Humans of Bombay’s new post about a 19-year-old girl named Ashwini is a reminder that hard work is the only catalyst to success. Sure, by no means life is fair and the struggle to survive is as real as it can get but Ashwini’ s story is a remarkable example that you can do anything if to decided to face the adversities instead of running away from them. Born to a sex worker mother, Ashwini’s life after running away from her mother to living in an NGO, to getting a scholarship at New York University is truly stellar.
Her heartwarming story was shared by Humans of Bombay on their Facebook page of June 5. In the post pinned with Ashwini’s picture, the descriptor says: “I’ve been running my whole life. When I was 5, I ran away from my mother who was a sex worker and would beat me up black and blue for something as trivial as losing her lipstick.”
Speaking of her days in an NGO shelter home, Ashwini describes her hostel rules to be very strict and if not followed, she along with other children would be beaten and starved for days. She was abused and starved for 10 years because her mother passed away during that period and she had nowhere to go. Talking about a new ray of hope she continues that few of her friends ran away to a place called Kranti which looks after girls but the decision of running away and starting over was very difficult.
Kranti changed her life in a meaningful way as she indulged in various art forms and therapy. She also volunteered to help other kids and do art projects that helped kids to express their fears, and instill hope in them. Talking about her journey, Ashwini describes that she travelled all over India for two years – from learning theatre in West Bengal to working to the Dalit community.
Now, Ashwini has managed to receive a scholarship at the prestigious New York University. Sharing the whole experience, she says, “I applied to New York University and got in with a big scholarship— my entire tuition is covered! For me, this was the biggest validation — that I could get into a college of my dreams, study what I love and make a difference all while the police is still running after me to drag me back to the hostel I ran away from. But I’m finally stopping to run. I’m finally finding peace and stillness within me and the hope of a better tomorrow… the hope of a second chance to live a different life and to finally just…be.”
Ashwini’s scholarship does not cover her accommodation expenses which are approximately close to Rs 10 lakh, which is why Humans of Bombay came to her rescue and started a fundraising campaign for Ashwini. Many people joined in to help Ashwini achieve her dreams and guess what they made it. Yes! A total sum Rs. 11,08,080 has been raised of the total Rs. 10,00,000 goal. Indians living in New York also contributed to help Ashwini. Take a look at the comments:
“Ashwini: I am in new york city and live near new york university. I would like to meet you. Let me know when you are here. You are such an inspiration.”
“Hi Ashwini. I live about 25 minutes away from NYC, you are welcome to come stay with us as long as you would like. Please send me a message on messenger if this is something that interests you.”
“I am an alum of NYU and if she needs help in finding accommodation I would love to connect with her and tell her all that she can look forward to and figure out accommodation. kindly feel free to connect me with her!!”
“You are an inspiration Ashwini! I’m an Occupational Therapist and I’m living in Boston. You can count on me to help you with any queries in your course work or anything related to your studies! I would love to help you!!”
Need we say more? Ashwini is already a winner and we root for her
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