Neha Chaudhary

I am currently studying for the M.Sc. in Modern South Asian Studies offered jointly by Oriental Studies and the Oxford School of Global and Area Studies. I completed my Bachelors in Arts from University of Delhi, India and my Masters in Arts from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

I am lucky, as the first person in my family to join a higher education institution. Although this means working slightly harder than some of my other colleagues, it has given me unique insights about academics and the academic world. Apart from convincing my family of the need for higher education, I also tried sharing this opportunity with others around me. I began to teach not only my younger cousins, but also children in my neighbourhood. It soon after that I decided that I would use my skills as a teacher on a larger scale. Since the lack of education (and access to it) is a structural problem I decided to join an organisation in order to work towards a larger solution. The Udyam Trust offered me a suitable platform to pursue this.

These experiences have equipped me to better understand my social context and in turn, have made me be a better student and a better historian. Hence, I strive to make my academic projects a reflection this understanding. Through working on Indian borderlands’ societies, I plan on to write a ‘history from below’ of a topic that has not been adequately explored by historians. This work on Borderlands of the Indian subcontinent adds to understandings of state, nationalism, and territorialism. I also wish to explore the nature of the developing India in relation to its marginalised borders.

Apart from my academic work, I like to spend my time baking. I have a keen interest in pottery as well.

I am grateful to the Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development for the generous scholarship that will help me realise my aspirations.