’ four years of tuition are not fully funded, since they do not have families to support them. They were rescued from the Untouchable (lowest) class of Indian society 13 years ago. You can help! You might chip in the amount you would have spent on a movie ticket this weekend. (Watch something on YouTube instead!) Even $10 makes a difference — you only have to read one of the personal essays that the graduating seniors wrote to believe it.
This week, we put the spotlight on Binha Lingappa. She was abandoned by her mother and abused by her stepmother — because she was a girl — but transformed her outlook on life through an education at Shanti Bhavan.
I know why I was chosen to study in Shanti Bhavan. It was because I had the talent and the confidence I learnt from the school to make my dream come true. As being the eldest in my family it is my duty to look after my parents. My dream is to become a dancer and a teacher. Whatever comes my way I will always want to pursue dance.
My principal always tells me,’’ It is not what we do but who we are matters.” I am proud that as a girl I too can contribute to my society and make this world a better place. I want to work in Shanti Bhavan and share my talents to the future children of this school. As quoted by Ruskin Bond,” A man who fails well is better than a man who succeeds badly,” I feel that no matter what I will keep on going. I have learned to be the best I can, as the motto of our school goes. I want to make the difference in the world, a drop of water makes in a mighty ocean.
Read Binha’s full essay here. Her creativity, spirit, and courage is unforgettable. You can donate a small amount to her scholarship fund here. If you’d like to send her a personal note of support along with it, email email@example.com. The She’s the First team can deliver it for you! We’re confident Binha would write back.