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#HerStory with Sagarika Unnikrishnan

“Hi! I am Sagarika, currently a public policy student at ISPP. I completed my undergraduation from Government Law College, Mumbai. I started my professional journey by working in government schools as a part of the Gandhi fellowship. It was the most difficult and heartbreaking, yet joyous and insightful time period of my life. Those two years spent in Gujarat taught me empathy, the importance of relationship building (especially in the community) and a little bit of spoken Gujarati (par mane gujarati nathi avadto). In working across 5 schools each in rural (Sanand) and urban (Surat) settings, there were challenges that came up which I never realised could even exist. While most schools had adequate infrastructure, there was only one computer to teach from for the entire school! Staff to student ratio was huge and administrative work took up a lot of time. I learnt a lot from the teachers I worked with, but it was the students who took my heart and ran with it. They opened their classrooms, their homes, and their worlds to fully accept me. They even learnt Hindi in order to communicate better with me, and would keep a lookout to make sure I was comfortable in every setting. I learnt how to love unconditionally from them, without having any expectations of it being reciprocated. Everything I saw and observed made me more determined to work in the education space. So while I miss them, I know for a fact that I'm equipping myself to be in my happy place; a classroom full of bright, cheerful and fun students, very very soon.”

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