Mother’s Day 2024: Meet these campus moms who balance fam life and student life! - Hindustan Times
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Mother’s Day 2024: Meet these campus moms who balance fam life and student life!

ByKriti Kambiri
May 12, 2024 08:00 AM IST

Meet these Delhi University students who are defying gender stereotypes to pursue their academic dreams as young mothers.

Overcoming societal expectations, gender stereotypes, and traditional conventions for mothers, these students, studying at Delhi University (DU), have shown that there is no limit to pursuing higher studies. Meet these young moms on campus, as they bring up their children alongside pursuing their academia dreams.

These young mothers, who are students at Delhi University, prove that they really can have it all.
These young mothers, who are students at Delhi University, prove that they really can have it all.

‘My child will be proud of my academic rigour’

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Samiksha Saharan (inset) with her son Sarvagya.(Photo: Shantanu Bhattacharya/HT)
Samiksha Saharan (inset) with her son Sarvagya.(Photo: Shantanu Bhattacharya/HT)

Samiksha Saharan is a 25-year-old MCom student at Shaheed Bhagat Singh College and mother to five-month-old Sarvagya. “It was six months into my marriage, in 2022, when I attempted the exam to get into this course — and out of thousands of aspirants only 400 got in. One of the reasons I went for it is because my in-laws have always been very supportive of my academic career. My husband, who is an organic farmer, too, pushes me to do more and do better for our son. He tells me to make my life meaningful and my son, proud of me. With my academic rigour, I am certain he will be! Even my mother-in-law tells me to study and get good marks. All this is what helps me be a mum on campus,” Saharan tells us, adding that living in a joint family has been of advantage to her. “During the day, I have the infrastructure of support in the form of my husband’s parents and grandparents. At night, when my son is with me, studying is out of the question. But during the day, between breastfeeding, is when I really go at it and study! Every two hours, I feed him, but other than that I pore over my study material!”

‘Want to fulfil my dream of becoming a professor and inspire my boy’

Minaxi Kaushik (inset) with her son Yuvan.
Minaxi Kaushik (inset) with her son Yuvan.

Minaxi Kaushik, is a 32-year-old PhD scholar studying literature, and mother to her six-month-old son Yuvan. Currently, in the penultimate month of her eight-month maternity leave, she tells us: “I enrolled for PhD in 2021, a year before I got married, and then had my baby a year-and-a-half later. Though I had completed my coursework before having the baby, I have yet to defend my topic and that task lies incomplete. I will, however, defend the topic of my thesis in November!” Kaushik credits her mum-in-law for being a “pillar of support” and sees her own mother, though uneducated but ever hopeful for her children to pursue higher studies, as an “inspiration”. “When my son grows up, I want him to see that I have juggled my family responsibilities while also fulfilling my dream of becoming a professor — aur ye toh main karke rahungi!”

‘My son understands my commitments’

Timsi Bhatia (inset) with her son Rudraveer.
Timsi Bhatia (inset) with her son Rudraveer.

PhD scholar Timsi Bhatia, 36, enrolled at Delhi School of Economics in 2018, two years after she got married, and had her son, Rudraveer, in 2021. She says, “It’s almost time for my submission. I completed most of my work before I had my son. After him, it’s been tough — I’ve been dragging it but I plan on submitting my final thesis in six months... Earlier, I may have been in a dilemma about having a child when I did, but now I feel blessed that I took the decision. If you really want kids, you balance out your aspirations, like I had to take a six-month maternity leave.” Timsi doesn’t feel stressed about the time that has passed. “Yes, I haven’t finished my PhD, unlike my peers who completed it in three or four years, but I have no guilt over it. If I were a housewife, maybe things would have been different. But Rudraveer understands that his mother has commitments. He knows that it’s a responsibility I have to fulfil and also gives me that time off. He knows he must not touch mom’s books, study material, and laptop. He knows those boundaries and also my work. It’s been tough being a student mum, but it’s also a blessing for me.”

 

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