Ammu got a scholarship worth Rs 45 lakh and brought her to Oxford from Thrissur | Achievers | Success Stories

A scholarship can be obtained with academic excellence. But it also takes a tender heart to love the environment and fellow human beings. Ammu, a native of Thrissur Ayanthol, has two of these. Ammu is doing her higher studies at St. Edmund Hall College, Oxford on a full scholarship. The scholarship amount for one year is around Rs 45 lakh including college fees and other expenses. After studying in IITs, one gets admission in Oxford while working in a voluntary organization called Nandi through campus placement. A nature lover since childhood, Ammu has raised her voice against animal cruelty. Vegan Lifestyle This girl does not use non-vegetarian food or leather products. Manorama talks to the online readers about Ammu’s studies and attitudes as she takes different decisions in academics and lifestyle.

∙ From Thrissur to Oxford

He is pursuing postgraduate studies in Environmental Change and Management at St Edmund Hall College, University of Oxford, UK, with the Weidenfeld Hoffman Trust’s Louis Dreyfus Weidenfeld Hoffman Scholarship. After studying at the Central School of Atomic Energy, he completed a five-year post-graduate degree in Development Studies from IIT Madras. During his studies at IIT, he got an opportunity to study at the famous University of Bologna in Italy through the student exchange program. He received offers for higher studies in the universities of Pennsylvania, Duke and Toronto in Canada.

∙ Special subject is chosen for higher studies. What is the reason for that?

I was not interested in the engineering and medical options that most people choose. I was more interested in social sciences, environmental protection and legal studies. During his senior year, he prepared for HSEE, the entrance exam to be selected for Integrated MA (Development Studies) in Humanities Department of IIT Madras. And got admission in the desired course in IIT. The five years I spent on that campus changed my life.

The subjects learned, the ways the teachers showed them to understand them, and the opportunities given to the students to develop their skills, all these were deconstructing the traditional learning style. I was guided by the study in that world-class campus. These five years of experiences made me aware of the future, what I can do in the society as an individual and the responsibilities that humans have towards living things.

The knowledge that if we do not do our part for future generations, we will lose this beautiful earth in a few years has prompted further studies on how to prevent environmental changes. That is how this MSc course at Oxford University was chosen.

∙ Studied in Italy through student exchange during IIT studies. What about that experience?

Two words – life changing. Undoubtedly, the best few months of my studies were from August to December 2017. Student community from all over the world. Every day I spent in Bologna, one of the oldest universities in the world, was very precious to me. We used to discuss how other countries are dealing with development related issues and what should be the stance each country should take on these issues. All those experiences opened up new pastures of knowledge for me.

∙ About work in Nandi? What about responsibilities?

I spent more than three years at Nandi as Program Manager. During this period I had the opportunity to take responsibility for two different projects there. One task was sustainable coffee cultivation in collaboration with tribal farmers in the Araku Valley of Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh through the Arakku project. To enable farmers to do this, they have the opportunity to coordinate the training and support they need. Apart from this, four million saplings were planted there. These experiences helped me a lot later.

Later I got a project called Mahindra Pride Classroom. We were able to design a training program called Skill Development in Regenerative Agriculture for underprivileged youth from 6 states of India and give field training to around 4000 students. As part of this, it was possible to travel from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh to Dindigul in Tamil Nadu. I never missed any opportunity to work at the ground level. There is no better way to understand the problems faced by the peasantry in India. Exposure to students studying agriculture as a subject has also influenced my perspective a lot. It was through such experiences that we realized that any country or organization can make correct policy decisions only if there is a careful perspective.

∙ Family

Father is Sreekumar Panicker, an officer in the Department of Atomic Energy. Amma Sangeeta Nair is the Vice Principal of Atomic Energy Central School. Sister Ananya is a 3rd class student of Koodamkulam Atomic Energy Central School.

∙ The issue of the street person is being discussed. Response to this issue as someone who protects stray dogs?

There are two issues to be understood in this. One is the uncontrolled growth of stray dogs. To prevent it, government agencies must do their job properly. Sterilize stray dogs through NGOs like blue cross and paws in collaboration with local municipal units. Set up animal shelters in every district. Give these creatures a chance to live in peace. These creatures harm humans when they endure violence and harassment. If we give these dumb animals food and water and a place to sleep, the problem can be solved. There are many people who throw stones at a dog they see on the road for fun. Try treating your fellow creatures with some compassion instead. This is an issue that can be changed if each of us does our part. What is needed is a change in attitude.

Secondly, many people keep dogs at home for fashion. Many people try to brag about the fancy breed by buying it. Many dog ​​breeders train expensive breeds in very cruel ways. Many people keep dogs only to be tied up all day, kept in cages, and barked at people who come home. My plea is that dog is a companion of man and these dumb animals should be reared with the same responsibility and sincerity as you look after your own children.

While volunteering with rescue groups in Hyderabad and Chennai for some time, I have seen many heart-wrenching sights. I have seen people who have raised a puppy for a year or two and if it gets curious, gets sick, or gets old, it is abandoned on the road without any mercy. There is no other creature that loves man so much. Yet we are doing violence to these poor people. Let us recall what Mahatma Gandhi said on this occasion. “Greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”. This is so true. The time has come for us to engage in this matter with a little more compassion.

Content Summary : Ammu bagged the Louis Dreyfus-Oxford-Weidenfeld and Hoffmann Scholarships