Hi! I am Maknoon and I am here to ask for your help to get me into Oxford University. I am from Anantnag, Kashmir, and I am a graduate in Journalism from Delhi University. I am trying to raise funds for my tuition and living expenses to study MSc in Social Science of the Internet at Oxford Internet Institute. The total funding I need is INR 43,82,109.
I was accepted into Ashoka University's Young India Fellowship twice (2020 & 2021) but I couldn't join for lack of funds.
I was also accepted into London School of Economics this year. An offer from the UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD is a great opportunity for me! Please make it happen!
Fees & Living Expenses:
The total estimated course fee for the duration of the course is GBP 27,460, equivalent to INR 28,44,341. I have to submit a financial declaration for the same by July 23, 2021.
The living expense for the period of one year is GBP 15,000, equivalent to INR 15,48,084 Indian rupees.
Total = GBP 42,460 or INR 43,82,109.
Who am I?
In 2014, when Kashmir was trying to come to terms with the unprecedented floods which devoured much of Srinagar and many other small and big towns, I was sent to Delhi. Repeated shutdowns and curfews had severely affected my studies – owing to two summers of conflict in 2008 and 2010 – so my parents decided that I be sent to the national capital to be able to continue my schooling at Jamia Milia Islamia and eventually at Delhi University.
Then on August 5, 2019, Article 370 was scrapped, and a subsequent “security lockdown” brought everything in Kashmir to a standstill and created a lot of problems for me. The months-long “security lockdown” accrued a personal cost on my family. My father, who owns a retail furnishing shop in the southern Kashmiri town of Anantnag, went out of business. Our shop, the sole source of income for my family, remained closed for eight months after August 5. The rented space cost my family a fortune, and the coronavirus lockdown has only made the situation worse. Coming from a middle-class Kashmiri family, it has been difficult to manage my studies amidst the conflict back home.
Achievements and Motivation for the course.
In January this year, I received my first acceptance from London School of Economics to study MSc Media and Communications. I had to put that offer on hold because of a lack of funding. Later, I also got accepted to Ashoka University’s Young India Fellowship, but I had to turn it down (second time in a row!) for lack of funds.
I understand that it is difficult for a person with my financial background to study at a foreign university. However, it was only a few months ago that I got accepted into Oxford University.
A mix of personal experiences and professional endeavors convinced me to opt for this course. Here, I would like to share a part of my personal statement which got me through Oxford, since this is the most accurate representation of why I deserve to be there:
“In 2019-20, Kashmir witnessed the longest-ever internet shutdown in a democracy, after India revoked its autonomy. Even the low-speed 2G internet, restored in March 2020, is often snapped arbitrarily. When the entire education system is moving online, students like me have been hanged out to dry on the dark side of the digital divide. During the mass unrests of 2008 and 2010, information — or the lack of it — could mean the difference between life and death. Every news would reach us only through the internet. It fascinated me how social media could catalyze protests and build movements. The government responded by restricting and sometimes shutting down the internet entirely. As a journalist, I closely observed the new media revolution in India. With time, Indian journalism has starkly regressed. Fortunately, India simultaneously witnessed an internet revolution because of cheap data and mobile phones. Across India, people tell their own stories to a large audience now. Unfortunately, Kashmiris cannot. My interest in the social and political effects of the internet attracted me towards Oxford Internet Institute. This course teaches exactly that. I want to use my knowledge to theorize and empirically probe the losses my community has suffered. I have undertaken many research- extensive projects, and my online initiatives have familiarized me with some intricate details about the working of the internet. During the pandemic lockdown, I created tiny.cc/jktaeleem, an easily-loadable repository of online educational resources for Kashmiris. I believe that these experiences will benefit me immensely during this course. In my thesis, I plan to study the implications of the internet blockades in Kashmir. I will also investigate their impact on business and education. I will utilize this opportunity to test the theory of technological determinism in terms of how internet blockades in Kashmir over several decades have shaped its society differently. Despite substantial press coverage, academic research about the implications of persistent internet blockades is almost non-existent.”
This acceptance from Oxford University is a culmination of years of hard work and toil. I request you all to help me achieve this dream.
You can reach out to me on firstname.lastname@example.org.