Hemlata Mehra, an alumnus of Himalayan Inter College, was born into a subsistence farming family in Chaukori village. After her graduation from Himalayan Inter College (HIC) in 2013, she went on to pursue Bachelors’ and Master’s degrees in the natural sciences. After completing a postgraduate degree in Zoology, she studied to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Education.
Hemlata, a recipient of Himalayan Education Foundation’s scholarship, had a stint as a trainee teacher at Himalayan Inter College, her alma mater in 2018.
Having struggled to learn in a place that has few educational options, Hemlata believes education is the key to transforming rural lives. She prioritises girls’ schooling as the rural communities still discriminate against girls acquiring an education and pursuing non-traditional careers. She wants to be a teacher herself and likes to motivate girls to aim high in life and help them in achieving those aspirations.
Reflecting on her student life at HIC, Hemlata says, “Even after leaving HIC, it is a part of my mental life. It brings a sense of calm and relief whenever I remember my time at HIC. I feel inspired to learn and work hard to achieve my goals”. Her advice to the current students: “ Make best use of your time at HIC without distractions. Reduce your screen time and spend more time with family and elders.”
Married to a soldier in the Indian Army, Hemlata stays in Haldwani, a town in the foothills of the Himalaya, where she is preparing for State Public Service Commission exams in order to pursue a career as a public school teacher. If given a chance, she would love to go back to her native village, Chaukori and teach at the nearby government school.
Apart from her professional aspirations, Hemlata is interested in studying literature and culture and wants to promote Uttarakhand’s unique heritage and language. Reading, cooking,teaching kids and learning new things like stitching and makeover are her favorite leisure activities. She relaxes while listening to Kumaoni folk music and watching Indian movies.