Journey from Malappuram to Delhi

Every year, youngsters from Malappuram and the larger Malabar region come to Delhi University to pursue under-graduate and post-graduate studies. Almost all of them learned about the University from others: seniors from school who found their way to the University before them.

Muhsina Ahsraf, from Areekode in Malappuram, wants to write the civil services exam. Her coming to DU is an extension of her father's dream.

"Uppa (father) had got through to Aligarh but could not come. Even though no one else was sure about sending me here alone, he was with me," she says. Her father is a college professor and her mother teaches in a school. "She went as far as she could in her circumstances," says Muhsina of her mother—"till Trivandrum to do her teachers' training course."

Muhsina lives with other girls from different parts of Malabar at a rented flat in Vijay Nagar in Delhi.

Husna Muhammed, from Pulickal in Malappuram, is a first-year Psychology Honours student at Indraprastha College for Women. She was introduced to DU by her seniors. The eldest of five children, Husna's aim is to do her PhD. "I like teaching, lectureship is one option," she says.

Sandra Vasudevan, from Thirur in Malappuram, got to know of DU from her aunt, a teacher. "She had a student who graduated from Jamia and that's how I got to know of a counselling session at DU. When I first came home and told them, my mother did not want me to go," she says. Her father, who has been working as driver in the Middle-East for the last 26 years, was supportive. Sandra is now a second-year BSc student at Ramjas College.

The course is tough, but Sandra has coped, just the way she did when she suddenly shifted to an English-medium school in class 11 after studying for 10 years in a local Malayalam-medium government school. She wants to do her MSc at DU and write the civil services exam.

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