My name is Madhura Mohol. I am from Pune; I am 22 years old. I come from a stereotypical society where people do not appreciate if a girl wants to pursue higher education. I had a family of 5 members, where two of my lovely sisters have been married, and my dad passed away two years ago. Now it’s only my mother who has to look after each other. My mother is a homemaker. She has a fibroid in her stomach which causes pain and eventually leads her to rest. So I am the only person who has the responsibility of earning bread for the family. Growing up in a community where children are subjected to substance abuse at an early age and asked to marry, I was fortunate to get a family that supports girls’ education and was raised to study further, although relatives and society put us down.
In school, I got various opportunities to learn more, for instance, participating in inter-school competitions, leading science projects, working on group activities, and passing out my 10th grade from a government school, Mahatma Gandhi Vidyalaya, with 70.60% from Maharashtra Board Class Xth Examination 2016. I am an artist too. I have participated in dance and music competitions. I feel happy, and I used to enjoy my own company when I performed. It was one of my hobbies too, alongside studying in school. Being brought up in a very supportive family, I decided to study further and complete my grade 12th in Pune, Hutatma Rajguru Maha Vidyalaya. I managed to clear my HSC(12th) exam with a 56.15%
Likewise, I decided to study more and wanted to do B. Com. It was my father's dream, and I wanted to take it forward as he could not live it. I also wanted to do B. Com and explore different career options. I had to go through many ups and downs while I decided to go for my undergrad program. These have been the most difficult stages of my life. My relatives and society let me down to pursue my higher studies. They kept saying, “ladki hai, kya karegi padhke, Shaadi karwa do” (She is a girl, what will she achieve if she studies, get her married) Whereas, my parents believed in me. They wanted me to grow and do something for myself. With their support, I stood against even odds and got admission to Pune University. Unfortunately, coming from a low socio-economic background, I could not afford the fees for my undergrad program. Therefore, I decided to work and study simultaneously. I was doing a part-time job at a call center company in Pune. Half the day, I was in college attending lectures, and the other half, I used to work to fund my education. As it was a part-time job, I could not earn enough to pay off the fees. So my family had to take some loans to pay off the expenses. We reached out to many people for that but could hardly manage to convince a few.
A year later, a tragic incident left us all broken. I lost my father two years back. We all were depressed as I lost the most important person in our family. For a moment, I was about to drop off everything I was doing, and that’s when my mother became my inspiration. She helped me heal through the incident, and she helped me think beyond and continue studying. She never let me feel low because I lost our dad. We both knew that I had to complete my graduation, and we didn’t have the money to. Even worse, a pandemic hit us that year. We were left with nothing, my college was shut, it happened online for the next two years, and we had to pay back the people we asked for loans, and my college fees were pending. To help my family with some expenses, I started my own business of baking cakes, known as “the cake gallery.” I managed to earn enough for us to be able to afford day-to-day expenses. I had to go through callous times during covid because we didn’t have any sources left to look up to. Through this, my mother has always been my constant motivation to keep moving on and not give up. She always stood by me and helped me to achieve my dreams. Despite this, I recently completed my graduation with 63.5% from Pune University. Through all these past three years, I learned to show fortitude, the ability to have patience and learn in the most challenging circumstances.
Hence, I dream of becoming an influencer for my community because I feel the bars of discrimination are so high in these times that it can take centuries to be equal. Due to this, families develop misbelief and withhold their ambitions and limit themselves. I want to bring change and prove that, if you wish to, YOU CAN! I want all the girls to believe that you don’t have to let go of your dreams due to societal pressure.
However, I still want to study more. I want to pursue my MBA program at Sinhgad Institute, Pune. I want to take forward my cake business and see it reach more and more people. I want to do it for myself and continue learning ahead to enable some change within the community. I bake a pure homemade cake, healthy, using natural colors. I initially started this with the thought that I should be able to afford our day-to-day costs. Now, I want to make it a success. To do that, I want to take up the next two years to master my skill and learn more about strategies and techniques. I can acquire the requisite knowledge and practices needed to develop and operate my business potential. This is so that I can help other girls achieve their goals by providing employment opportunities. Meanwhile, I am going through a financial crisis, because of which I cannot afford the two-year program I wish to attend. Though I am still working part-time, the salary is not enough to pay my admission fees. Thus, I am initiating this Fundraiser.
If you are donating for this, I bet you are not just donating for me, and you are presenting for all of them who have sacrificed their ambitions due to money and social process. If you are even sharing this, you are contributing to a more significant cause, and you are becoming a part of a movement to empower many others like me. So far, I haven’t let my finances come in the way and impact my learning, and now I am appealing to you to help me continue the same. I just want you to imagine what this could mean to the families around my own family and me. Your contribution can help generations to come out of this cycle of poverty. Support me so that I can help many Madhura like me. Thank you.