As a child, Sarita Mali used to sell flowers on pavements in Mumbai to support her father’s income. She is now 28-years-old and all set to pursue a Ph.D programme at the University of California. This native of Uttar Pradesh’s Jaunpur district who was raised in a slum area of Mumbai has worked very hard, broken societal and financial barriers to carve her own destiny.
How did she battle the challenges?
She used to study in a Municipal school in Mumbai. After passing class X, she started giving tuition to the kids in her locality. She saved a lot of money and got admitted to KJ Somaiya College of Arts and Commerce. She also earned an MA degree in Hindi literature from JNU after completing her graduation. Her father supported her throughout this journey.
“I have always had a passion for studies. At the age of 22, I entered the world of research. I am happy that this journey will continue for another 7 years.”, she wrote in her Facebook post that has gone viral on social media. It has got around 4K likes, 661 comments and 708 shares so far. “You can do anything, such a struggling story with hardwork, passion, dedication and continue studying….”, a user commented.
She wants to enter academia to highlight the woes of the marginalised sections of society. She wants to raise her voice for free education for street children. “Even today, when I see poor children running behind a car selling something on Delhi signals, I remember my childhood and the question arises in my mind. Will these children ever be able to read? What will their future be like?, she wrote.
I have always had a passion for studies. At the age of 22, I entered the world of research. I am happy that this journey will continue for another 7 years – Sarita Mali
Inspiration for her siblings
She has an elder sister and two brothers who were inspired by her dogged determination. They too started taking tuition and have been excelling in their studies. They are now preparing for their competitive examinations.
Towards the end of her Facebook post, she has also mentioned the names of all her teachers and mentors who have helped her in her journey.
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