My family originates from India and before the pandemic we used to visit annually. For me and my brother, this was our first visit in four years. We got back a couple of weeks ago, and I have to admit, I feel like the trip opened my eyes to the disparities that still exist in the world.
As many of us know, 50 years ago women were not encouraged to stay in education, and instead were forced to leave. I am happy to say that in one of the villages my family is from, all of the young women are being educated and even going on to the highest levels of formal education whether it be undergraduate, masters or beyond. To me, this signifies a shift in our culture, however, I am starkly aware that there are still many places in the world where women do not get to be formally educated for reasons outside of their control.
I am eternally grateful for the opportunities I have been given. I have seen the impact a lack of education can have, and I personally do not wish it upon anybody. Of course, many people now choose not to complete their education, but the key difference is that they had the choices in the first place. I know there are some who have never and may never have that level of choice.
I am the first person in my family to be applying for undergraduate degrees in the UK but for me, it is important to recognize my roots and how they played a part in enabling me to get to this point. In other words, to never forget those who had made sacrifices and to never forget the roots which my family grew from.