By Chaitanya Jayakumar MA (5- Year Integrated) Economics, Batch 2008- 13 Presently pursuing Ph.D. in Economics at University of Siena Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Right from my birth till my adolescence I studied abroad (Saudi Arabia) with my family. My schooling at International Indian School gave a wide exposure towards the real world. But once I came back to India; I had a real tough time. Till I reached India I never knew that only boys are superior and girls, inferior. When I questioned, the explanation was, being born into an orthodox aristocratic family; you should obey it and go with the decision of my family (joint). I felt the concept of equality just existed on paper and cursed myself for coming back to India. After completion of matriculation, my family (except my father) advised me to go for Science Stream, which was not my taste. I wanted to go into the Arts Stream and make my career. The hue and cry in my family was at its peak and everyone kept ragging my father, however in the end they left me with no choice except what they desired. I am thankful to my father who not only supported me at that crucial time, but also told me to listen to my heart and take the course that I was interested in and build my career. His words and confidence in me gave me the much required strength and courage to move forward in life. I then decided to relocate and came out of my village (Chennithala), Aleppey District and moved to St. Thomas Central School in Trivandrum, as least opportunities were available at my home town. Here my majors were English, Economics, Sociology, Political Science and Psychology. However Economics was one area which kept me involved more than any other subject and this was due to my teacher Mathangi Srivasan who inspired me a lot. Later she informed me about the Integrated Masters Program at HCU and advised me to figure out a way to join the course. I must thank her that it really happened.
Hyderabad Central University (H.C.U), I believe is Paradise on Earth. The warmth, the support, the competitiveness which came hand in hand on the campus, were the best that I got compared to other places. The vibrancy of the campus did not just make me stick to academics, but also motivated me to be a part of extracurricular activities like SPIC MACAY on campus. The campus made me bold, strong and self-confident. My interest was always to pursue PhD abroad, as it would help me to get wider exposure and make myself competent among the foreign students too. HCU helped me a lot to reach my dream destination – Italy. The academic standard offered at HCU was so good that it made me competent enough to be one among the 9 students selected for the PhD Programme at University of Siena. This achievement is purely because of my dear teachers and friends at HCU.
Nothing would have been possible, but for the support of my parents and of course, I could never move further without mentioning my friends. I was depressed when I didn’t get a seat for M.Phil at any of the leading Universities in India. Again pressure started coming from my family. I tried hard for entry into the PhD at the University of Siena, Italy. I am happy that i worked hard to achieve my goal. Though filthy mouths can’t be shut, people in my village are now telling my father “You should be proud of your daughter”.
This is my greatest achievement till date especially because I was always told that girls should not get educated. I am proud to say that my father is my greatest source of inspiration and confidence.