First generation graduate

Dr Nisha Sharma - India

See more stories

Dr Nisha Sharma from India

I am from Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India. My father shifted from Himachal Pradesh in the North of India to a Mumbai suburb, for employment purposes. He was one of the few matriculates in his native region at that time and my mother didn’t finish schooling at all. They had a child marriage.

All of us four siblings were born and educated in Thane and had exposure to a big city environment. We had a good education from an English medium school. I graduated in Commerce from Mumbai University.

My family moved back to our native state, Himachal Pradesh in 1995 and it was here at Himachal Pradesh University that I secured my Post-graduation degree and later on my Doctorate in Commerce. I have a Ph. D in Commerce as well.

As a family we weren’t affluent but still my parents provided us with good education. Our relatives were against me and my younger sister being sent to English Medium School. But my parents stood by their decision. When my family moved back to the native state, there was an indirect pressure for my marriage since my cousin sisters were married off before reaching their twenties. I had to convince my parents that I intended to complete my further studies and wanted to be financially independent.

Education has helped me to stand by my brothers as one among equals, to make my own decisions at my own time and adjust to rituals, conventions and society as and when I choose to and in the proportion I find acceptable. It has given me the choice to say no to what I do not accept or to what I wished to think more about. It has provided me not just with financial independence but the moral strength and practical ability and exposure to the world to work out things for myself on my own, confidently, if not always easily.

A good education is foremost. But, beyond that I want my own boy to be confident and equipped to choose what he wishes to do, rather than what someone else, even me, his family or peer group envisages for him.

I became educated in a very institutional way. There were conventions and methods charted out for me. I wish my child will take the next logical step to education, the gathering of skills and the choice made to invest, tinker and invent to his heart’s fill. For that’s the only true worthy way to live a life full.