I come from a line of first-generation learners from Rajasthan, from a family where farming has been the primary source of household income. Post-1991 liberalization, as India was brimming with service sector opportunities, my father left our village looking for work outside of the agriculture sector. Soon, he entered the tourism sector, started freelancing as a tour guide and we shifted to Jaipur. It’s the only reason why I was raised in a city and could afford and benefit from quality English medium education - something unprecedented in my village at the time. For the first 20 years of my life, I was well accustomed to the norms, culture, and living standards of both a tier 2 city and a rural Rajasthan. I was observant of how quickly these norms and cultures changed between the two places I called home. It made me acutely conscious of my responsibility to give back to the society I come from. It also made me value my education at a very young age. My formative years and what followed after that are the crucial reason why I choose to work in the field of public policy and economic development.
As a 26-year-old woman with this background, I have proudly fought my way to education, job, and financial independence. It's an aberration for women in my surroundings to remain unmarried at this age. A single woman pursuing her second master's in a foreign land, quite frankly, looks nothing like what I have seen in close or extended quarters. After all these loud and silent battles I fought alone, my resolve grew deeper.
I have a bachelor's in Economics (Hons) from St. Xavier's College, Jaipur (Rajasthan University) where I was awarded a certificate of special recognition for outstanding performance. During my undergraduate, I closely worked with a grassroots organization ‘The Abhyutthanam Society' for over two years and contributed to a study on the implementation of Section 12(1)(c) of the Right to Education Act (RTE) 2009, in Sanganer district near Jaipur. Here, I assisted in Conducting door-to-door surveys, spearheaded the awareness campaign -‘School Bharo Andolan’ & led the dissemination of legal information. Spread awareness regarding provisions & accessibility of RTE at the local school in Sanganer. My experiences here left a lasting impact and led to strengthening my resolve for public service.
When applying for post-graduate programs across India, I cleared multiple national level entrance exams for India’s leading social sciences colleges like the National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Azim Premji University (APU), Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai. I secured 3rd- All India Rank (AIR) in the final merit list for Masters in Regulatory Governance at TISS, Mumbai and went on to complete my master's degree there.
For the last 3.5 years, I have been working closely with the government and non-profit sector as a policy researcher in the thematic areas of financial inclusion, and socio-economic development in organizations like the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP) where I worked closely with the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance among others. My work has contributed to the formulation of union budget items and general agendas set at a national level. Some of my Op-eds have also been published on platforms like Indian Express, The Quint, NewsLaundry, etc.
Tech and app-based solutions fail to penetrate the lowest rungs of the ladder. While SHGs, chit funds, etc are relatively well-accepted concepts in India, they are more prominent in southern states with better HDI parameters. I believe the tool of education and financial literacy can change the fate of women, and I want to be instrumental in bringing that change to my home state. While I am fairly clear about my area of work I could use much more refinement in thought and direction. In this regard, the kind of knowledge, resources, and network Harvard can provide is unprecedented.
Why I need Financial Aid:
The total cost of studying at Harvard will be ~ Rs. 1.3 Crore (USD ~167k) out of which i want to raise Rs 35 lakhs to cover for the rest i am taking two substantial loans - 1) from Harvard and 2) informal loans from individuals in the US, using my savings and relying on part time opportunities which may open during the tenure of my study. This fundraiser will help me manage my debt better.
How can you help?
If you have any queries, please feel free to reach me at: email@example.com
1. The fund raised here will only be used towards the mentioned cause - this in no way is for my personal expense. In case I do not end up going to Harvard, all the money raised here will be disbursed back from Milaap to respective donors.
2. Only Payment Gateway (PG) charges will be deducted. PG charges are small service charges (0.6% to ~2.5% of donated money) that processors like Banks, UPI, Paytm, etc take to securely process and verify the online payment. This is NOT a Milaap fee. Milaap only asks for tips during the payment which can be a minimum of Rs.1
3. I have edited some part of my story today (18 July, 2022) as I noticed another campaign which lifted a few paragraphs from my fundraiser and used it for her campaign. This is absolutely vile and infuriating. Her campaign is much more more popular than mine which will invariably put me in bad light. Keeping this in mind, i have removed the portions which were exactly copied pasted from my story.