Sumanti Sen is an English Literature graduate who believes "there's just one kind of folks. Folks.".
In a small village in Uttar Pradesh's Dadri where women study hardly beyond school, a jovial, lively 20-year-old girl taught them how to dream. She was ambitious, hardworking -- loved by all the villagers, adored by the elders.
A district topper, she earned a scholarship to get enrolled in a prestigious college in the United States.
But on the fateful day of August 10, Sudeeksha Bhati's dreams were crushed to death, along with her.
The aspirations of an entire village broke into pieces -- because two bike-borne men decided to chase her until she lost her life.
Sudeeksha was on her way to visit some relatives in Bulandshahr when two men on a bike began eve-teasing her. She was on a two-wheeler, which was being driven by her uncle. Chased down the road, they met with an accident that took her life.
Although CCTV footage showing two men is being investigated by the police, an FIR that was filed does not make a mention of the alleged harassment she faced moments before she died.
Her village is shaken to the core. They are mourning the loss of a young life -- a girl whose dreams and success brought glory to a place where women can hardly be seen without veils.
A tea seller's daughter, Sudeeksha had topped her district in the CBSE Class 12 exams in Humanities, and grabbed a scholarship to study in Babson College in Massachusetts. Her shabby one-room residence with a small black-and-white television set and a broken cot, lacking major facilities, could not stand as a barrier to her perseverance. Hardships could not bow her down.
Sudeeksha was the eldest among six siblings. Her parents dreamed big as they decided to send her to a co-education boarding school outside the village -- Sudeeksha was in boarding school since Class 5 after being selected by Shiv Nadar Foundation.
The village kids called her Sonu Didi, and looked up to her like a role model.
She was very dear to her sister Swati, whom she had urged to begin a project in the area and name it 'Ubharti'. This was Sudeeksha's effort at ensuring that girls in her village received an education.
The project, started in March this year, will have to be taken forward without Sudeeksha's presence. It is just one of the many dreams she had wanted to turn into reality.
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