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Footballer daughter of illiterate farmers in Jharkhand gets Harvard University admission

Seema Kumari, a footballer graduate of the YUWA class of 2021 has received a full scholarship from the Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts last week

Seema Kumari (Source: LinkedIN/Yuwa)
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Seema Kumari (Source: LinkedIN/Yuwa)

By

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 2021-05-03T09:38:22+05:30

Seema Kumari, a graduate of the YUWA class of 2021 has received a full scholarship from the Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts last week. Besides, Harvard, Seema was also accepted to Ashoka University, Middlebury College, and Trinity College-Hartford.

This was because the university had just 3.4 percent of applications this year. Besides Harvard's full scholarship, she was also accepted to Ashoka University, Middlebury College, and Trinity College.


Seema Kumari



Seema hails from the remote village of Dahu in Ormanjhi, Jharkhand. Her parents, who didn't receive any formal education, rely on subsistence farming. Her father also works as a labourer at a local thread factory. After joining a Yuwa football team in 2012, Seema has avoided child marriage, defended her right to an education, and played football for years despite being ridiculed for wearing shorts. She will be the first woman in her family to attend a university.

The YUWA school supports girls from impoverished families belonging to rural Jharkhand. Seema started working as a Football coach to pay her school fees. In 2018, she was accepted to the Washington University of St. Louis' Young Leaders Institute for high school students.

Harvard University reportedly had a low acceptance rate this year but Seema managed to battle against all hurdles a secured a spot for herself.

Global icon and Bollywood actor Priyanka Chopra on Friday took to her Twitter handle to heap praises on a girl named Seema. Amitabh Bachchan's granddaughter Navya Naveli Nanda, who is an active social media user and is currently spearheading 'Project Naveli, to build a gender-equal world, too showered praises on Seema.

Alongside a series of photos, Yuwa India wrote about the inspiring story of how Seema battled all odds to make it to the prestigious university. The caption tells all about her struggles and how far along she had come, adding what she would want to do for her village where women face all sorts of gender discrimination and more.


The Instagram post read, "Last week, Seema—a Yuwa Class of 2021 graduate and coach—was offered and accepted a full scholarship to Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Seema was also accepted to Ashoka University, Middlebury College, and Trinity College. Seema is the daughter of illiterate parents in a village in Ormanjhi. Her family relies on subsistence farming as well as her father's work at a local thread factory. After joining a Yuwa football team in 2012, Seema has avoided child marriage, defended her right to an education and played football for years despite being ridiculed for wearing shorts. She will be the first woman in her family to attend a university."

It further read, "Although Seema does not know what she will major in at Harvard University yet, she has a clear vision for her future: "Gender equality is a development that I want to see in my village and the whole world. Bringing gender equality to my community is essential to reduce injustices against women like gender discrimination, domestic violence, child marriage etc. It would not only show economic growth but also social, where women take part in decision making at each house. I plan to start an organization for women in my village.This program would have two goals. One to start a small business that would train women to be financially independent.The other is to educate women about their rights and to build a bigger network to support women by providing essential vocational skills and knowledge." CONGRATULATIONS, Seema! We are all so proud of you."


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