Life is full of troubles and giggles. The struggles you have been through in the past would always have a reward for you in the future. Ashwini, the daughter of a sex worker in Mumbai, happened to be beaten terribly by her mother around the age of 5, for as meager a cause as losing her mother’s lipstick to New York University is an inspirational story.
Nonetheless, she thought living with her mother is the only way to survive but her mother sent her to an NGO when she was 8 years old. Life didn’t stop being cruel to her even then. She had to endure starvation for days for not obeying a simple rule. Meanwhile, Ashwini’s mother has passed away and it was in the 10th year at the NGO that she realized, she must run away and lead a better life. Ashwini joined her friends at Kranti, and she states, “that’s when my life changed”, for the better.
From the very first day at Kranti, Ashwini recalls having therapies in the form of art and dance. After learning it all, she states that she “started volunteering to help other kids.” The brave Ashwini even states that her favorite volunteering work is looking after the children with cancer, who share their feelings and hopes with her, while they perform art activities together.
Ashwini took a tour of the country and raised her voice for the Dalit communities of Delhi. Also, she took to the theatre and attended photography classes in West Bengal and Himachal Pradesh respectively. On her travel to Gujarat, she volunteered at NGOs there and tried to make a change.
That, according to Ashwini, is when her life changed for the best as she “applied to New York University and got in with a big scholarship”, which covers her tuition fees entirely.
Ashwini adds that after all that she has been through, she can be herself now and “stop running”. “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.”
To read more on this story, check out Humans of Bombay, thanks to these awesome people for bringing light on this story.