Imagine. You are a girl child born to a family with humble backgrounds. Your father is a daily wage labourer and your mother a homemaker. You live with your siblings and parents in a joint family in an impoverished area. Your father is hardly able to make ends meet. You are a science stream topper with over 99 percentile in SSC and dream to build a rewarding career in the field.
But none of these can be achieved because your family doesn’t have enough resources to invest in your education, and dreams, just because you are a girl child!
That’s the life Mahima Panchal from Gujarat, India was living before she came across Yale graduate Amitabh Shah founded Indian non-profit Yuva Unstoppable that runs various development programmes to empower the underprivileged youth. A scholar throughout, Mahima had to drop out of science stream and opt for Commerce after 10th grade, only because her family couldn’t afford fees for her education. Even after switching her field, she refused to give up, topped the 12th boards too, and now dreamt of becoming a Chartered Accountant (CA)! But once again, life seemed to have a different plan. Her father refused to let her study any further and was adamant on getting her married. It was then that Mahima came to know about Yuva Unstoppable’s scholarship program and applied for it.
It proved to be a turning point in her life.
The Educational Scholarship Programme is one of the flagship programmes of Yuva Unstoppable under which it provides scholarships to hundreds of talented but needful students who have scored more than 90 percentile or 9 CGPA in their SSC/10th grade or latest exams but have family annual income less than INR 3 lakhs. The programme does not discriminate on the basis of caste, creed, colour or religion and strives to hunt for the most deserving young minds, which makes it truly inclusive and universal.
Many children like Mahima from lower socio-economic strata of India drop out of schools every day due to barriers to education like unavailability of adequate resources or financial support. Mahima too could have chosen the same path but instead, she chose to fight back. It was because of this determination and persistence that Yuva Unstoppable identified her as a deserving candidate for their merit scholarship. She studied day and night to make the best of the scholarship amount. And what’s more, with the NGO’s support, she could not only appear for the CA intermediate exams, but also bag an AIR of 8 in it!
“If you are determined to fight for your right, nothing can stop you from fulfilling your dreams”, asserts a strong-minded, confident and ambitious Mahima. I am thankful to Yuva Unstoppable and Amitabh Shah Sir for coming as a ray of hope in my life, due to which I was motivated to study even harder and not give up on my goals.”
“Mahima Panchal is a perfect example of grit and resilience. She has not only made us proud, but also her parents and the entire country. It bares testimony to the fact that if the girls in our country are given a chance to excel, they will definitely rise and shine”, said Amitabh Shah, founder and Chief Inspiration Officer, Yuva Unstoppable.
“I had never imagined that our daughter would make us so proud. My wife and I were really hesitant to educate her but with Yuva Unstoppable’s counselling and support, we could not only make Mahima complete her higher education but also see her happy and growing. Thank you so much for making it possible”, said an elated and proud father of the topper.
Supported by Amitabh Shah’s wife Mrs Rashmi Shah, Yuva Unstoppable envisions empowering many more girls like Mahima through their scholarship programme in the years to come.