The youngest daughter of scrap pickers and MBA student, Savita Doke (22), has worked hard to pursue her higher education. On the home stretch, however, she is struggling to get a job that will help her pay the last instalment of her college fees, a considerable sum of Rs 25,000.

Savita’s mother, Leela Doke, has supported her to pursue higher education and is proud of her accomplishments. Pic/Amit Jadhav
Savita’s mother, Leela Doke, has supported her to pursue higher education and is proud of her accomplishments. Pic/Amit Jadhav

Savita has been brought up in Khar, with her five siblings; two elder sisters and three brothers. She completed her SSC in 2006, in Marathi medium, from Bandra’s Khairnagar Municipal Corporation School, scoring 62 per cent. Sensing her dedication and enthusiasm, her parents allowed her to continue her studies, but only if she could manage it on her own.

She took admission in Aniyog Junior College at Khar, and scored 70 per cent in her HSC exams. After which she took a break for a year to acquire funds and pursue further studies. She worked in a pizza outlet, earning Rs 4,500 per month. After saving up money, she completed her degree in Computer Application from LN Degree College, passing with 57 per cent.

Her savings may have dwindled, but Savita’s thirst for education pushed her to go after an MBA degree as well. Savita’s father goes door-to-door buying old pieces of cloth and her mother is a scrap picker in Kandivli. Between them, they barely earn Rs 120 per day. Her eldest sister works as a maid in a hospital. The second sister is a widow with two kids. Savita lives with her in Kandivli (East) and looks after her kids as well.

While both elder sisters could not complete their education, Savita’s younger brother recently graduated, one is in HSC and the youngest is in class IX. Savita says that her family encouraged her to study hard and pursue further education. She said, “While most people go for arts, science or commerce, I decided to pursue my bachelor’s degree in Computer Application.

After this, I felt I should get a master’s degree that will help me get a better job. I researched and decided to pursue my MBA in marketing. I got a scholarship under SC quota, and I have to pay only half of the Rs 50,000 fees. I somehow managed to pay Rs 25,000 for the first year, but I still have to pay for my second year.”

Savita feels helpless, as she has two months to pay the remaining fees, otherwise she won’t be able to sit for her university exams. “My institute has been very encouraging. They allow students to pursue internships and I have given interviews in 3-4 companies. However, I haven’t received any feedback as yet. I am proud of my parents and their profession and don’t think that disclosing my family’s background will be an obstacle in getting a job.”

Leela Doke, Savita’s mother, considers her an inspiration for her family. Speaking to MiD DAY, she said, “With no education, my husband and I have been working as scrap pickers for the past 25 years. We are happy that our youngest daughter has worked so hard for her education. Taking her example, my sons have also decided to continue their higher education. I hope she is able to change her life and future.”