Udaan gives girls wings, says graduate student from Ukhrul who almost quit study

Mungchan Zimik
Ukhrul, Nov 30: Wonthan Shaiza, an ex-student of the Little Angel English School (LAES) Ukhrul, who came from a poor family, was able to pursue and complete BTech all thanks to Udaan, a project that aims to address low enrolment of girl students in prestigious engineering institutions.
"Udaan gave me wings to scale new heights, I never thought I could reach," said Wonthan Shaiza.
Udaan is a project launched by Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) under guidance of Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), to address the low enrolment of girl students in prestigious engineering institutions and the teaching gap between school education & engineering entrance examination.
Wonthan hails from Shingkap, a small remote village in Ukhrul district. Interacting with this correspondent, she shared the journey she took- from almost giving up study to completing BTech in Computer Science from prestigious Sir M Visvesvaraya Institute Of Technology (MVIT), Bengalore.
Her family had little money to afford higher education when she completed her higher secondary level. "Due to poor family background and financial condition, my family couldn't afford to send me to prestigious colleges. As much as they wanted me to continue my study, they were hapless," recalled Wonthan.
Then, LAES  Principal Soso Shaiza, who is now a Member of NCW, came to the rescue, said Wonthan. "Our school Principal told me about Udaan. She helped me and guided me to get enrolled under the programme," she said thanking the Principal.
After selection, she was called at Delhi for orientation programme. During the orientation programme, she met Minister Smriti Zubin Irani and CBSE Board Chairman Vineet Joshi and other selected girl students from across the country. She was among the first batch girls selected from the North East States. "We were motivated, supported and encouraged. Tablets were given to us for study and research. After the orientation, we were given specialised classes on subjects every Saturdays and Sundays," said Wonthan.
The classes consisted of solving problems, assignments and even live classes through calls with the experts and teachers, she said.
They were encouraged to give feedback in order to clear doubts after every session. The intense tutoring and coaching helped her to prepare best and be confident while tackling JEE exam questions, Wonthan added.
"A few months later, 30 shortlisted students were called at Delhi for another programme. The programme helped me sat in the JEE exam confidently and I finally got admission at Sir MVIT Bengalore in Computer Science and Engineering Branch in 2015. Now, I am a graduate," said Wonthan who believes every girl with enough courage and ambition should reap the benefit of Udaan to realise their dreams.
Any girl student who scored more than 70 per cent in the CBSE examination can apply for Udaan, she said.
She further extended gratitude to Minister Smriti Zubin Irani for introducing and initiating the 'amazing' programme for students to pursue their careers and thanked Soso Shaiza for unrelenting support and motivation, which helped her become a graduate in Computer Science.