In Delhi, a determined young woman who managed to get into one of the most prestigious colleges in the country has taken an active step in curbing discrimination in India. This valiant
young woman’s background is not without trials and tribulation either. Read on to find out more.
Born to relatively liberal and unorthodox parents against the patriarchal and starkly dichotomous orthodox background of Bihar was a little girl of humble, yet conservative origins. Albeit her parents cherished her as their pride and joy, the young soul was nonetheless a disappointment to those that would prefer a firstborn son to carry the mantle of the family legacy; to the barbaric extent that her grandmother was the one to not so subtly hint at female infanticide to the young child’s mother, at a rather paradoxically casual dinner table conversation.
“My daughter is the light of my life, the person I love the most; I was deeply enraged and rather appalled at how my mother-in-law could ever fathom the vicious thought of claiming an innocent soul, let alone her own flesh and blood,”
said Meena, the mother of the little girl who would go on to become the woman who would pave the way for all Indian women aspiring to be engineers or STEM majors, the woman who would fight misogyny and sexism in education in all her feminine glory, the woman that the world would come to know as Mohini Kumari.
Discovering her passion
Raised by two ferociously strong and confident individuals, Mohini grew up to be an empowered young woman. At age 14, she had an epiphany while reading her Science textbook. After being thoroughly galvanized by the miraculous discoveries of Sir Albert Einstein Mohini decided to pursue a career in engineering. At 16, still motivated by her deep passion for the non-medical sciences, and encouraged by her parents, (who were rather condemned by their neighbors for heeding such ‘atrocious’ thoughts from a naive female) Mohini decided to attempt the incredibly trying JEE Advanced examination, for admission into the most prestigious engineering colleges in India.
Two years of excruciating hard work, sleepless nights, early mornings, tenacity, perseverance, and determination bore fruit as Mohini got into the finest engineering college
in Delhi- DDU; furthermore, the young aspirant proved her mettle by attaining the most sought-after course - Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence.
“It was the happiest moment of my life; two years of bleeding blood, sweat, and tears had finally become worth it!” exclaimed Mohini, describing her victorious feeling of triumph.
However, the victory would soon prove to be short-lived.
Facing harsh realities of modern India
Filled with bubbling anticipation as she was just about to explore the plethora of magic in the world beyond the bubble that she had until then been confined to, Mohini walked into the four walls of her classroom, a place that had promised to be a fountain of knowledge, but proved to be a rather ruthless place. One of only three women in her class, Mohini was the only one to come from a marginalized background; a fact that her classmates leveraged against her mercilessly.
She was catcalled and bullied, diabolically pushed by her so-called ‘peers’ to feel uncivilized and primitive because of the clothes she put on her back, her mannerisms of consuming food and the way she worshiped her books.
“They were remorseless, made of me what the devil would make of goodness. Reliving the pain is agony for me,” said Mohini as she wiped a tear from her cheek and another from her glassy eye.
Broken emotionally, Mohini found herself in a great dilemma: she no longer had the mental
resources that could condone being back in that classroom, and neither could she bear to
see the look on her parents’ faces were she to drop out.
The final battle
Shattered, albeit she might have been, she was the daughter of what she believes to be ‘the greatest pairing in this world to exist’; gathering her strength from her bloodline, she decided to embody the woman her parents raised her to be and mustered up the courage to put up her greatest fight. She filed a petition in court against those that wronged her. While the petition is under review, and she may never be able to present her case to court, her wrongdoers have nonetheless been defamed; she has gone out in public and spoken vehemently against the oppression of any academy, via the medium of a successful YouTube channel.
Currently, Mohini is in her third year of engineering and will soon become an exemplary software developer, along with a myriad of feathers that bedeck her cap.
Written by Naisha Sabnani