My name is Shivam Dangwal. I live in Rishikesh, situated in the lower hills of the Himalayas by the Holy Ganga River. I have three elder sisters and one younger brother. I was born in a poor family in a backward village. Our parents moved to Rishikesh and rented a small room in the hope that my siblings and I could go to a better school. My father was a driver and he could not make enough money to support our seven family members, so we were always behind paying rent. Our financial condition was not even good enough that he could afford daily nutritious meals for us.
My father saved as much he could by decreasing his expenses and working longer hours to enroll me in a small private English school in a slum area. All my other siblings had to go to a Government school with no good teachers and broken classrooms. I was the only one among my brothers and sisters who my father believed in.
Unfortunately, in October 2008, my father got into a bus accident and suffered a serious injury. The bus fell down off a cliff and nearly 44 people died. My father was among a few who lived, but he suffered serious injuries, and this was a very big setback to my family. This incident affected my education, my grades and our financial condition. He was admitted in a very expensive hospital for two months. We didn’t have enough money to pay for his medical bills so we had to borrow money from our relative and neighbors. He lost his position at his company, but they offered him another position with lower salary. That was when I panicked and realized that I would have to go to the Government school and my dream of becoming an electrical engineer would be just a dream.
In 2009, when I was in 6th grade, I heard about Mother Miracle School from my friends who were studying there. When Shahla Ma’am, the founder of Mother Miracle School, heard my story she decided to help me and enrolled me in her afterschool program. There I learned how to read and write in English and she let me live in the school with 11 other boys who all had similar family conditions. She provided me with a blanket and mattress and gave me a classroom with light and a fan so that I could study late at night. I was very happy there because there were 11 other boys who were just the same as me and I never felt alone. We are all bonded like brothers to this day.
It was there I met my caring, generous and loving sponsor Darren Main, a well known yoga teacher and famous author of many books on spirituality and yoga. He paid for my education and came to visit me every year in India with his little son. I worked hard and passed my 10th grade honorary with first division, and Ma’am got me admitted to a good English private school for my further education.
In 2015, I graduated from 12th grade honorary with first division and Shahla Ma’am found one of the best colleges in Haryana for me to get my undergraduate in Electrical Engineering. The school is affiliated with the very famous Kurukshetra University. I was admitted with a scholarship that covered my education, dormitory, and food. I only had to pay for my books and daily expenses. I am studying very hard and now I am in the second year of my course. I graduated my first year with high grades and made Ma’am very proud!
My life totally changed when I came to Mother Miracle School… After a few years, I noticed that my attitude, thinking, way of talking and body language became much more gentle. I learned about organization, management and working as a team.
My life was totally changed when I came to Mother Miracle School; it was a turning point of my life. After a few years, I noticed that my attitude, thinking, way of talking and body language became much more gentle. I learned about organization, management and working as a team. It has been eight years, and I am still a proud member of the Mother Miracle Family.
Now I am 19 years old and studying hard to become an Electrical engineer. I am a 5 hour bus drive away from my family. I want to be a successful person, find a good job, and earn a good salary so that I can help my family relieve their suffering. I also want to make the children of Mother Miracle School realize how lucky they are and motivate them to work hard towards their goals.
If I had not come to Mother Miracle School and I had instead finished my education in Government School, I would have ended up being a street vendor, laborer or dishwasher at an early age. But God wanted my path to be quite different.
Shivam (age 8) when he first joined Mother Miracle School. He was one of our first 12 students who slept and ate at Mother Miracle School because of his poor family condition.
Shivam (age 16) with his sponsor, Darren Main, a well known yoga teacher in San Francisco and famous author of many books on spirituality and yoga.
Shivam (age 19) at JMIT University pursuing his degree in electrical engineering to support his family.