- I am starting this fundraiser to raise a total amount of Rs 30 Lakhs to fund my education to the University of Cambridge and undertake the 11 months MPhil course in Social Anthropology.
- I am first generation to get a college education and no one from my family has a government job. Yet, I have worked hard through school and college, performing academically well, and I’ve dared to dream beyond societal class barriers.
- I completed my BA and MA in History from Lady Sri Ram College For Women, University fo Delhi, where I performed academically well graduating with first-division and recieving an award for academic excellence from the department of History.
- I then did an MPhil degree in South Asian Studies from the University of Cambridge (2020-21) which was funded by the Sikkim government. Having received the scholarship before I am not eligible for the scholarship again.
- I've now decided to shift to the field of Social Anthropology and undertake this 11 months MPhil degree in Social Anthropology; the main reason being that historical archives on Sikkim are very hard to find. Anthropology with its emphasis on fieldwork will allow me to interact with people, hear their stories and document the present society in Sikkim.
- My articles have been published in the Raiot, Feminism in India, Sikkim Express and Summit Times Daily. Recently, my article on Potato cultivation and emerging ecological challenges faced by farmers in west Sikkim received positive reviews and it can be accessed here: https://www.sikkimproject.org/rethinking-organic-sikkim-sombaria-and-sombaria-potatoes-2/
- Studying Social Anthropology at Cambridge University will be a big achievement not only for me but also for future generation students in Sikkim. I hope you will hear my story and donate for my cause.
I was born and brought up in the small border town of Jorethang, South Sikkim to small businessmen. No one from my family is in government service and neither of my parents have attended college nor received an English education. In spite of all the hardships my parents ensured that I received the best education and they always encouraged me to work hard, dream big, and most importantly — that no task was impossible with strong will and humility. It is with this knowledge that I worked hard in school, getting a 91.75 % in my class 12 board exams and securing admission at the prestigious Lady Sri Ram College for Women, University of Delhi. At Lady Sri Ram College, I studied history under the guidance of many brilliant professors and I excelled in my studies subsequently graduating with a first division. I also received an award for academic excellence from the Department of History.
My ambition to pursue a career in research led me to undertake an MPhil degree in South Asian Studies at the University of Cambridge (2020-21) where my dissertation explored issues of ethnicity and colonial history in Sikkim. This degree was supported by the Chief Minister’s Free Scholarship Scheme, Government of Sikkim. While writing my thesis, I encountered huge paucity of written sources and archives. Colonial archives on Sikkim are opaque and vague and one has to repeatedly read against the grain in order to arrive at any conclusion. Hence, in order to conduct in-dept research on Sikkim society I’ve decided to shift to the stream of Social Anthropology, in which, fieldwork with the subject of study is essential and important.
Why a second MPhil?
As I’ve mentioned earlier, lack of historical sources on Sikkim has led me to shift to Social anthropology. In Anthropology, fieldwork is important and essential and this will allow me to conduct long months in the field listening to people and hearing their stories and grievances and allow me to document this for the coming generations. Most importantly, most PhD courses in anthropology in United Kingdom requires students to have some background in the subject. Hence pursuing this 11 months course will help me advance a career in this field.
My research while pursuing MPhil in social anthropology at Cambridge will focus on the changing economic and social lives of Gurung Shepherds in West Sikkim. I will study the ways in which the declaration of grasslands in west Sikkim as World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2016 and the subsequent banning of grazing has affected the lives of Gurung Shepherds in the area. I will also explore how the declining profession of sheep rearing among the Gurungs has affected the traditional business of weaving among Gurung women.
What do I want from you?
My previous MPhil degree in South Asian Studies at Cambridge was funded by the Chief Minister’s Free Scholarship Scheme, Government of Sikkim. Since I’ve already received this scholarship I am not eligible for the scholarship again.
Financial Aid required:
Tuition fees: £ 33,825.00 or Rs 32,17,458.02
Living and Maintenance Cost: £ 13,980.00 or Rs 13,29,580.07
Total: £ 47,805.00 or Rs 45,02,583.39
I am currently trying to process a student-loan of Rs 15 Lakhs to cover my living expenses but it is impossible for me pay my college fees. Neither of my parents have a stable job and I am first generation to attain a college education. Thus, the total amount I need to raise after student loan is INR 30 lakh.
What have I done so far?
Apart from writing experience, I have wide range of work experience from interning with organizations such as the School For Democracy in Rajasthan, Partition Museum and actively participating in civil society and fact-finding missions concerning human rights issues in India.
What are my future plans?
After finishing my degree, I will continue my studies and research on the many pertinent issues in Sikkim concerning the numerous ethnic communities in the region. In the long run, I will come back to Sikkim and teach in Sikkim, guiding young students in the region who require help and support.
By donating to my fundraiser, you will be investing in the future of Sikkim and India. My story is not unique but in fact a testament to what is possible if children from the lower rungs of the society are given guidance and support. With a belief that finances should not be a barrier to attainting education, I’ve made the decision to crowdfund my education and I hope you will help me achieve my dream by donating and spreading my word.
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for any further information or queries