I am Nyle Gaikwad, I live in Thane, Maharashtra. I have received a conditional offer letter from The University of Edinburgh which is ranked as the 20th best university in the world according to QS rankings. I have completed my Bachelors in the subject of Biochemistry from B.N Bandodkar College of Science and I am currently doing my Masters at Ramnarain Ruia college both of which are affiliated with the University of Mumbai.
For as long as I can remember I have always been curious to know how and where exactly did the first life originate from. The theory that we might be the only life in this vast universe has never satisfied me and has led me to be interested in knowing more and finding more about life and its functions. The reason I did my Bachelors in Biochemistry was to know all the basics about the different life forms and what they are made up of, how they function, and how they have adapted to survive. Now I have got a chance to do Masters in Biochemistry from one of the most prestigious universities in the world. This would help me in my future research and help specialise my academic domain to Astrobiology.
I have completed a course on Astrobiology and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life- (An online course by The University of Edinburgh offered through Coursera) also, an instrumentation Course organized by Ramnarain Ruia Autonomous College. I have attended an international conference on "Role and Management of Oxidative Stress in Human Disease"- (Organized by the Bio-Science group and BARC) and completed a Thinking skills workshop on problem-solving and process skills in genetics-Inter- (Disciplinary Program in Educational Technology at IIT Bombay). I have also interned at Dr Vaidya's Millenium Laboratory a NABL accredited pathology laboratory. My research team presented a paper titled “Challenges to an infection-free future generation” which won at a two-day National virtual conference “COVID-19 times: Opportunities in Difficulties” organized by K.C. College. I have always had a decent score throughout my graduation and masters too.
Even though I am in the process of achieving what I had always dreamt of, the path wasn't easy. As a Dalit woman, I had to go through constant sexism and casteism from a younger age till now. I was discouraged at every step and was even suggested to not take up “hard sciences” presuming that I would not be able to cope up with the studies. I now understand that to become something I need to break through these chains with the help of education. I always remember Babasaheb's quote "educate, agitate and organize" which I feel is the only way for our liberation. I hope to inspire my Dalit sisters and brothers by becoming the first Dalit woman Astrobiologist. I feel that more and more women should be encouraged to take up science and should be helped to overcome all the hurdles placed by society that hinder them to achieve their dreams. For making this a reality, after completion of my education, I plan to pay back to the community whatever I have learnt.
I come from a middle-class family so it is quite difficult for me to pay for my higher education at this time of covid pandemic so the obstacle in front of me is the fee for my course at the University of Edinburgh. I need 35,00,000 rupees to secure my admission to this university. I am going to look for a job to pay for my living expenses but it would be safe to have some amount to assure a stable start. It would be a generous investment from your side to me for becoming an excellent researcher from the community.
Summary of expenses:
Tuition fees: £34,200 (34,59,954.89 ₹)
Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS): £470(47,549.09₹)
Living expenses: £12,276(12,41,941₹)
Total expenses: £46,946(47,49,444₹)