Published: 24th May 2017
Two schools gave up on her as a child. Undeterred, this 18-year-old from KMC Manipal represented Asia Pacific at UN meet
Poorvaprapha Patil who is an eighteen year old second semester student at KMC Manipal represents the whole of Asia Pacific in the UN Forum for the second STI. She tells us how much it took to get here
When she was in class eight, two schools in Rathnagiri district had given up hopes on her. Nowhere to go, her mother had to homeschool this girl for a year.
Once termed restless and carefree, she has gone on to be the youngest person to represent Asia Pacific at the second Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the UN Head Quarters in New York.
However, for her, the challenges did not seem to end here. Just days after she wrote the entrance exam for the admission into the college, she was informed that it was void and the only way to bag a seat was with the National Eligibility and Entrance Test
Meet Poorvaprabha Patil, a second semester student of Kasturba Medical College who was the only college student to make it to the Forum this year. The event took place last week.
Speak to the 18-year-old and she says this opportunity came as a pleasant surprise for her. A student who is actively involved in various activities Patil says she had unknowingly worked on nearly all the 17 SDGs.
When in school, I would always wonder what the point was in sitting in class and listening to lectures for eight hours. I would get restless. The only two schools in the district had given up on me. The only option left was home-schooling
Poorvaprabha Patil, Student, Kasturba Medical College
Raised by a single mother, Patil says she has seen the peaks and valleys in life. Patil says, her life took a turn when she was admitted to a boarding school for class nine and 10. "It was a new atmosphere. There was no one to judge. None had preconceptions about me and did not know where I came from. In just six months, I was made the president of the students' council. Then on, there has been no looking back," she recollects.
Just as Patil saw a high with the new atmosphere, her goals got focussed. "I always dreamt of being a doctor and it was a dream to get a seat in KMC Manipal. I had read all about their student initiatives and knew I would best fit in here," she says.
However, for her, the challenges did not seem to end here. Just days after she wrote the entrance exam for the admission into the college, she was informed that it was void and the only way to bag a seat was with the National Eligibility and Entrance Test.
"I came here in September. It got very tough to get a seat. I also slipped into depression for a while and had to battle it out," she adds. Poorva has to her credit, the experience of working on a wide range of issues from women empowerment to wildlife.
She is a research intern with the Student Research Forum (KMC-SRF), Manipal; member of the Volunteer Service Organization, Manipal; Member Red-X, Manipal; Member Cutting Edge, Manipal; Member Bioethics committee, Manipal; Graphic designer, MTTN, Manipal; Head of graphic design Scientia Medicina, Manipal; Executive Committee Member of Indo-German Metabolic Meet (IGMM), Manipal and is also a member of KMC’s student council.
She is a core volunteer of Wildlife Survivors , Ratnagiri, an NGO working for protection and conservation of wildlife, operating in the coastal regions of Maharashtra. Patil has been actively involved in the activities of the NGO and has rescued hundreds of animals and birds and nursed them back to health before releasing them into the wild.
Young Achiever: Eighteen-year-old Poorvapabha Patil represents Asia Pacific in the second STI at UN
Patil was recently informed that she was selected to attend the UN Forum. "I was not even sure if I would make it. It was just one day before leaving that I got my Visa," she explains. The experience that she gained there, however is something she would cherish."I interacted with Core U N Members, those from UNESCO and the Indian representatives," Patil says adding that she also made interventions on integration of STI to strengthen SDGs and STI Capacity Building.