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Bhawana Mehra : Seeing the world through a physicist’s lens

Bhawana Mehra is a graduate of Himalayan Inter College (HIC), Chaukori and a recipient of a scholarship from Himalayan Education Foundation. At present she is studying for a postgraduate degree in Physics in Almora. She wants to become a teacher and believes teaching is an effective way to shape the values of the next generation of citizens. Let’s talk to Bhawana and get to know her.

Hi, Bhawana. Welcome to Himalayan Vaani. First we would like to know where you come from and about your family.

I am from Chaukori. My father is a shopkeeper and my mother, a homekeeper.

Tell us about your education.

I passed intermediate from HIC in 2017. I did my Bachelor of Science degree in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics from Soban Singh Jeena campus, Almora. Now I am pursuing a Master of Science in Physics from Kumaon University, Nainital. 

How did you get interested in Physics?

Physics is a part of natural science. I believe those who love nature also love physics.

It is an interesting subject for me because I always like to understand the world by applying the principles of  physics and gaining an insight into the workings of the ordinary everyday world.

I am curious to learn about the theories and laws of physics and how they can be applied for a better understanding of our universe in general. 

Who is your inspiration?

My family, teachers and friends are my inspiration because they always help me in understanding the problems and they teach me how to face them with confidence.

Bhavana @ HIC

Your favourite scientist/s? 

DR. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam who rose from a humble family and became a top scientist and the president of India by sheer hard work and determination.

What career would you pursue ideally? 

I want to be a teacher because teaching is a profession that can change the lives of students for the better. If students get the right guidance they can also change the lives of other people around them.So the whole society gets benefited by them. 

What higher studies/ skills would you like to acquire?

I want to acquire more knowledge in the field of science. After my M.Sc. I would like to do a PhD in physics. 

What else would you like to do? 

In the future if I get the chance, I want to learn psychology. 

What did you like about living in the hill country for school?

In the hill country I like the pollution free atmosphere and the peace that nature provides.

What do you like to do in your leisure? 

I like to write poems and spend time with my family members. 

What are your favorite books? and/or movies?

My favorite movies are 3 Idiots, Chichore and many more.

Do you listen to music? If so, who are your favorite musicians and music?

I love to listen to music. It is difficult to talk about one favourite singer because I always listen to the trending song. I love to listen to old songs too. 

Do you travel? Let’s know the places you have been. And what you liked.

I love to travel. I will travel  in the future when I will be fully independent. Firstly I will explore my Uttarakhand state and then the whole of India. I love trekking too. 

What are the challenges faced by the hill communities? Environmental, Population related, Social issues, Economic challenges…

I think the main challenge is the migration of youth from villages to cities for better opportunities. Without the educated and energetic youth, the hill communities languish in despair.

What is needed in your village that would better the lives of people staying there?

First, there should be more employment opportunities for the educated youth in the villages.

Second, the people should be made aware of the need for higher education for girls. 

In rural areas girls are married at the age of 15 years and boys are sent outside for jobs. I believe education for girls makes a lot of difference in the general health of hill communities.

How would you like to contribute to the betterment of your native village / area? 

I would like to educate and guide youngsters of my village so that they can live a better life. I want to share with them what I have learned.

In our village there are few economically poor families who are not able to give their daughters a higher education. I want to help such families when I am able to do so. 

How do you recommend encouraging students to become interested in science? 

I think while explaining any topic related to science, teachers should give examples from everyday life and if possible, conduct experiments because they make students curious and think. As they start thinking, they become creative and so their interest deepens.

What is your favorite memory of HIC? 

I have a lot of favourite memories from my HIC days.

One of them is when I was in 12 standard. In between class hours, we get a leisure period when everybody wants to chit chat and enjoy themselves. So it’s usually noisy. One day in our leisure time I was just looking outside the door. Suddenly the whole class became silent and I didn’t know why. I asked my classmates to talk and I shouted at them why they were not talking even if no teacher was present. 

My classmates started laughing at me because I didn’t know why. One of them told me that our teacher was behind me. Unbeknownst to me till then, he was looking at me through the window. Shocked and embarrassed, my face turned red and our teacher too joined the laughing chorus!

Even today when I remember that incident, it makes me smile.

What advice would you give the current HIC students? Especially to girl students? 

Try to give your best in studies as well as in other co-curricular and extra curricular activities because it helps you to develop your personality.

Your impressions of HEF’s work in the hill areas. Any suggestions for HEF?

HEF works well toward education in hilly areas, especially for girls. It is helping many girls to dream about a bright future for themselves.

HEF’s work should not be limited to a single school. It should also work in nearby villages. So that the talented girls in those areas also benefit from HEF. It’s by educating girls, social issues like gender equality can be addressed. 

Anything else you would like to share? 

School days are the best days, so we should study and learn as well as create a lot of good memories..

Your contact details?

Email: bhawana31alm@gmail.com

Phone No. 9411591839

All the best, Bhawana! We wish you success in your career and life. May all your dreams come true.

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