Original post: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/education-all-aishwarya-srinivasan/
EDUCATION! I have never been able to understand, why has knowledge and education become a bargain. To get knowledge, you ought to afford it. Why isn't intellect and passion enough? I have faced the circumstance, when I decided not to settle for less in terms of the knowledge I wanted. Being financially not able to afford higher education, I was advised (or rather discouraged) by people to not pursue higher education. I believed that I am capable, and deserve the knowledge and exposure I wish to have.
I believe each individual possesses a unique talent, and education is a key factor to discover their capabilities, dream for something and make it true.
I still remember the day, when my professor had proposed to sponsor my education at Columbia and work under him as a Research Assistant with a stipend too. That's how I could do my Masters. It definitely wasn't easy being an International student moving to a different country. I felt extremely happy and lucky to have gotten an opportunity to be at Columbia University. I felt it was no less than a miracle that I could travel all the way to United States, able to complete my education and join IBM, to have got a career which I not only love, but give my heart and soul to it. I am grateful to everyone who supported me through my journey for education, because my knowledge and skills are the greatest asset I own.
Whose fault is it that they weren't born in a well-off family, instead grew up in "bastis"? Are they any less capable? Or do they have low intellect? Why don't they get to have the knowledge and education which well-off people do?
About two years back, I had promised myself, that as soon as I will be financially independent, I will put in my efforts to make education accessible to the all.
Today, I got the opportunity to make my first contribution with Lakshayam Foundation for the street kids to have the opportunity to gain knowledge and realize their dreams. For the time I spent with them, there were kids who wanted to become a police officer, some said they want to serve the army, some wanted to be a teacher; I am taking about kids who are 5-7 years of age. Those little eyes had big dreams, but didn't have the tool (money) to get to it.
Not only do these kids value education much more than the ones who get it easy, but they have the intend to give back to the society. I was surprised to see how focused and enthusiastic they were being taught cursive writing and poems.
I hope I am able to make education accessible to all kids, and I encourage my connections and followers to join me in this cause.