A part of me also believed a degree in Media would allow me to make a change in this world’

Coming from a Commerce background, everyone expected me to take the obvious path and go to a Business School. But I realised halfway through the twelfth grade that I wanted to do something that my friends and fellow classmates weren’t doing. So I looked at alternative degrees in Arts and Law. Finally, I found a university that offered its students a combination of courses that covered all areas and formats of media. A Bachelor in Mass Communication would allow me to explore and find something I enjoyed doing. A part of me also believed a degree in Media would allow me to make a change in this world.

A part of SCMC’s programme is to offer its students opportunities to work in three development sector organisations and then undertake two industry internships. SCMC invites thousands of students to take its entrance exams and those who make the cut are usually from the crème de la crème of the education system. Many of us are oblivious to the heart wrenching hardships of life, being brought up in a fairly privileged segment of society. So how were we expected to go on and represent the masses? That was where working in three different NGOs helped expand our minds and understand about communities and people.

For my third internship I decided to take a break from the hustle bustle of city life to live in the quiet mountains of India. A little while later I learnt about Dharamsala and how it’s the hub of communities coming together in this tiny town in the mountains. And that was when I decided to find an NGO there and learned about the Tibetan Community. Having had only a vague idea of the Tibetan struggle I did not know what to expect. I researched and educated myself as much as I could on the Tibetan people, their struggle and their escape into Dharamsala. I applied to a few NGOs and finally got accepted at Students For Free Tibet. I was ecstatic to work there because they are an international organisation that is well-known for the activism and campaigns.  

Then I got there and met the most amazing people who told me about their struggles of coming to India. I met poets, activists, writers and singers who all spoke of freedom and the plight of their people. I felt connected to these people, understood them and very quickly found a passion to do my bit to help out the Tibetan Community.  

Over the past year I have looked on those six weeks many times, shared my stories and my experiences with friends and family. Spending those six weeks outside of my comfort zone, I found my passion and wanted to do whatever I could. Along with that I travelled around and explored by myself and found my happy place in the hills.

I am truly grateful to SCMC for giving me the opportunity of realising that I can truly do whatever I set my mind to if I had just found my passion.

Article by: Sweta Manuel Fernandes (Batch of 2018)

Photography by: Abhishek Nair (Batch of 2018)