“Hello! I am Aaliya, I come from Mumbai, where my father is a bus driver and my mom is a housewife. My parents are deeply committed to the importance of education, and they sent me to a very good school run by Akanksha, an NGO that provides education for children from low income families.
My favourite subject at UWCSEA is Global Politics, which is not about learning about issues and discussing them—it is about what can we do to find solutions to the challenge and raising our voices to make change. Over the school holidays between Grade 11 and 12, I returned to India to study development and human rights issues. With the Encounter India programme, I experienced life in rural India and learned about the development complexities and new approaches. I travelled to different urban and rural villages to learn about the historical and cultural context of issues related to income inequality, education, caste, gender
and religious fundamentalism. I was deeply challenged to think about my identity and where I stand and how I can play a role in shaping the future of my country. I also volunteered at the Aarju Foundation in Mumbai, learning about experiences of the transgender community, and how many are deprived of education, employment and housing.
Outside of the classroom, I love playing football, singing and dancing. I also really enjoy my weekly Service work with the Special Olympics Service badminton players in Singapore—I’ve learned so much about patience and creativity. After UWCSEA, I hope to attend a liberal arts college in the United States.
I feel so lucky to be at UWCSEA. By being part of this diverse community, I am inspired every day to be a better global citizen, and in the future I will put it to the best possible use to create positive community change. Dhanyawad.”