Purnima Rao, PhD. TISS, Mumbai, 1991

“I am one of the First Graduates in the family.

I completed my B.A in Psychology from the Presidency College Madras in 1971.

I was a good student in school and my father was very keen that I complete my graduation. We were a lower middle class family and spending on education was not a priority. Yet my father was adamant and encouraged me to go on to college and finish my graduation. I could not afford to buy text books so I had to copy them in my handwritten format. It was a learning.

I then applied for my Masters. The thought at that time was if I completed my master would I find a husband more educated than me, as at that time in our community there were not that many boys who were educated. In spite of it, I earned my fees by doing market research and enrolled for my MA and completed it in 1973.

I got married to someone from IIT Madras. He, his father and my parents egged me on to do my Ph.D, for which I enrolled in 1984 and which I completed  in 1991.

I am proud of my Ph.D as I started this when my second child was 5 years old. Juggling a job, two small children and the Ph.D especially in the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai was a very tough task. Looking back I wonder if I would be able to do it now if given the opportunity.

All through my education my father, my husband and my father-in-law were very helpful. and it is due to them that I am a successful entrepreneur today.

I hope and pray that every girl has a family which supports her to fulfill her dreams.

Purnima Rao (nee Gulwadi) .”

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