Hardships are a part of life. The world runs on the formula of survival of the fittest. Sometimes, those who face extreme hardships, emerge as winners and set examples for people to follow. We recently got our hands on a story that serves as a source of inspiration for many of us.
Posted by Humans of Bombay, this story is of Ashwini, who recently got a scholarship at New York University. However, that is just one part of it. Ashwini’s life has been full of ups and downs, especially when she found out that her mother was a sex worker. She decided to run away and found a place inside an NGO.
The pinned Facebook post quoted,
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.
Ashwini described her life as completely turbulent, after she moved to the NGO.
According to her, the hostel rules in the NGO were so strict that children were beaten up and starved for days if found guilty of breaking any rules.
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 a 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 bought a huge change in her life. During her days at Kranti, she found her bliss in various art forms and therapies. 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 traveled all over India for two years – from learning theatre in West Bengal to working for the Dalit community.
Ashwini has now received 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 close to approximately 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, which exceeds the Rs. 10,00,000 goal.
Indians living in New York also contributed to help Ashwini. This is how people have come to her rescue!
“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!!”
Ashwini’s story is a live example of life beyond hardships. We truly salute her fighter spirit and wish her the best for her life ahead.