MENSA PROJECT DHRUV
I BELIEVE IN MAGIC BECAUSE OF MENSA INDIA DELHI
Stories and dreams sound tremendous to our ears, but when it comes to reality, it seems difficult and blurry. I was always focused on my career and hard work but didn’t know how to reach where I wanted to go. The financial condition was the topmost hurdle.
Here is when Mensa Project Dhruv came between my reality and my dreams -goals in life – to hold my hand tight and open my mind. Mensa Project Dhruv started smoothening the track towards my goal and helping me to re-design all aspects of my life, making health my top priority.
Everything started in 2014 when the team Mensa decided to write to a number of company CEOs mentioning that they wished to start our MENSA PROJECT DHRUV and opened a magic door for children like me. The timing was felicitous too as India’s largest airline, IndiGo, was getting their 100th aircraft and their President, Mr. Aditya Ghosh decided that they would sponsor 100 Mensa scholars to honor the occasion.
The team Mensa, conducted tests for about 4,800 students and selected 100 students including me who had scored in the 98th percentile or higher (IQ score of 130 or above). Over the course of the next year, Mensa project Dhruv moved as many students to Vidya School as they could, in order to give them the best platform to learn and explore various facets of their life as well.
Today, this project has become the identity of gifted children with an IQ of 98+ percentile. It has changed the life of students like me.
Being born in a poor family, my childhood days have been a chain of moments where I see girls treated as non-existent, disrespected and with few rights.
After getting a Mensa Scholarship, I discovered that education is the only way in which I can fight back. I got a chance to push myself out of the box. I had mentors supporting me and even got a center for studying as there was no proper place at home. I started studying there all day, trying to understand how the world works. I learnt many things, like how to start a conversation, personality-shaping, respecting different views, building confidence and challenging myself.
Speaking in English had also been a challenge but I started understanding it gradually, I was also more open to making mistakes. As for mathematics, with Khan Academy, due to its interactive nature, I was drawn to it day by day.
I am a part of the home page of Khan Academy’s website with my featured video as well as quotation, and I get a number of text messages from around the globe. My desire to work hard, to be a stronger woman became concrete, as we need to help ourselves first before helping anyone else. So I started with myself, then my family, then my village and now hopefully the world.
Within my house itself, a lot has changed. My brother also does household work and my father takes advice from each of the family members before taking a decision.. Even at my village, I am the role model there. Some time back, my brother-in-law exclaimed, “Anjali, I will teach my daughter to be like you”. That was a milestone for me.
“What we learn, teach, what we get, give”, like Maya Angelou, I set out to spread my love for mathematics. I had taught a lot of my friends and siblings and tried to make them enthusiastic about mathematics. Two years back, I went to Aavishkar, an NGO. I spent two weeks teaching mathematics to nuns at the DGL Nunnery in Himachal which helped me learn a lot of other things about teaching including classroom management, the role of learning attitudes and concept delivery.
As this lockdown happened, I tried to learn the virtual manipulatives (tools and objects to help children illustrate and discover mathematical concepts) with my friend and conducted weekly sessions for middle school kids. Apart from this, I am an educator and teach one international child. There is so much about teaching that people do not appreciate or invest in,I realize that and I want to become a professor.
I always knew my life’s dream was to open a school where children discover themselves, where the current education system isn’t the one that should be followed, where children actually enjoyed studying, where students can actually understand mathematics.
Akin to what our Mensa president quoted ,“ The aim of Mensa Project Dhruv is nothing less than changing the future – for these children and, in some measure, for India. The vision is to ensure that we see Academicians, Researchers, officers in the Civil Services and Armed Forces, corporate executives, innovative teachers, enlightened political activists, modern farmers and successful entrepreneurs emerge from this pool of largely unrecognized talent in our rural areas and underprivileged urban pockets. If the Scholar wishes to pursue higher studies, funding may perhaps pose a problem. Mensa will try our best to ensure that bank loans are arranged. Many scholars are talented in art, dance, music etc. We do our best to nurture their talent.”
I truly trust Mensa because that’s where I started believing that your dreams can come true even if you don’t see a way in the beginning. You should just never give up and keep working hard on it.
If you want to learn more about Mensa Project Dhruv, please visit the website www.mensaprojectdhruv.in.
Written By – ANJALI PRAJAPATI
Mensa Scholar and Alumnus Vidya School
Mensa India Membership no. 19200039