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When Muthumanoranjini read about Kalpana Chawla as part of her English curriculum, she was in awe of the fact that a small town girl was able to reach for the stars.
A part of the Dalit Pallar community in Tamil Nadu, she wasn’t sure if she’d be allowed to dream big. Having been a part of CRY children’s collective meetings in Tirunelveli, Ranjini was aware of her rights but didn't think she would be able to exercise them in the face of her circumstances. An excellent student in school, she worked hard and topped - presented with the opportunity of being the first in her family to go to college, she asked her parents whether she could study aeronautical engineering.
Unfortunately, her parents felt that it was a male-dominated profession and didn’t agree to send her for the course. “At first I cried. A lot. Then I realized that I need to make this happen.” she remembers.
Ranjini, as she is fondly called, contacted the CRY project HREPC who spoke to her parents; making them realize how this choice could potentially change the course of their daughter’s life. CRY also arranged for Ranjini and her peers to get counselling on higher education and helped them get merit-based college scholarships.
Today, Ranjini is pursuing her second year in aeronautical engineering, having secured first rank in her first year! When asked what her future plans are, she replies without batting an eyelid, "I'm going to do my post-graduation from Hindustan Aviation Academy in Bengaluru and become an astronaut like Kalpana Chawla!"
You can give more children like Muthumanoranjini the chance at a brighter future. Donate to CRY by clicking here.