Supriya Singh: Her Journey From A Remote U.P. Village To Becoming A Research Scholar
NEW DELHI: Little did she know that her daily grind of going to her school nearly three kilometers from her non-descript village in a district in Uttar Pradesh would one day turn into her love for studies and make her dream of getting higher education.
Exactly 12 years after the sprightly girl passed her intermediate examination, she can now easily boast of realizing her dream because by the sheer dint of her hard work, she obtained her doctorate in sociology from Lucknow University.
Meet Dr. Supriya Singh who earlier this year topped in the Higher Education Commission examination held by the UP Higher Education Commission. It will make her eligible for direct appointment as an Assistant Professor in aided degree colleges of U.P., India’s most populous State where girls like Supriya may be few but are writing new success stories and making their families, clan and village proud.
It seems like yesterday when Supriya who was lovingly called Renu by everyone would return from her middle school in Dhanikhera, about three kilometers from her village Gahrenda. She found time to play with her younger brother and also visit neighbouring homes and play with children of her age. Whenever we visited our village during winter breaks, Renu would come and talk to us about her school, how she was doing in her studies and also play around with my daughter Apoorva who was couple of years younger to her. She would very keenly ask about schools in metropolitan cities like Delhi.
As years rolled, we again met Renu who was now cycling daily to her new school – RRB Inter College in Bhagwantnagar, a town area and an assembly segment which is about four kilometers from Gahrenda village. Bhagwantnagar is represented in U.P. Assembly by BJP leader Hriydanarain Dikshit who also happens to be a veteran columnist in several leading Hindi dailies.
“It was in 2004 that Renu shifted to Lucknow to study at Mahila Degree College. She did her graduation and then post-graduation. She wanted to go for M.Phil and Ph.D. and seeing her dedication and love for higher studies, we never stopped her and she never looked back. It was her courage, determination and single-minded devotion that made her sail through all tests,’’ recalls her father Anil Kumar Singh who takes care of the family’s agricultural land in the village and has pumped all his financial resources for his daughter’s education.
The icing on the cake was that Supriya’s research work was chosen for publication by the prestigious Cambridge Scholar Publishing, U.K. in June this year in the form of a book titled “Commercialization of Hinterland and Dynamics of Class, Caste and Gender in Rural India.’’
Asked if he has seen Supriya’s research work, her father said that she had brought some copies home. “It looked very impressive, we were all very happy over her achievement,’’ he said. Supriya recalled her that her research work made her undertake field visits and she had to spend hours waiting for authentic official data and figures and then collate and analyze it. Obviously, the rare honour of Cambridge Scholar publishing her work has made her proud.
All major English and Hindi newspapers of Lucknow have highlighted Supriya’s achievements. After topping higher education exam, she told journalists that she was hopeful of making it among top 25 students. “But securing number one rank in this examination came as a bit of surprise,” the 29-year-old said. She had also scored highest marks in sociology during BA final year and was conferred a merit certificate and medal by the college.
She completed her M.Phil in 2010 and also qualified UGC-JRF and NET in Sociology in 2009 itself. She is now working as academic counsellor in Indira Gandhi National Open University at its Lucknow University centre. She has to her credit nine research papers and two book reviews. Supriya also presented papers in 18 national and international conferences and seminars and has attended two “Young Sociologists Workshops” at Cuttack and and IIT Delhi.
In her spare time, she loves to click photographs as it gives her pleasure to capture natural beauty and freeze the special moments. “Penning everyday life experiences in my diary helps me to look back at my strenuous journey from a remote village of Unnao to a metropolis life in pursuit of my goal,’’ says Supriya.
The young scholar has written about poverty, suicides among students, naxalism, problems of elderly and widows, honor killings, environmental issues, problems in higher education and issues relating to women. For Supriya the journey has just begun. She has set her sight on higher goals of spreading education and creating awareness on vital social issues, particularly among women.