Aafreen Chhipa from Rajasthan’s Bhilwara district is on cloud nine these days. Reason? She is all set to fly to the US on Sunday (August 13) for her higher studies. She had received her admission letter from the California State University, Fresno, in March this year.

Role of Rajasthan Government

She is among the three girl toppers from Rajasthan who have benefited from the Chief Minister’s sponsorship scheme. Under the scheme, all three girls have been offered a scholarship of Rs 25 lakh a year, which will help them go abroad for higher studies.

In 2015, Aafreen had topped Class 10 exams in the state among girls in the government school category.

Family’s apprehensions

Aafreen’s mother is a schoolteacher and her father owns a cloth shop in Bhilwara. The mother was sceptical about sending her daughter to such a faraway place, wondering how she would manage everything single-handedly.

“The only other time anybody has gone abroad from family is for Haj,” – Aafreen’s mother

Her teachers want her to do B.A and B.Ed and become a school teacher. The girl, however, is determined to become an IAS officer. She wants to go to a US university to groom her personality, which will, in turn, help her in cracking the IAS interview in India.

Inspiration and role models 

One of the reasons why she chose to study in a US university is to develop her personality, so that she will do well in the IAS interview.

“Others are saying that I won’t come back from the US. But mark my words, I’ll come back to my country and become an IAS officer,” said Aafreen.

She idolises former President APJ Abdul Kalam and considers his biography to be her Bible. She also finds her grandfather, who is a retired school teacher, very inspiring.

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The Journey

Her mother spoke to two other girl toppers and knew that one of them was interested in studying abroad like Aafreen. The duo stayed in Jaipur for a year in a girls’ hostel where they shared the room.

Aafreen wrote SAT, a test for undergraduate admissions in the US, and TOEFL, an English competency test. She scored 1150 out of 1600 in SAT and 72 out of 120 in TOEFL.

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Her selection in the California University wasn’t a surprise, but the family had apprehensions due to US President Donald Trump’s comments against Muslims and reports of violence in there.

“Others are saying that I won’t come back from the US. But mark my words, I’ll come back to my country and become an IAS officer,” – Aafreen

The meritorious student’s mother remarked that no one else in their family has gone to abroad for higher studies.

“The only other time anybody has gone abroad from family is for Haj,” said the mother.

Future plans 

The girl aspires to actively participate in activities in California and understand the academic system in the US to know the various factors that make it one of the best university in the world.

Girls like Afreen are an asset for the country. They are proving that if armed with education, girls can significantly contribute towards betterment of society.

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Picture credits: HT