Pandemic puts temporary hold on student in Delhi slums 

Pandemic puts temporary hold on student in Delhi slums 

04 October 2021 By Naomi Neilson

The pandemic has brought challenges to many aspiring lawyers but has particularly affected a University of Sydney student remotely studying halfway across the world under a Sydney Scholars India Equity scholarship for residents in slum communities. 

In partnership with Indian charity, the Asha Community Health and Development Society, the University of Sydney set out to cover the tuition fees, an allowance, textbooks, flights, and health insurance for one resident. For Tushar Joshi, however, his scholarship must start in the one-room house he shares with his family. 

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The university shared that Mr Joshi, who lives in the Mayapuri slum community in west Delhi, has commenced studying his Master of International Relations, specialising in International Law. The scholarship awarded to Mr Joshi is one of the university’s most generous in the number of benefits it offers scholarship holders. 

Vice-chancellor and principal Professor Mark Scott said he and the university are delighted to welcome Mr Joshi and “can’t wait for him to join us in person” as soon as the pandemic and the nationwide international flight restrictions ease. 

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“This scholarship recognises the vital importance of Australia’s relationship with India and reflects our commitment to helping talented students realise their potential, whatever their financial situation,” Professor Scott commented. 

Mr Joshi connects to online classes and often studies by a dim light at night to avoid disturbing his family. Just outside their home is one of Delhi’s largest open drains, which, the university shared, fills the house with flies and mosquitoes. Their community also sits beside a railway line, and the noise of the trains is “deafening”. 

“There is a lot of noise,” Mr Joshi said. “As part of this scholarship, I will receive a stipend, which will allow me to go to a reading hall to study in peace and quiet.”

Mr Joshi added that he hopes to one day use his new degree to help others with work at the United Nations: “I’d like to make a positive contribution in my life because I understand the difference it can make when you support people.” 

Pandemic puts temporary hold on student in Delhi slums 
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