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Higher education: A dream for many
Published on 1 Aug. 2009 10:41 PM IST
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They are first year students but also freshers of a different kind. In one of the most prestigious colleges of Delhi University, some students are part of a silent revolution which began some years ago. They are the first women in their family to get college education. Their mothers never went to college, some fathers also stayed away - but there’s no dearth of support for this generation, specially from their mothers, perhaps keen to live their lives through these young eyes. “My sister got married after she finished her class 10. But my mother wants me to go on and since she dominates at home, she wins,” says Maya, a student. “Parents want their kids to move on - if they got left behind somewhere, they want their girls to move forward from there,” observes Dr Sharda Bhatnagar, In-charge Hindi Department, JMC. But getting here has been an uphill task and mingling with the rest in a college like this, the biggest challenge. “Today even for Nursery admissions, you need to know English. Parents are interviewed and English is essential everywhere,” says Mona, another student. And coupled with this, is the M word. “When I go to my father’s village, I am often told, you’re so old, why don’t you get married now,” puts forth Anu. But for these first generation learners in a centuries old university, there’s a lot to celebrate. “Earlier we didn’t know how to conduct ourselves, we lacked confidence. Now we feel so sure of ourselves,” says Mona, another student. Young India over the last few years has come into its own. A lot of that has to do with aspirations which we see plenty in a class like this - conscious of their background, but very sure of themselves. These girls say they have a long way to go.

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