My 2020 Good News: Won Commonwealth Scholarship, Travelled to UK

Saba Ameer from Meerut, Uttar Pradesh shares what made her year worthwhile.

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Good News
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Saba Ameer from Meerut, Uttar Pradesh shares what made her year worthwhile.
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(While the year has been a difficult one for the world, there has been occasional happiness and moments of peace that made 2020 worthwhile. Through 'Good News 2020', we want to focus on the positives that helped us overcome. Saba Ameer from Meerut, Uttar Pradesh shares what made her year worthwhile.)

I heard about the Commonwealth Scholarship in 2017 by one of my seniors who was in the UK on the same scholarship. I graduated and applied the same year. As I didn’t have any work-experience, my application was rejected within a few weeks.

I somehow felt that to get something as prestigious as a Commonwealth Scholarship, our intentions to serve society play a major role. In 2018, with clearer intentions in mind, I applied for the scholarship again.

I got shortlisted for the interview round which was held at the MHRD. After a few weeks, I received an email form the CSC (Commonwealth Scholarship commission) and to my utter bewilderment, I was rejected for the second time.

My 2020 Good News: Won Commonwealth Scholarship, Travelled to UK
(Photo Courtesy: Saba Ameer)

All my hopes were shattered but I gave a sigh of relief as I had already applied to the School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi. With a good GATE rank, I was pretty hopeful of getting in. Results were out after a month and I managed to achieve second rank in the merit list.

When college finally started, I decided to apply for the scholarship again for the 2020 intake. After submitting my dissertation in July, I was eagerly awaiting the outcome of my application. The results were delayed because of COVID-19 and everything was dicey. It was already the end of August and there was no response by the Scholarship Commission.

I was confident of getting selected but an email I received from the commission stated that all the successful applicants had already been informed. I was shattered.

September arrived and we were still in lockdown; things were getting out of hand due to a huge employment crisis in the country. I was still not able to accept that my application had been rejected and that I had to start looking for jobs.

I decided to write an email to the university I had applied to, because they are the ones who shortlist students for subsequent rounds of the scholarship. To my biggest surprise, I was told my application is still under consideration!

After a few weeks, the notification of award was sent, followed by a confirmation. While the notification brought a sense of relief, there was a condition – awardees had to be in the UK to avail the scholarship.

After a month full of anxiety and fear of not being able to travel due to the pandemic, I was luckily able to manage. I travelled to the UK in October to embark upon this amazing journey as a Commonwealth Scholar.

I must mention that this is the first time that I ever got to travel outside India and I am the first person from my clan to go abroad for higher education. I am also the only Muslim woman to have been awarded this scholarship from India this year. 2020 turned out to be a wonderful year!

My 2020 Good News: Won Commonwealth Scholarship, Travelled to UK
(Photo Courtesy: Saba Ameer)

I would like to tell everyone who is striving to achieve their goals – miracles do happen; all you need is consistency, faith and hard work.

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