Shubham Joshi

B.A. Mechanical Engineering, JMIT College, Haryana, India

My name is Shubham Joshi. I am from Rishikesh. I live in Shisham Jhari, which is mostly known as a slum area. My Father is a Priest and does not make enough money to give us a good education or even three meals a day. My father’s work is seasonal, so during the off season his income reduces and many nights we slept hungry. We used to live in a small village but we moved to Rishikesh for the education of my younger brother and me.  I used to go to Government School and study in Hindi because it is a cheaper school and my father could afford it. In 2009, when I was in 5th grade, I joined Mother Miracle School’s evening program and started learning English, computers, art, yoga, karate, and sports.

I was 12 years old when I shared my struggling story with Shahla Ma’am. I told her that I wanted to be a Mechanical Engineer but by going to Government School, I would not be able to pass my engineering entrance exam, which was in English.

After that, Shahla Ma’am looked at my school performance results. She was impressed with my marks because I was always topper among all students, so she decided to help me by pulling me out of my bad environment and street life. She told me that I could stay in the school at night with 11 other boys who had similar family problems to me. She provided me with a blanket, a mattress, and one classroom with a light and fan, and meals three times a day to support my education. I was very happy that I could concentrate on my studies and to eat three meals a day throughout the year.

For seven years I lived at Mother Miracle School with my 11 other classmates. I would wake up at 5:00am and walk 30 minutes to go to extra classes to study different subjects. I would come back to Mother Miracle at 3:00pm to eat my lunch and then head to two more extra classes until 7pm. I walked another 30 minutes to get back to Mother Miracle to start my homework. After dinner and washing my dishes, I would go to one of the classrooms, turn on the light and fan, and study until 11pm.

I studied very hard and passed my 8th grade with first division. After seeing my grades, Shahla Ma’am put me in a private school. When I was in 9th grade, Shahla Ma’am gave me a chance to teach the small kids for three months. When I got my first salary, I gave it to my father and he was so happy and proud of me. From that moment, I decided to be a successful engineer to give my family a better life.

For seven years I lived at Mother Miracle School with my 11 other classmates. I would wake up at 5:00am and walk 30 minutes to go to extra classes to study different subjects. I would come back to Mother Miracle at 3:00pm to eat my lunch and then head to two more extra classes until 7pm. I walked another 30 minutes to get back to Mother Miracle to start my homework. After dinner and washing my dishes, I would go to one of the classrooms, turn on the light and fan, and study until 11pm.

In 2016, I graduated 12th grade with first division and requested Ma’am to help me go to Engineering College in Haryana. I wanted to study Mechanical Engineering at JMIT College. Shahla Ma’am contacted my sponsor Michael Alexander from San Francisco, who has been sponsoring me for the last 7 years. He came to visit me a few years ago and we bonded with each other, and I knew deep in my heart that he would help me through my education. When I found this college I contacted him to tell him about it. He agreed to help me through my education. I am lucky to have him as a part of my life.

I would wake up at 5am and walk 30 minutes to go to extra classes to study different subjects. I would come back to Mother Miracle at 3pm to eat my lunch and then head to two more extra classes until 7pm, and then study until 11pm. 

Shahla Ma’am has always been there for me and motivated me to accomplish my dream. I never forget the day she said “don’t worry. I will always be there for you.” She is still helping me out and there for me when I need her. If I had not met her, I wouldn’t have graduated from a private school and would not have been able able to go to college. My dream of becoming a successful Engineer to help my mother and father get out of poverty would have remained just a dream. I want to say that for the reason that Shalha Ma’am provided me with food, environment, education and family-like support, I will never forget Mother Miracle School. When I become successful, besides supporting my family, I will come back to Mother Miracle School to give back.

Shubham (age 6) when he first came to Mother Miracle School. He was one of our first 12 students and slept, ate and studied at the school because of his poor family condition. 

Shubham (age 13) cleaning the school after the Ganges River flooded Rishikesh in 2013, causing tremendous damage. 

Shubham (age 18) with Shahla Ettefagh, Founder and President of Mother Miracle. On his way to become a successful engineer while studying at JMIT College. 

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